22

th

June 2011

My Top Spirits route

That’s me :)

Started on 

Top Spirits boasts an impressive portfolio of world-renowned premium 

spirits. Thanks to Top Spirits, the UK now has a wide range of exciting 

drinks: Poland’s Krupnik and Amber inside Vodka, India inspired 

Jodhpur Gin, the Dominican Republic’s treasured Relicario Rum, 

Cuba’s Ron Mulata, Old Kentucky’s Marshall’s Bourbon, and Mexico’s 

Tres Sombreros Tequila, to name just a few. 

But how did Top Spirits find such a quality and eclectic collection of 

spirits? 

This is the story of how I travelled the world in search of the best.

Top Spirits Travel Copy

Krakov!

POLAND

My journey began in Poland in the 

beautiful city of Kraków.

 I had no 

itinerary, no direction, and knew no one. But there was magic in the evening air. 

I walked through the gently lit streets, allowing the spirit of the city to carry 

me along. Friends and family strolled through the squares, horse-drawn carriages 

trotted past, and bars overflowed with laughing revellers. I popped into one bar 

filled with smiling locals. They were clearly celebrating something. And everyone 

was drinking the same thing: a warm, honey-coloured liqueur. 

I asked a smartly dressed young woman what she were drinking. She answered my 

question by filling a glass, passing it to me, and toasting my health. I drank it 

down, gasped, and sat back in pleasant surprise. I couldn’t believe I had found 

such a delicious elixir so quickly. 

‘Wow,’ I said. ‘This drink is amazing. I have to bring this back to the UK. What’s 

it called?’ 

One of the men in the party smiled. It seemed that complimenting the drink was 

the same as complimenting their culture. 

‘Krupnik,’ he said, passing me the bottle. 

The one I had just tried was Krupnik Honey. Over the course 

of the night, there were many more toasts, lots of dancing, 

and laughter. The group insisted on showing me some of 

Krupnik’s other flavours. There was Premium Hazelnut, 

Quince, Cherry Plum, and Lemon. The night became 

a happy blur but luckily I scribbled down my tasting 

notes after my first drink. 

Krupnik Honey Tasting Notes:

Colour: Beautiful, light sparkling honey hue that begs 

to be tasted.

Aroma: Spicy bouquet that immediately calms you 

and provides a sense of happy nostalgia.

Flavour: Exotic spices and warm honey, like a luxurious 

dessert, dance on the tongue.

Sensation upon swallowing: Smooth warmth with a spicy 

aftertaste that leaves you smiling, present, and optimistic.

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June 2011

Krupnik

I couldn’t stop telling my new friends how much I loved Krupnik. They told me that 

Krupnik is a proud part of Poland’s heritage and its delicious tradition traces 

back to the 1300s. They also promised to take me to the Sobieski Distillery in 

Starogard Gdanski so I could see how Krupnik was made. I was certain that it was 

just the liquor talking but, a few days later, they really did take me there. 

At the distillery, I learned that, in keeping with the ancient tradition, they use 

only the finest ingredients: natural wild bee honey, fresh exotic spices, cinnamon, 

cloves, and premium grains. And, of course, we also indulged in many more fine 

glasses of Krupnik. 

I was happy that my journey had gotten off to a great start. Krupnik was surely 

the classiest vodka liqueur I had ever tasted. But I was determined to find more 

drinks and enjoy more of what Poland had to offer before moving on.

Poland as I remember :)

I bid farewell to my new friends and headed towards Poland’s Baltic coast. We 

had talked much about Poland’s beautiful areas and the coast was mentioned 

many times. My friends said that I was sure to discover more liquid luxury the-

re. I wished they could have continued the journey with me but they had jobs and 

families to get back to. 

‘I envy you,’ one of my new friends said. ‘Travelling the world, tasting these fine 

drinks. You are very lucky.’ 

‘It’s a hard job,’ I said. ‘But someone has to do it.’ 

su

nrise a

t Ba

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ea 

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July 2011

Amber inside Vodka

I arrived in a quiet town of Pomerania and located an elegant bar 

overlooking the Baltic Sea. I befriended the barman and asked him for 

his top shelf 

recommendation. 

‘What drink do you reserve for special occasions?’ 

I asked. 

He told me of a new drink that was currently Poland’s best-kept 

secret. He said that the drink was new but would quickly become the 

hottest new thing. It was called Amber inside Vodka. 

The barman produced a sophisticated bottle and poured me a glass. I 

drank the vodka, smacked my lips, and smiled. 

I knew I had found the next drink to bring back to the UK.

 

The barman smiled when he saw the look of appreciation on my face. 

‘Amber is known as the Baltic’s treasure,’ he said. ‘Some call 

it the jewel of the Baltic Sea because it has been used to keep 

people healthy for thousands of years.’ 

He explained that Amber inside Vodka contains the highest quality natural 

Polish amber and each bottle actually comes with a certificate of origin from 

the International Amber Association. 

I inspected the bottle and instantly fell in love. It was crafted with such care 

and attention to detail. I loved the acrylic two-part cork, which was designed 

to prevent the amber escaping the bottle and ensure precise vodka pouring. 

I knew this was a special drink. I knew that the UK would love it. And I also 

knew that it was time to move on from Poland. My heart was heavy but I left 

with memories I would treasure forever and a handful of the best spirits the 

country had to offer. 

Amber inside Vodka Tasting Notes

Colour: Light hue with a faint glimmer of precious amber, 

like the Baltic sand on a sunny day.

Aroma: Fresh, warm pine needles after a spell of 

summer rain.

Flavour: Luxurious velvet flavour with well-balanced notes 

of earthy amber.

Sensation upon swallowing: Smooth, warming, and fresh with 

complex notes lingering on the palate.

INDIA

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October 2011

Buddha card for all

protection

JODHPUR

I went to the airport and was faced with a tricky question: where to next? 

I stood in front of the departure board and read through the list of cities 

around the world. When faced with limitless options, you just have to make a 

decision and go for it. After all, Top Spirits are paying so why not? 

I don’t know why but Delhi caught my eye. It seemed so foreign, so exotic, so 

intriguing. Then I noticed a happy family standing in front of the departure bo-

ard with a travel book in their hands. They were looking at a beautiful picture 

of a city filled with blue-painted houses. I asked them where that was and they 

told me it was Jodhpur, the second biggest city in Rajasthan. 

‘That’s where I’m going,’ I said, and bought a one-way ticket to Delhi. 

From Delhi, I took an overnight train to 

Jodhpur.

 But I didn’t get much 

sleep. My carriage was alive with the sounds of laughter as my fellow travellers 

were drinking and playing cards. 

They invited me to join them and poured me a glass of aromatic gin from a cool 

blue bottle. That’s how I discovered the next drink. 

Jodhpur

The gin was called Jodhpur, named after the town it originated from. My handwriting is 

a little shaky from the train ride but here are my tasting notes.

After sampling the delicious taste of Jodhpur, relishing the notes of juniper and 

citrus, I was eager to see the city that had inspired such a wonderful gin. And it 

didn’t disappoint. 

Blue-painted buildings stretched on for as far as the eye could see, creating a sen-

se of all-consuming calm. Visits to the bars revealed that Jodhpur was supremely 

popular with the locals. Many of them were knowledgeable about the distillation 

process, informing me that the gin’s complexity was due to its four distillations 

and thirteen botanicals. 

I enjoyed many different cocktails with Jodhpur gin and each one sent me to a cool 

oasis in the middle of the hot Indian night. The cocktails were simple but I’ve al-

ways believed that simple is best. I’ve noted two of my favourites from that night 

here.

Grapefruit and juniper

5-6 cl. Jodhpur Gin

1 slice of grapefruit

3 juniper berries

Ice

Tonic

Lemon, juniper, Jamaican pepper and cardamom

5-6 cl. Jodhpur Gin

2 twists of lemon

2 juniper berries

Jamaican pepper

Cardamom

Ice

Tonic

Jodhpur looks so amazing!

If Y

ou rea

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taste it!

Jodhpur Tasting Notes

Colour: Transparent and translucent with a sharp edge 

and twinkling glints in its bright base.

Aroma: Delicate notes of wild berries, like juniper, with 

a subtle background of aromatic herbs.

Flavour: Smooth with aromatic herbs and a touch of 

citrus.

Sensation upon swallowing: Aromatic finish with long 

balsamic notes in the aftertaste.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

1

st 

February 2012

One evening, while enjoying a tall glass of refreshing Jodhpur and pondering my next 

destination, I got to talking with a local and asked him where he would suggest I go 

to next. It turned out that he had lived in various places across the Caribbean for 

many years and told me that the Dominican Republic had something special. When I 

asked him what it was, he refused to tell me. 

‘Go and discover the secret yourself,’ he said, and raised his glass. 

That settled it. I bought a ticket to Santo Domingo and hoped the painfully long 

journey was worth it. When I arrived, I headed to the beach in search of the secret. 

Luckily, the locals don’t actually keep their drink much of a secret. Everywhere I 

looked, people were relaxing with glasses of the country’s luxury rum: Ron Relicario. 

I visited many beach bars on my first night and each one had its own delicious 

signature cocktail. And the key ingredient in every one of those cocktails? Ron 

Relicario. 

The next day, I knew I had to try the rum on its own. Ron Relicario made a perfect 

foundation for cocktails, but how would it hold up solo on my palate? I ordered a 

glass that night at a beach bar party. 

The moon was full and blue, a pleasant wind swept over the ocean, and a fire crac-

kled as locals danced and laughed long into the night. I couldn’t have imagined a 

better night. Until I took my first sip. 

Rum Punch

2 cups pineapple juice

2 cups orange juice

1 cup Ron Relicario Superior Rum

1 cup Meyer’s Rum

1/4 cup Malibu 

Lime juice

3 tbsp grenadine syrup

1 sliced orange

1 sliced lime

1 sliced lemon

Mai Tai

1 cup Ron Relicario Superior Rum

1 fresh lime

1 cup orange curaçao

1 cup Orgeat syrup

1 cup Meyer’s Rum

I include two of my favourite Ron 

Relicario cocktails here.

Relicario

I closed my eyes and embraced the warm taste of the Dominican Republic’s legacy. 

When I opened my eyes, I saw that I wasn’t the only one enjoying Ron Relicario neat. 

I hastened to scribble down my tasting notes on the back of a napkin so I could get 

back to enjoying the best rum I had ever experienced.

One night in the Dominican Republic, while sharing stories with the locals, 

I met a young woman who became enamoured with my search for the perfect 

spirits. She told me that if I loved Ron Relicario, I would love the rum in 

Cuba too. As it happened, there was a boat leaving that very night, set-

ting sail for Havana. 

‘Do you want to come?’ the young lady asked. 

I was just getting comfortable in the Dominican Republic but opportunities 

always come when you least expect them. If there was a chance that I wo-

uld find more delicious rum in Cuba, I had to get on that boat. The adven-

ture wasn’t over yet! 

So we took to the high seas and in the morning we arrived in Havana. 

We spent the day wandering through the streets, appreciating the pastel 

coloured colonial architecture, the old American automobiles like Chevro-

let, Buick, and Ford, and listened to the sounds of music and enjoy the 

smell of paella in the air. That night the young lady introduced me to her 

friends. We spent the night indulging in fine Cuban cigars and gambling 

beneath the moonlight. 

That night, after many more glasses of Ron Relicario, the l

ocals told me about the legend of the rum. They all knew the 

story and they never tired of telling it:

In the 19th century, a Spanish merchant known a

s Captain Bennaser arri-

ved in the port of San Pedro Marcorís, the jewel of t

he Caribbean. He had 

spent many years deprived on the high seas but q

uickly became a good friend 

to everyone. One warm evening, he met an old expe

rt rum distiller who gave 

him the finest rum he had ever tasted. The dist

iller shared the secret of 

authentic Dominican rum but, many years later, Capta

in Bennaser died and 

took the secret to the grave. Luckily for us, he le

ft a chest behind conta-

ining two bottles of that precious nectar.  

Relicario Tasting Notes

Colour: Dark amber, like toasted almonds that sparkle and 

give a hint of the refreshing lightness to come.

Aroma: Slightly sweet smell of prunes and grapes with hints 

of vanilla and oak.

Taste: Well developed with mild tones of vanilla, oak, and 

dried sweet almonds.

Sensation upon swallowing: Fills the palate with a light 

warmth, leaving a pleasant peppery taste.

CUBA

13

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May 2012

Ron Mulata

That’s when I found another gem: Ron Palma Mulata. I could not believe my 

taste buds. Such a sweet and smoky experience that made the night feel 

forever young. 

As the night wore on, one of the young ladies Cuban friends, a man in his 

seventies who looked strong and wise, pulled me in close and told me that 

Ron Mulata Rum goes well with three things: ‘Coffee, Cigars, and women!’ 

He then told me than Ron Mulata was made with the finest Cuban sugar 

cane and matured in American oak barrels. That’s how it gets its di-

stinctive sweet and smoky flavour. He then fixed me a simple cocktail that 

quickly became my favourite.

Cuba Libre (Rum and Coke)

4 oz of cola

Fresh lime juice

1 oz of Ron Palma Mulata

I spent the next few days enjoying everything that Cuba had to offer. But 

I knew I couldn’t stay long. I had found my perfect vodkas, perfect gin, and 

perfect rums. Now it was time to find a bourbon that I could bring back 

to the UK. And where better to find bourbon than Kentucky, USA? 

Ron Mulata Tasting Notes

Colour: A fine golden hue that sparkles in the moonlight. 

Aroma: Light and fruity bouquet, soft on the nose, with a 

note of sweet almonds.

Taste: Sweetness coats the palate, shortly followed by a 

pleasant bitterness.

Sensation upon swallowing: Smooth, warm texture with a 

hot, refreshing aftertaste.