Monday 12 September 2022

Getting in the Harvest Festival Spirit with Barley Vodka

From Lammas to the Autumn Equinox is harvest festival time, and many pagans like to toast the gods, goddesses and ancestors with a drink made from barley. Usually that's beer or whisky, but I've been trying out some new Scottish barley vodka called X Muse, and it's rather nice. It also has a rather magical story behind it. The X Muse website explains: 

"It is rooted in ancient traditions and wisdom, established and esoteric, in arts almost lost, but is also unapologetically modern in its rejection of dogma and embracing change, multiplicity, human creativity and potential. We, its makers, trust in technology and magic, if magic is the unknown or unproven. 

"Our brand name, X MUSE, pronounced ‘tenth muse’, has many layers of meaning and contains multiple references. In Greek mythology there are only nine Muses, divine sparks of art and creativity. They are named and their inspirational roles specified. There is a Tenth Muse, unnamed, unknowable and beyond form. The Tenth Muse represents all that is unseen, not captured, defined or understood. She embodies our brand credo: “More is hid than uttered”.

"For alchemists, the Tenth Muse combined and focused the powers of her nine sisters. She is the muse above all muses who pushes us towards perfect harmony and balance, the qualities found in our vodka.

"X MUSE is also the title of a sculpture by great Scottish artist, philosopher, poet and gardener, Ian Hamilton Finlay at Jupiter Artland. The Tenth Muse is our Muse."

Thanks to my Polish father, I admit I'm a bit of a vodka snob and was unsure what I'd think of one made in Scotland using barley. However a few sips of  X MUSE completely persuaded me that it was very enjoyable - warmer than a traditional vodka but smoother and lighter than whisky. I will certainly bbe toasting the Gods with this at my Autumn Equinox rites later this month.

It can be ordered via the X Muse online shop as well as other places.

Obvious notes: Always be responsible when drinking, don't drink and drive, and don't allow any under-age person to drink booze.

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