Lamborghini. One distinctive, Italian surname, loaded with imagery of style and speed and fast, rich playboys and girls. When I think Lamborghini I see a sunshine-yellow sports car sweeping up to park outside Monte Carlo’s Hermitage Hotel, the driver dripping in Brioni threads. It’s the sort of car with a dynasty behind it, founded in 1963 by Ferruccio Lamborghini, whose son, Tonino Lamborghini has more recently created a name for himself away from the automotive arena: Tonino has moved into luxury accessories, including hyper-luxe smartphones, humidors, leather goods and (wait for it) VODKA.
And so it was that a few weeks ago I was invited to the Westbury Hotel, here in London, to try the exclusive vodka by Tonino Lamborghini, heir to the automotive dynasty. I say I was invited to the Westbury, as I was expecting a cocktail demo somewhere like the Polo Bar, but quite unexpectedly we ended up underground, at the club for IT people called Number 41.
Apart from our two hosts and an award-winning barman, there were just two of us scribes on the plush red seats at a private table that usually commands quite a sum in whole-bottle orders to reserve. It was mid-week, mid-afternoon and there we were, sipping on cocktails in an empty nightclub, talking about Signor Lamborghini Junior’s foray into distillery. Random, yes, but how fun.
A few facts about Tonino Lamborghini vodka for you:
- it has a high-quality base of Eastern European cereals, sourced primarily in the Balkans and Slovakia
- the harvest is subject to rigorous quality control to eliminate impurities
- the distilling process raises the quality of the starch content, creating an extremely clear alcohol
- Franciacorta spring water, known for its low mineral content, is added to lower the alcohol content to the commercial degree of 40% (Franciacorta is in the Italian region of Brescia)
Angular, tall and slightly tapered, I found the Tonino Lamborghini vodka bottle before us to be very masculine in form, almost like a glass representation of a male torso. Add the Raging Bull insignia and it’s hardly a bottle you’d offer your usual dame, but as a gift for a man-about-town it makes perfect sense. Not that many people have this in their liquor cabinet, simply because you won’t find it at just any old offy. Primarily marketed to exclusive nightspots, (the likes of No. 41, Beauchamp Bar, Dstrkt and Funky Buddha in London), there are currently only a couple of places to purchase Tonino Lamborghini as a regular consumer – and they’re online.
Back to the tasting and a shot of the stuff straight-up preceded cocktails. Tonino Lamborghini has a pleasantly full palate for a vodka – but at close to £60.00 a bottle retail, it’d be odd if it didn’t taste superior. What I found special about Tonino Lamborghini was the smooth, crystal finish, as voddy aficionados would call it. It’s utterly refreshing, like letting your mouth take a dip in that pure, Franciacorta spring water after a sweaty hike around Mount Orfano.
One can’t possibly go clubbing in the day-time without a cocktail or two. Cue the resident mixologist, who shook us all up with Tonino-based cocktails.
The Passion Fruit Martini smacked of the Garden of Eden on a Pacific island, a glassful of the tropics, although the overriding taste of fruit made it hard to sense the quality of the product being promoted to us. A Dirty Martini allowed the vodka to take centre-stage. Beneath the spotlight it performed very well, indeed. Yes, it must be said that in spite of its recent appearance on the luxury drinks circuit, Tonino Lamborghini vodka has a self-assuredness to it that belies its youth.
After a couple of martinis and a shot, I now felt quite the Jane Bond, ready to take on the Piccadilly Line in rush hour and any villain it might throw at me. If that’s what clubbing in the daytime does to a girl, then I must try to do it more often.
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