We distill with extreme precision and divide each batch into three parts; the head, the heart and the tail. The heads and tails, which are packed with bad alcohols, are just a recipe for a hangover. We separate these and extract only the heart which is the pure ethanol. We mix it with water and bottle. That’s it! No additives, no sugar – just the full taste of organic wheat and artesian water. The taste and character of vodka, normally lost in subsequent distillations, are thereby maintained in perfect balance, with no burn.
So why do other brands distill their product over and over? Their ingredients aren’t pure enough to begin with, and they keep parts of their heads and tails, which means they have to re-distill and use charcoal filtration to remove impurities that are gone after a single distillation of Kanon.
We only bottle our first run, and heart is all we will ever put in a Kanon bottle. Our heads and tails? Recycled into biogas for local buses.
400 years ago, Gripsholm was known for a different kind of Kanon. In 1580, King Karl IV of Sweden built the Åkers Styckebruk foundry in Gripsholm to produce cannons for the Swedish army – and the distillery to make vodka for its workers. Reputed for quality, orders for the cannons of Åkers Styckebruk came from as far as Russia, America, Brazil and even China. Naturally, the high demand for cannons saw an increase in vodka production as well.
By 1775, King Gustaf III had monopolized alcohol production to fund his many wars and even borrowed money from the owner of Åkers Styckebruk, Joachim Von Wahrendorff. Unable to pay his debt back to Von Wahredorff, King Gustaf made Gripsholm a Royal Distillery.
Freed from state regulation it became the largest distillery in Sweden, producing over a million liters a year and employing nearly 300 workers. In 1792 Gripsholm fell prey to royal whim – King Gustaf was shot and his successor Gustav IV Adolf outlawed the private production of spirits. Having no debt to the distillery himself, he preferred to reap the revenue of a state monopoly. Gripsholm was closed for over 200 years until Sweden lifted the monopoly in the 1990’s and Kanon Vodka owner and founder Peter Hjelm set out to revive the Gripsholm legacy. Construction began in 2008. In 2010, with a production process founded in a tradition started 400 years ago, the first case of Kanon Organic Vodka was shipped to New York.