Wight Vodka

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22 December 2015

The Yacht Market Interview with Dan Hiza, ‘the Force’ behind Wight Vodka

London, England

The Editors of The Yacht Market caught up with Dan Hiza this month, one of the partners behind Wight Vodka, and asked a few questions to help better understand the niche brand.  Here’s an excerpt for your reading pleasure!

The Yacht Market: Who, what, where and when did you come up with the idea for Wight Vodka?

Dan: Great questions! The idea for Wight Vodka literally came to me as I was finishing a day on the water and coming back into Cowes.  I saw a Mount Gay flag and thought “why doesn’t anyone come up with a vodka targeting the yachting crowd?”  By the time I’d tied up, I already decided that person should be me…so I set to work.

The Yacht Market: What did you go through to get the product out the door?

Dan: Time, money and a lot of very enjoyable tastings!  Working with friends, family and a great media team in London, we rather quickly came up with the branding.  I then set to work with a distiller to run through different variations of the distillation.  I love an extra dry vodka martini, so I know what level of finish I wanted the vodka to have, and one late evening we finally said “that’s it!”

The Yacht Market: Why’s it different?

Dan: To begin with, Wight Vodka is potato-based, which forms a much smoother finish than 95% of most vodkas that are based on grain.  We distill the potato spirit 7 times and add just a little natural flavor of Beach Plums and Honeysuckle.

The Yacht Market: What’s your perfect cocktail?

Dan: I love a Wight Vodka Martini, straight up, shaken not stirred for certain!  But we have a lot of recipes from the yachting crowd, from the Wight Cup (Wight Vodka, Tonic, Lemonade, Cointreau) to the Salty Wight (Wight Vodka on the rocks with a salted rim), to the Wight Cap (Wight Vodka, champagne and a splash of Blue Curacao).   The Winter Wight is a favourite with sailors in the winter coming to shore, as it is a warm drink consisting of Wight Vodka, cloudy apple juice, triple sec and cinnamon.  And on the opposite side, a more exotic twist for a summer drink is the Wight Sundown Martini with Wight Vodka, passion fruit juice, lemonade, ginger beer and a dash of grenadine.  Possibilities are endless!

The Yacht Market: We see you support quite a few regattas?

Dan: It’s so fun promoting Wight Vodka!  Over the years we have had such great partnerships with companies from Sunseeker to J/Boats, where we deliver a bottle of Wight and a customized Wight Vodka cap to winning crews.  We also support regattas that are hosted or organized by the yacht clubs that feature Wight Vodka behind their bars here in the UK.

In addition to regattas, by far one of our favourite competitions to run is the World’s Favourite Yachting Bar competition, which has gone rather bananas with the numbers of people voting each year.  In 2014 one of our favourite pubs here on the south coast won, the King & Queen in Hamble, and when we rang the owner on New Year’s Eve to announce she came in first, the cheers were quite loud coming down the phone!

The Yacht Market: Ok…where can we get our hands on a bottle?

Dan: For now, Wight Vodka is focused on the yachting community on the south coast of England.  One of our favourite distributors is Eurovines on the Isle of Wight and they can ship most anywhere in the UK.  You can also come to us directly and we’ll see what we can do to get a case or two or three (or more!) into your hands!

Many UK based clients buy cases of Wight and give them as Christmas gifts to their special clients, and also purchase cases for their staff holiday parties. If anyone is interested, they can contact us at sales@50degreesnorth.co.uk.  And of course, we expect to see that the Yachtmarket.com also celebrate in style with Wight Vodka over Christmas!

It’s fair to say Dan is rather enthusiastic about the ocean, yachting, and Wight Vodka martinis!  We’re excited to be able to introduce Wight Vodka to our Yacht Market followers, as this extremely-niche brand will likely expand into the world’s best harbours over time.

About TheYachtMarket

TheYachtMarket.com was created in 2003 with the ethos of being the easiest place to buy and sell boats on the internet.  The database of boats for sale has grown over the past few years to become the most comprehensive marine resource that it is today, covering all types of boats from sailing dinghies to speed boats and motor and sailing yachts to fishing boats.  The owners of TheYachtMarket.com also have a penchant for quality libations, and hence, the above interview with Wight Vodka was captured!  For more information please visit them on www.theyachtmarket.com.

About 50° North

50° North are the creators of Wight Vodka.  The company’s spirit and enthusiasm for the ocean, coupled with the centuries-old regatta traditions of the Isle of Wight (and of course a full appreciation of superior vodka!) culminated in the creation of the world’s smoothest, 42% ABV potato-based vodka.  One sip of Wight Vodka will make a believer out of the most discerning connoisseur, and the company welcomes your joining a unique and elite class.  www.wightvodka.com.  Tack & Gybe Responsibly.

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50° North

BACKGROUND PHOTOGRAPHY: Mike Jones / Waterline Media