A Toast to Tradition: The Best of Ukrainian Vodka, In Canada


Photo © Courtesy of Zirkova Vodka

005GHN Zirkova Vodka

Over 600 years ago, the first vodkas were made in the Cherkasy Region, then known as part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Today, it’s in the geographic centre of Ukraine—where Zirkova is crafted.

Vodka is legendary in Ukraine. The craft of making vodka has been passed down through families from generation to generation, infusing the practice with authenticity, heritage, and a passion for creation.

“Imagine making Tequila somewhere besides Mexico, or Canadian Whisky outside of Canada. That’s why what we discovered in Ukraine was so important—because it’s not just about a liquid, it’s about culture and honouring vodka’s authentic roots,” says Katherine Vellinga, CEO of Zirkova Vodka.

Founded by Canadians and headquartered in Ontario, Zirkova brings the best of Ukrainian vodka to Canada. Led by two former engineers, John and Katherine Vellinga, Zirkova Vodka is the product of years of work, culminating in two Ultra Premium vodkas that are changing the way vodka is consumed.

A Recipe for Perfection with Zirkova Vodka

Zirkova vodka begins with the finest wheat and rye, grown in the rich black earth of Ukraine. Often referred to as “the breadbasket of Europe,” Ukraine has the most fertile and lush agricultural land on earth—a full 1/3 of the world’s rich black-earth soil, containing large amounts of humus, the rich organic component of soil, which is full of calcium, phosphorus, lime, and other natural fertilizers. This fertile land yields hearty wheat that adds subtle notes of anise seed, pepper, and lemon zest, and rye that imparts a delicate nutty sweetness.

The Zolotonosha factory where Zirkova is crafted was built by the Russian Tsar Nicholas the II, who was known for using the centre or “Tsar’s” cut of the spirits for himself, leaving everything else for the “common people.” Today, Zirkova uses those Tsar cuts, making them accessible to all.

Since vodka is approximately 60 percent water, sourcing the finest water is essential to crafting superior vodka. The Tsar’s own vodka specialists built the Zolotonosha facility in 1896 to access the perfect water for making vodka. After distillation, Zirkova’s ultra-premium spirits are blended with this extraordinary artesian water from Zolotonosha—a flowing underground water source of extreme purity and perfect mineralization.

While most vodka brands use purified municipal water that has been re-mineralized, Zirkova employs a proprietary and patented 5-step purification process to remove biological matter while maintaining the water’s taste and mineralization. Local folklore even claims that the water has healing powers. Zirkova honours filtration with the respect that it deserves—it is one of the most critical processes to making the finest of vodkas. Zirkova vodkas are slow-filtered through massive columns, containing 300 kilograms of birch charcoal, and gravity-fed through quartz sand.

The unique mineral balance of Zolotonosha water creates the harmonizing flavours that Zirkova is known for, but the care in every sip comes from the most important ingredient: the love and togetherness that comes from family, an integral part of Zirkova’s vodka.

Photos © Courtesy of Zirkova Vodka

Beyond the Bottle

In Ukraine, there is a traditional toast, ‘Budmo,’ or ‘just be,’ that acknowledges the greatness in each of us. Zirkova is committed to empowering everyone to do just that—to appreciate and celebrate ourselves and each other, and unite through uplifting moments of optimism and possibility.

Zirkova stands for the freedom to be who you are, operating under the deep-rooted belief that there is goodness in everyone—to be human is to be a unique and vital part of a community. Committed to fighting for freedom and human rights for all, Zirkova works to give back through experiences and donations, combining charity with optimism and possibility.

Through the Zirkova charity’s “Vodka Experiences,” the brand has been able to raise over $400,000 in raffle funds to aid in the efforts of humanitarian and human rights charities in Canada, Ukraine, and NYC.

In 2014, Zirkova (then known as Slava Vodka) brought Ukrainian activists from KyivPride to celebrate World Pride in Toronto for the first time, rising to make a brave stance against hate.

As well, Zirkova designs its marketing initiatives to benefit important causes, with over $1 million dedicated to like-minded causes, in-kind donations, awareness programs, and so much more.

A Taste of The Season

Zirkova is for moments that make life awesome—and isn’t the holiday season the perfect time to make memories with your loved ones?

Whether you prefer your vodka neat, with soda or a martini, or to craft delicious cocktails, you need a vodka that is odour-free, pleasant to drink, and provides the same enjoyable warmth that is delivered by premium scotch and whisky spirits. Zirkova One is the backbone of a sophisticated martini, and is perfect to be consumed neat or on the rocks. Zirkova Together takes your mixed drinks and cocktails up a notch. Crafted with the intention of complementing the way you drink vodka, both Zirkova One and Zirkova Together are created with exceptional centre-cut, quadruple-distilled spirits, different in design and talent, but equal in quality and price.

Make Zirkova your new holiday tradition with one of these party-approved drinks.

Photo © Courtesy of Zirkova Vodka

Pomegranate Ginger Smash

  • 2oz Zirkova Together
  • 0.75 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 TableSpoon of White Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of Pomegranate
  • 2-3 pieces of coin size ginger
  • 3 oz tonic water to top
  1. Muddle ginger, sugar, and pomegranate in a shaker
  2. Add Vodka & Lemon Juice
  3. Shake with ice for approximately 10-15 seconds, until the outside of the shaker is ice cold
  4. Double strain liquid into a flute, then top it off with tonic water
  5. Garnish with a pomegranate
005GHN Zirkova Vodka
Photo © Courtesy of Zirkova Vodka

One Truffle Martini

  • 2oz Truffle-infused Zirkova One
  • 0.5 Dry Vermouth (Dolin Dry)
  • Garnish: Olives
  1. Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass
  2. Stir with ice for 20 seconds
  3. Strain liquid into a Nick & Nora glass / Martini Glass
  4. Garnish with Olives
Truffle Infusion:
  1. Add 7.5ml Truffle Oil into 325ml Zirkova One Vodka in a plastic container
  2. Mix well
  3. Place container into the freezer overnight
  4. Take out the container. Truffle oil will be frozen, and Vodka will remain in liquid form
  5. Double strain out liquid with a fine strain as well as a coffee filter
  6. Transfer liquid into a clear glass bottle

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Zirkova is the first brand to create two unique ultra premium vodkas specifically crafted for every palate, preference and occasion.


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