A new variant of Stolichnaya, the Russian vodka brand, has been launched in the UK. Stolichnaya Strasberi claims to be the first strawberry flavoured vodka available in the British market.
Made from fully ripe summer strawberries soaked in alcohol for five days, Stoli Strasberi is said to capture the delicate freshness and flavour of summer strawberries without added sweetness.
The addition of the strawberries requires that the vodka's initial high strength be cut to 35 per cent abv, but using pure water from Russian glacial lakes to ensure the strawberry flavour is not compromised.
Fiona Lovatt, marketing manager for Stolichnaya at First Drinks, the UK distributor for the brand, said: "After months of anticipation we are excited to introduce Stoli Strasberi to the range of Stolichnaya flavoured vodkas. The new flavour is sure to prove very popular as it is a fantastic base for cocktails.
"Stoli is the largest spirit brand in the world and the world's number one vodka. The latest addition allows Stoli to continue to confirm its position as the definitive premium vodka."
First Drinks also distributes Stoli Vanil, Stoli Razberi and Stoli Ohranj in the UK.
The Stolichnaya brand is still at the centre of a trademark tussle between the Russian authorities and Cyprus-based SPI. Moscow recently took control of Stoli production, claiming that the previous 'privatisation' of the company, which gave the brand rights to SPI, was null and void.
The Russian government has effectively blocked shipments of SPI's Stolichnaya from Russia, forcing the company to seek alternative supply. First Drinks, however, said that it continued to receive stock as normal from SPI, and that all its customers had been assured of consistent supplies by SPI.
Stoli is marketed as a 100 per cent Russian vodka, made in Russia itself, unlike some of its main rival brands which are made under licence in a variety of countries.