When in Rome: Nero Vodka



02 December 2019

he Roman emperor Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus was quite a visionary, championing competitions of poetry, drama and athletics instead of the violence of the gladiatorial contests popular at the time. Considering the importance he placed on excellence, it’s safe to assume that he would have approved of his new namesake vodka.

Nero once said ‘Imperii fundamento fingitur excellentiae’, or for those who skipped Latin at school: ‘Our empire was forged on the foundation of excellence.’ Which sounds a lot like what the team behind Nero Premium Vodka are up to.

In the mix

Just because it’s the world’s first true sipping vodka doesn’t mean that Nero can’t hold its own in a mixed drink. This versatile potato vodka’s flavour profile, with a touch of sweetness from the potato, creaminess on the palate, and notes of citrus and garden flowers, all make it an invaluable tool when
it comes to making cocktails, as the following two drinks demonstrate.


Glass Martini
Garnish Dry rose petals
Method Shake all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker. Fine strain into a Martini glass. Add garnish and serve.

60ml Nero Premium Vodka
30ml apple juice
15ml lychee syrup
10ml lemon juice
1 egg white


Glass Rocks
Garnish Lemon zest rose
Method Shake all ingredients together with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain, add garnish and serve.

60ml Nero Premium Vodka
30ml lemon juice
15ml sugar syrup
1 egg white

This is a new privately owned spirit that reckons it’s the world’s first true sipping vodka. Just launched this year, Nero Premium Vodka achieves this bold claim both through its production process and raw materials, which together result in a vodka that, unlike its counterparts on the market, is best enjoyed without any mixers, or even ice.

This is accomplished by using potatoes instead of grains as a base, and by adding no artificial flavourings or sugar. A skilled distiller with five generations of experience in producing potato vodka is behind this distinctive spirit, overseeing the peeling, heating and mashing of the 100% British potatoes used to make it, before yeast is added for fermentation.

Next it spends some time in a custom copper pot still with a rectification column, after which Nero Premium Vodka has been effectively distilled six times.

The result is a spirit that offers notes of vanilla and citrus on the nose, not to mention wild garden flowers, and with very little alcohol evident, leading to a creamy mouthfeel on the palate. Here you’ll find a soft, velvety flavour profile that has, much like the nose, very little alcohol burn, but distinctive sweetness that comes from the starch in the potatoes. To top things off, there’s a distinctive minerality on the finish.

To fully appreciate this flavour profile, Nero is best enjoyed without ice, water or mixers – although that’s not to say that it’s not eminently capable when it comes to mixed drinks (for some inspiration see the box on the next page). Indeed, its neutral flavour profile makes it the ideal partner for various cocktail ingredients, from sweet to savoury, and from dry to spicy too.

In the arena

During development, the team behind Nero Premium Vodka made sure that their claims about their spirit were backed by both consumers and trade, putting this new vodka through a total of 27 independent blind tastings against seven other premium expressions.

Panellists consistently chose Nero in each of these tests. Which is all well and good in a blind taste test, but on a practical level, the benefits of having a true sipping vodka on your back bar are innumerable too, not least when it comes to serving health-conscious guests.

For customers after a lower-calorie option, not to mention one without gluten or carbs, it’s tough to beat a neat serve of vodka, which contains fewer calories than a glass of wine or gin. And if they do want a mixer, there are plenty of low- and zero-cal options to pair with Nero.

The vodka itself comes in a distinctive bottle, and is accompanied by striking POS, both courtesy of some of the best 2D and 3D artists, designers and illustrators in Europe. Behind the brand is CEO Nicola Morrissey and a private, family company that intends to build Nero into the largest privately-owned vodka in the UK.

Ambition and excellence… that does indeed sound a lot like Emperor Nero.

Nero Premium Vodka launched in London and Manchester in August 2019. The company continues to expand its distribution in the UK. For more information contact

Related content

News |  Wine

Nero worship: How Nero d'Avola is shaping the future of Sicilian wine

Nero d’Avola is Sicily’s flagship red grape variety and, some would argue, the key to its future in fine wine.

News |  Spirits & Cocktails

Puffing Billy Steam Vodka has launched

Puffing Billy Steam Vodka, from the Borders Distillery, is steamed through charcoal rather than being filtered as a liquid.

News |  Spirits & Cocktails

Kavka aims to bring character back to vodka

Though vodka is typically known for its neutral flavour, a new brand is seeking to bring a unique character to the spirit through traditional producti

News |  Imbibe Live

North of England vodka to be launched at Imbibe Live

Inspired by the garden, quintessentially English Broken Clock Vodka will be launching at Imbibe Live