During one of my trips to Armenia, I visited my friend Manuk. It was summer at the time. We entered his small garden, and Manuk lead me to a tree with a lush crown. “Try them”, said he, carefully collecting dark-violet mulberries. My lips turned violet from the fruit, but I couldn’t stop eating: the fruit was so refreshingly delicious.
Manuk grabbed two bowls and filled them with the fruit. He gave one of the bowls to his wife and kids and the other one to his neighbors who were also growing a mulberry tree. “That’s a tradition,” he explained, “The mulberry tree is a tree of good agreement between people, especially neighbors. Almost everyone in Armenia grows a peacemaker mulberry tree.”
Mulberry comes from China: it was brought to Armenia by Armenian traders who have been trading goods with the Chinese for over two millennia. From times immemorial, the Great Silk Road connected China and Europe, through which the mulberry spread all around the world.
Mulberry gave people not only its fruit that would be named “the Queen of berries” for its sweetness but also its aromatic juice called “dushab” in Armenia. This juice is believed to possess healing powers against pneumonia, angina, and the common cold. This fruit also gave birth to a strong golden drink which also heals the sick, rejuvenates the old, and gives pleasure to hearts.
All those amazing properties of the mulberry drink have been known to the Armenians from antiquity. Its beneficial effects were also appreciated by Alexander the Great during his stay in Armenia on his way to conquer Persia and India.
Having millennia-old gardening traditions and vast experience of winemaking, the Armenians were amazed by the taste of the drink, as well as by its curing powers. Each Armenian has his own secret mulberry drink recipe, including my friend Manuk who treated me with this nectar possessing outstanding flavor.
The mulberry vodka “Artsakh” is widely considered as a distinctive feature of the Armenian culture. The combination of ancient traditions and modern technologies allowed the company “Artsakh Alko” to create a new collection of the unique drink. This collection includes two kinds of mulberry vodkas – Artsakh Gold and Artsakh Silver – both made from white mulberry.
The making of this unique strong drink resembles those of cognac and whiskey: “Artsakh” is likewise aged in burnt wooden barrels. Those barrels are made from old, infertile mulberry trees.
“Artsakh Gold” has an unrepeatable soft flavor, which makes it easy-to-drink in spite of its 57% alcohol by volume. It acquires its lush golden hue after 3 years of aging in the wooden barrels. The flavor of the golden drink features slight oiliness with pronounced wooden detail. The unique bouquet of the drink’s aromas includes the subtle fragrance of mulberry and herbs.
“Artsakh Silver” has 45% alcohol by volume. It boasts a vivid flavor gamma with an elongated, warm, and mulberry- and herb-scented aftertaste. The silver drink is aged for 1 year, which attaches a warm sunny shade to it. Even a sip of this drink fills the body with soft warmness, clears the head, and cheers up.
Connoisseurs of well-aged drinks will certainly assess “Artsakh” on par with moderately aged quality whiskey, as well as other pricey drinks like brandy, rum, tequila, and calvados. “Artsakh” can be served with or without ice, as well as in the form of cocktails.
Both “Artsakh” variations are produced in 0.35-, 0.5-, and 0.75-liter bottles. The noble classic package emphasizes the high quality and ancient origins of this premium-quality drink.
“Artsakh Gold” was awarded a gold medal at the international exhibition for food and beverages Prodexpo in 2003.
In case you are an enthusiast of premium alcoholic beverages, then you should definitely try the “Artsakh” mulberry vodka, which is a mysterious, curative, and cheering drink.