Glacier-cool vodka


As nature intended, Aupale vodka is distilled from pure, glacial Canadian water, and served from a beautifully designed bottle

Born beneath the OPEN skies of Canada in one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, Aupale is seeking to redefine the concept of premium vodka. The spirit combines the pure waters of a Canadian glacier with alcohol derived from Canadian sweetcorn to create a truly memorable drink. Anthony Boccardi, who founded the company with Mathieu Caron, explains, “We wanted to jump-start the vodka industry with the smoothest, cleanest vodka in the premium market.”

Aupale is named after the aurora borealis, or northern lights, and the opal gemstone, the birthstone of October, to represent the month in which the brand was launched. It is made from just two ingredients – sweetcorn grown on Canadian soil and water sourced from a Quebec glacier. “The water is some of the purest in North America, potentially the world, and has an ideal mineral content,” says Anthony. “We take the sweetcorn distillate, which has a very subtle taste and smooth texture, and then we carefully blend it with the unfiltered water to dilute the alcohol.”

The bottle is a masterpiece of design. An artist recreated the contours of the glacier for the base of the bottle in a way that catches the light, evoking the beauty of the aurora borealis, while the graceful silhouette is modelled on original imperial Russian vodka bottles. Both design references capture the refined simplicity of the vodka, and its materials and manufacture are as sustainable as possible, reflecting a commitment to nature that befits a vodka rooted in the exceptional beauty of the Canadian wilderness.

“The bottle is 100 per cent recyclable and biodegradable,” says Anthony. “Ultimately, we want to have as little impact as possible. We are working towards creating a zero-emission bottle. Our vision is to respect our water source and our ingredients, as we’d like to continue making this vodka in 50 years.” With this in mind, the pair are experimenting with a bottle made from 100 per cent recycled ocean-bound plastic, which will launch by the end of 2022.

For their new, premium ready-to-drink seltzer, they are using 40 per cent recycled glass. The drink also comes with no artificial flavours or sugars and no preservatives. “We’re making this as you would at home, with freshly pressed juices,” says Mathieu. “And the fruit is from distributors that have overstock, therefore we’re helping reduce food waste. We think about every aspect of the process to keep our footprint to the minimum. It is also how we are redefining luxury: through the quality of the ingredients and the simplicity of the process while actively working on sustainability. We believe this is what this generation will come to appreciate – premium quality products with a reduced footprint.”

Aupale vodka is available in Canada, the US, Mexico and China, and parts of Europe and southeast Asia. Although launching during the pandemic, the drink quickly won approval from experts, receiving several awards and gaining a valued place in bars, hotels and restaurants, as well as home drinks cabinets. That includes Anthony’s, as he admits to a personal motivation to make Aupale vodka. “A lot of brands use chemicals or sugar to make the drink smoother and some people have a reaction to that – including me,” he says. “We had to invent this so I had something I could drink. It’s very clean, it doesn’t burn, it’s just really natural.“Vodka is the most consumed spirit in the world and smaller companies aren’t comfortable coming up against the goliaths of the industry. We are taking them on.”