A vodka born from a chef’s passion for food and flavor.

In 2013, Swedish taste nerd, chef and visionary Claes Stenmark introduced Virtuous, an organic, handcrafted, unfiltered rye vodka. His quest was to create a spirit that would have the same high quality and exceptional taste as the products he used in his kitchen. He wanted a vodka that would reflect what Nordic food is all about—unfiltered, real flavor. Most of all, he wanted to make a vodka that would taste amazing.

Claes tested various ingredients until he found what he was looking for in the unique character of rye, a grain that provides wonderful bready, peppery and sweet notes. He experimented with different methods and decided to use continuous distillation to make the distilled rye spirits—and to only use the very core of the rye spirits.

When developing his flavored vodkas, Claes knew he wanted to incorporate organic fruits and botanicals and use a completely natural production process. He set up a lab in his kitchen and started testing different flavors he liked. He used a traditional method of flavoring called maceration, which involves steeping the organic fruits and botanicals in spirits to release their flavors. This is not how most flavored vodkas are made, but it was Claes’s chosen method for Virtuous. No shortcuts—just authentic ingredients, patience and skill. 


Close to nature

Growing up in Stockholm, Sweden, Claes spent many summers with his grandparents in a small village in the south of the country close to nature. Here he would play for hours with the neighbor’s son building treehouses and exploring the woods. It was also here that his interest in flavoring spirits was born. Claes would tag along with his grandfather as he foraged and picked different types of herbs to flavor his vodka (or brännvin) in the Northern tradition. This experience greatly influenced the way Claes later decided to flavor his own Virtuous Vodka. Claes remembers being passionate about food and flavor from as long as he remembers. He was one of those kids that truly enjoyed lunch at pre-school, but would be slightly disappointed when the sauce was made without wine.


Creativity & vision

Claes went on to study and work in a number of fields that interested him. His passion for food remained strong, and he was able to learn the art of cooking by working and learning alongside various chefs, eventually becoming a chef himself. This culinary path led him to launch Virtuous Vodka ten years ago.

Since then, Claes has remained a creative and visionary force of nature. His next project, constructing the world’s most climate-smart restaurant, has taken years of planning. Luckily, Claes doesn´t give up easily! His restaurant will have its own greenhouse to grow ingredients as well as many other planet-friendly solutions. We can’t wait to visit for great food and Virtuous drinks once it’s open. To find out more and follow Claes’s progress, visit https://stenmarks.se.

In the meantime, Claes is also keeping his cooking skills sharp by making delicious pizza for fellow food lovers in an oven built in his backyard. If you happen to be nearby Skegrie, Sweden, make sure to pre-order and try them. We hear they’re really something special. Visit https://stenmark.bokamera.se to learn more.


Organic—for our planet and for taste

Organic is not only kind to our planet, it also tastes so much better. Both of these things are very important to Claes. So of course, Virtuous Vodka is organic.

Organic certified

USDA Organic

No Additives