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BEST of the BEST 2014 | Leisure | Spirits: Elit Pristine Water Series: The New Zealand Edition

  • Richard Carleton Hacker

In late 2012, Elit by Stolichnaya demonstrated the importance of the water used in vodka with its extremely limited Himalayan edition of the Pristine Water Series. In December 2013, the company revisited this concept with the introduction of Stoli Elit Pristine Water Series: The New Zealand Edition (www.stoli.com, $3,000), which is made with crystalline water from that country’s Blue Spring, whose every drop requires hundreds of years to naturally filter through the pumice of the towering Mamaku Ranges. Triple distilled and then filtered five times using a four-stage process with quartz sand and birch charcoal, this ultrarefined vodka undergoes a unique fifth and final treatment: The liquid is chilled to a fraction below zero degrees to bind together any remaining impurities before the final filtration. Glass smooth with a delicate peppery tang, this improbably pure spirit is bottled in crystal accented with palladium and handsomely boxed in New Zealand’s native kauri wood.