Although Polish manuscripts mention the word "vodka" as early as 1405, we know that it referred to a drink of low alcoholic strength, completely different from what vodka is today.

One thing is certain: double distillation, the technique still used by the Maison Ferrand, spread throughout western and northern Europe during the 15th century, at a time when distilled products were used daily for medicinal purposes.

Infused and distilled with plants and fruit, vodka was initially a medicine. Some of our ancestors even used it as aftershave. Many vodka recipes were developed and refined in those distant centuries.

In a treatise published in 1534, the herbalist Stephan Falimiz listed 72 aromatic vodkas. Recipes at the time, often kept in strongboxes, were part of the heritage of each family and farm. It was not until the invention of column still distillation in the mid-19th century that vodka started to become a more neutral product.

In days gone by, high quality vodkas would be flavored with herbs and spices to give the vodka taste and character (and, in some cases, to mask flaws, since distillation was not always an exact science). Nowadays, only a few vodkas are made that way.

Whereas a majority of producers vaunt their vodka's purity, and in some cases even its lack of taste (distilled xx times, etc.), the Maison Ferrand Ferrand, faithful to its philosophy of only producing spirits with character offering a range of flavors, produces a vodka of remarkable taste and refinement.

After the renaissance of Citadelle gin, made with 19 botanicals in small pot stills, the Maison Ferrand wished to produce an exceptional vodka. Of the same lineage as the award-winning Citadelle gin, Citadelle vodka is the result of several centuries' experience of the art of distilling. In an age of extreme industrialization Citadelle vodka, distilled in the craft tradition, belongs to another era. The two spirits take their name from the Citadelle at Dunkirk, which housed the distillery of the same name in the late 18th century.

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