A friend of mine’s got a bit of a thing for premium drinkies and, knowing I feel the same, sent me a bottle of this lovely stuff: Snow Leopard vodka. This uber cool super-premium vodka was created by Stephen Sparrow, a passionate conservationist and ex-drinks industry expert, who heard about the plight of the Snow Leopards during a trip to the Himalayas. There are just 5000 of these beautiful big cats left in the wild and Stephen created the Snow Leopard Trust UK with a goal to raise a million dollars a year to save them.
Snow Leopard is no ordinary vodka. It’s made from spelt grain and is crafted in small batches in an unusual process using six distillations and double filtering over charcoal. I was advised to try the vodka neat and at room temperature, and it really is amazingly nutty, with a slight sweetness to it (obviously making it ace for cocktails). This classic martini is a perfect pre-dinner cocktail and the addition of the rosemary gives it heavenly scent too:
Snow Leopard Conservation Martini
75ml Snow Leopard vodka
5ml French dry vermouth (we used Lillet)
1 sprig rosemary
Just add all the ingredients into an ice filled mixing glass and stir briskly (sorry James Bond) for 20 seconds. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.
Snow Leopard costs £36.00 RRP for a 70cl bottle and is available at Waitrose, Harvey Nichols and Ocado.com, as well as all good independent drinks retailers. Buy some for someone you love this Christmas, not just because it’s incredible stuff (evidenced by a gold medal at this year’s International Spirits Challenge) but because by making a cocktail, you can SAVE A KITTY!