A spirited idea: toasting the team behind Our/London

Warming bellies around the world, a London-based team of vodka enthusiasts produces, blends and hand-bottles its pure, wheat-based drop beneath the railway arches of the Hackney Downs train station. With its colourless liquid making a splash, Our/London creates the refreshingly smooth Our/Vodka in its micro-distillery — which poses an ideal sup on a wintry eve, particularly when splashed into a spicy raw ginger martini, for example. We had a chat to the team behind this unique beverage:

We like the way Our/Vodka collaborates with partners in cities around the world, to create a locally enjoyed product; where did the idea come from, and how has it worked?

It was the idea of the Our/Vodka CEO and founder Åsa Caap, who believed passionately you could turn the traditional spirits model on its head. Instead of having a centralised distillery and marketing (and distributing) the product heavily via a global agency to territories around the word, why not find partners who know their cities and work with them to produce and build the brand at a local level.

Once Our/Vodka has found the right partners, they work with them to build a micro distillery in a central location, source high quality ingredients and train up the team. The partners keep their ‘day jobs’ and leverage their contacts to build the brand and ultimately make and sell great vodka.

You can see Åsa and her co-founders tell their story in more detail here. Our short brand film can be found here.

Where have you launched so far?

Distilleries are now up and running in Berlin, Detroit, Amsterdam, Los Angeles and London, with Miami, Houston and New York due to open later this year.

Our London

Tell us about your London, Hackney-based micro-distillery. When did it open and what has the community’s response been like?

After quite a search we found our two adjoining railway arches (under Hackney Downs Station) in March 2015. Building a micro-distillery under a railway station is pretty complex, we created our first batch and opened November 2015. We have the Five Points Brewery and Square Root Soda in arches round the corner, so we’re in pretty good company.

Since opening, we have collaborated with loads of local producers, musicians and other creatives. A big consideration when looking for a location was that we really wanted to have a space we could use for events and leverage with new friends/businesses. We have about 2,000 square feet of bar and event space as well as a great sound system so we’re able to host product launches, gigs, exhibitions and supper clubs. It’s so great to be making new friends and building a new business.

We launched in London in November 2015 and are now in 70 stores across London including Borough Wines, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges with some big ones to come later this year. We are also available at selected restaurants and bars including Blixen, Ace Hotel, Restaurant Ours and Pamela Bar. All our stockists are listed here.

They say you shouldn’t do business with friends; what’s it been like working together?

A nightmare…Actually it’s pretty cool, we both have very different skills and ways of working, but luckily they are complementary; we disagree frequently, but get to solid results! We met at art school in the early ’90s (cough… sooo old) and have been good friends ever since. The primary motivation for getting involved was that we could finally get to work together. We are living the (our) dream, man.

What do you think makes the perfect vodka, and how do you enjoy yours?

Subtlety and purity. We believe we have a really, really good vodka that’s super smooth and doesn’t need much adding to or intervening in terms of drinks. We enjoy making simple martinis, or we add a small amount of soda and fresh lime, maybe some bitters too. That said, it works with most mixers, fruits and spices – our favourite flavour to play with is root ginger.

Our Vodka

What’s your go-to vodka cocktail recipes?

A raw ginger martini. We’ve shared the recipe with Khoollectors, here.

What are your favourite places to eat, drink and play in London?

We drink all over – you are forcing us to name names…. Pamela in Dalston, Loves Company in Old Street. Just had a great dinner at Sardine near Old Street too. We rate Primeur, so many East London spots to enjoy on our doorstep.

What London businesses do think are worth watching?

The Pickle House – amazing pickle juice and bloody mary mix.
Dojo App – smartest where-to-go guide.
BOOM Cycle – bike-based fitness.

All have a fresh attitude, great energy and passion – and, most importantly, they are nice people.

What do you like most about your hometown?

When you’re tired of London

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Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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Khoollect tip!

If you’d like to enjoy a tipple of Our/Vodka, you must be of an appropriate drinking age (in accordance with the age restrictions and laws of where you are drinking). We encourage responsible drinking, as per the guidelines of your country. Everything in moderation, right?