I always knew that Sicily was famous for exporting olives, pizza and the mafia, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that they would also distill and export vodka. In Europe, you kind of expect that sort of thing from Poland and Russia, and lately France, but Sicily, really? Well, it must be so because a few days ago a bottle of Bivi, Sicilian vodka showed up at my door delivered by a mafia looking type of Fed Ex guy who warned me politely that I better like this stuff or he’d be back to make sure I changed my mind, if I knew what he was talking about, wink, wink.
Whether I will rant or rave is yet to be seen, but it sounds like they just might be making a decent spirit. Starting in an old world artisan distillery in Messina, Sicily, they bring together Semolina wheat and pristine Sicilian water, and then fire up the stills, using Sicilian fruitwoods from blood orange trees and lemon trees. Their brand partner is “A Bronx Tale” star and Sicilian Chaz Palminteri. As the legend goes, Chaz and Frank Sinatra were finishing their martinis one night when Sinatra offered Chaz one of the two olives that were in his drink as a symbol of their friendship. Chaz was deeply honored by this gesture upon learning that it was a Rat-Pack tradition. And that is why there are two olives in the Bivi logo on the bottle.
Okay, enough talk of olives and martinis and Sicily and Frank Sinatra; let’s get into this vodka and see what we see. The bottle is clear with the Bivi logo standing out in red and green, and at the bottom of the bottle, there is a green, white and red bar symbolizing the Sicilian colors. The nose is a true super premium nose with no ethanol vapors and almost no aromas or odors of virtually any kind. If I really concentrate, I might just get the slightest hint of wheat, but otherwise, it is clean and clear. On the palate, I finally pick up a touch of smoke, a bit of the wheat and an ever so slight citrus note, but again, this spirit really adheres to that classic definition of vodka being a tasteless, odorless spirit. Oh, and less I forget, it’s smooth, very smooth with no bite, no sting, no tingle, nothing. The finish is clean as well, just barely leaving an earthy tone and a bit of warmth. This is one of the finest vodkas I have tasted to date. It really defines super-premium in every way possible. I dare to say that it is better than some of those Polish, Russian and French vodkas that sell for much more. If you love vodka like I do, you really should get yourself a bottle of Bivi Vodka. I can guarantee you, you won’t be disappointed.
Bivi is 40% ABV and is priced anywhere from $24.99 to $32.99 per 750ML bottle.
By George Brozowski