Mmmmm Vodka! It’s crisp and clean just waiting to be the perfect backdrop for your favorite cocktail. It’s like a dear old friend that always shows up just when you need them. It’s there for you when you finish making delicious homemade lemonade and realize that it’s Saturday afternoon and you have nowhere to be so sipping a refreshing vodka lemonade cocktail is the perfect way to spend the rest of the day. Or when you have a dinner party planned and a classic vodka martini will be the perfect appetizer. Vodka has been enjoyed for years and years. James Bond made the Vodka martini legendary in the 007 movies. The Martini in general can be argued to be a gin and vermouth cocktail but in truth gin was in its original form simply flavored vodka – a neutral grain spirit distilled for a second time with juniper for flavor. So now we have given vodka it’s due with regards to martinis, but what about vodka in general?
Traditionally, vodka is thought of as a neutral spirit. Many people think of Russian vodka and believe it is made from potatoes. Although some vodka is made this way, it really can be made from fermenting a variety of food products and actually is most often made from rye, wheat or barley. This can be a big issue for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities. If you suffer from celiac disease, you probably already know that not all vodkas are entirely gluten-free. The safest thing to do is to look for vodka that is not made from grains.
Vodka has grown in popularity recently. Alongside the evolution of custom crafted cocktails, vodka has seen a boom in uncommonly made specialty vodka. Let’s take a look at six new manufacturers that have really reached way outside the box to make some remarkably delicious vodka from uncommon sources.
Black Cow Vodka
Black Cow Vodka is the brain child of Jason Barber, a West Dorset UK dairy farmer. He makes this extraordinary product from the pure whole milk of his grass grazed dairy cattle herd. The milk is separated into the curds and whey with the whey being used to make vodka and the curds being used to produce his amazing cheeses. This unique milk vodka has an amazingly smooth creaminess which makes it perfect for sipping on ice or mixing in cocktails. Black Cow vodka became available for purchase in the California midyear of 2016 and is steadily increasing its markets across the US.
This unique vodka is 100% wheat-free and gluten free, but watch out if you are hypersensitive to lactose!
Corbin vodka comes from the two yearlong effort of farmer David Souza, to make the world’s first sweet potato vodka. Heralding for California’s San Joaquin Valley, this sweet potato farmer knew that his farm product had so much more to give. And he was spot on. The sweet potato lends a buttery, caramel note which makes sipping this special vodka almost more of a wine experience. With several prestigious awards already received, the Corbin family is dedicated to producing the highest quality product which you will appreciate with every sip.
This vodka is made from sweet potatoes and water, so you certainly don’t have to worry about any gluten issues.
Strawberries are the source for this one of a kind vodka brought to us from the Ventura Spirits Company located in lush Ventura county California. This is in no way a flavored vodka product but a true neutral spirit fermented exclusively from strawberries. Sipping this vodka is a refreshing and unique experience with notes of fresh berries mingling with vanilla Creamsicle followed by a touch of pepper on the finish.
An idyllic apple orchard in New York State is the source of this smooth, small batch spirit. Fermented from Beak & Skiff Orchards’ own fresh pressed apple cider and triple distilled in their copper pot distillery, a clean, crisp truly unique vodka with vanilla and caramel notes emerges. Made from just apples and purified water, 1911 Vodka offers a deliciously smooth sipping experience and a truly remarkable base for specialty cocktails.
St. Augustine Florida Cane Vodka
Pure Florida farmed sugar cane is the source for this unique vodka. St. Augustine Florida Cane vodka is an earthy, smooth vodka handmade in America’s oldest city using sugar cane – a base traditionally used exclusively for producing rum. This distillation process creates a spirit free from impurities, producing incredibly smooth vodka. Their signature distillation process results in a smooth vodka with a subtle sweetness with hints of green apple, white pepper, and molasses.
Tito’s is becoming widely popular in America simply because of its smooth extremely sippable taste. Add Tito’s dedication to being a completely gluten free product and you have a huge audience that won’t drink anything else. Made from an unconventional corn base and distilled 6 times, Tito’s has achieved its goal of being so smooth even a woman would sip it straight.
As cocktails and mixology have become a sophisticated art form, the makers of fine spirits are pushed to elevate their products to meet the demand of the consumer. These unconventional vodkas are perfect examples of innovation and creativity being used to provide the consumer with extraordinary sipping and mixing experiences. And, the best part is that they are 100% grain and wheat-free!