Most potato-based vodkas are made with English potato. An English potato has 70% water and 30% starch. With a little research, Raymond Thompson, the founder and master distiller, realised that sweet potatoes are much higher in starch.
An empty gas tank put me on the journey to ‘Katspraddle’. I started trying to ‘collifox’ some sweet potato into a little fuel. But that fuel smelt too sweet... - inspiration hit and we got Katspraddle Vodka - Raymond Thompson Founder & Master Distiller
This fact peaked Raymond’s interest because the fermentation of alcohol occurs when starches are converted to sugar. He then looked at the few other sweet potato vodkas in the world and noticed that they tended to use the high sugar, lower starch Carolina sweet potato.
The local Barbados sweet potato has the opposite profile with higher starch content along with good simple sugars. Raymond figured that this unique raw material had the potential to create a unique finished vodka.
Once Raymond got the idea to make a vodka from his sweet potato experiment, he turned to his friends for help and quickly found a home to start working on the ideas. A little space was carved out on a friend’s family farm and the potatoes were designated for Vodka - indeed, this space remains in use today as the farmer has been growing sweet potatoes for over 35 years, resulting in a highly consistent product across all seasons.
The original set of equipment was another experiment. Some would call it ‘collyfoxing’ but this was Raymond’s engineering skills coming to the rescue.
With the first batch under his belt, Raymond needed to get some independent feedback and with the help of some close friends, he ran some comprehensive Saturday afternoon ‘research’ sessions.
Now this group of friends will tell you that this required ‘tremendous sacrifice’ as they took on the task of tasting and re-tasting the vodka, interspersed with our local pudding and souse delicacy.With the feedback and encouragement of friends and local ‘experts’, the product started to come together.
Five years later, Katspraddle’s origin story is still being written. New investments in equipment have been encouraged by the popularity of Barbados’ only indigenous Sweet Potato Vodka while Raymond’s passion for producing this unique vodka grows with