With L'Orbe, French spirits group Pernod Ricard is taking back control of brand creation. Conceived like a fragrance, this caviar-infused vodka is the prelude to a collection of gastronomic variations around clear spirits.
The idea behind L'Orbe is to bring complexity and a new organoleptic richness to the generally neutral alcohols that are clear spirits. But not via conventional flavoring processes. Shéhrazade Schneider, creator of the brand, explains: "Our ambition was not to launch yet another flavored vodka, but to create something new: a category of ultra-premium spirits, made like blends, from natural clear alcohols and exceptional ingredients.”
In Pernod Ricard group's labs, five years of development were necessary to shape the first edition of L'Orbe: a vodka distilled from top-quality Polish rye (the Dankowski Diamond Rye), infused with caviar (from the Royal Baeri artisanal farm) using a patented process. Here, no chemical stabilization and no additives were used: the caviar is directly encapsulated in pearls with a natural membrane of water and algae, to be crimped into a central tube so that each grain expresses itself upon contact with the vodka to gradually restore all the subtleties of its notes.
An exceptional bottle for an exceptional "juice": "We wanted a bottle that expresses this notion of the fusion of elements," says Schneider, "an original, sculptural bottle that is not strictly related to spirits. We worked with French design studio Nocc and Saverglass on a complex, dual glass form.”
To evoke the balance between vodka and caviar, the trapezoidal bottle — available in 50cl and 100cl — is split in two: "Like a set of cut sides and curves featuring the inner column that contains the caviar pearls. One of the technical challenges was to erase the visual distortion of the inner tube induced by the bottle’s architecture. "Each sealed tube (Axindus) was inserted by hand through the neck of the bottle," in the same way that each caviar pearl — 30g in the 1 liter bottle and 15g in the 50cl — was selected by hand.”
The bottle's double closure system (Guala Closures) feature molded soft touch finish caps that incorporate 40% marble powder. The hot stamped monochrome labels (Agis Labels) are applied by hand, although for the next bottles, direct printing onto the glass is envisaged.
In an echo of the bottles, the cardboard coffrets (DL COM Packaging), designed by Spill, are in the form of half-cylinders lined with matte black, soft touch paper hot stamped in gold.
Next month, the brand will be launching small 5cl tasting vials with Wit France. And the next edition of L’Orbe? "We're taking inspiration from exceptional smoked meats," says Schneider. "Pata Negra Bellota, wagyu beef... Which we could marry, say... with a young, very mineral mezcal, for example.”
CoffretDL COM Packaging
Design (bottle, cap)Nocc
Design (logo, box)Spill