ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Community Calendar

Community Artists Program
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Charlestown

Virtu Art Festival
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Westerly

Saturday Sweat Fitcamp
11 a.m. - 12:30 a.m. Westerly

Navigation Using Map and Compass
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Charlestown

Springfest
8 a.m. - 11 a.m. Westerly

Razzle Dazzle - A Musical Revue
8 p.m. - 10 p.m. Westerly

Yoga
8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Charlestown

... View all of today's events


Stay Connected


ADVERTISEMENT


New vodka brands tap desire for pure spirits


We’ve had cream-flavored vodka, candy-flavored vodka, even breakfast cereal-flavored vodka. Now, producers are betting on something different, vodka that tastes like... vodka.

From an Icelandic vodka made from glacier spring water to a Colorado potato vodka made from freshly picked home-grown spuds, the latest vogue in vodka is more craft than kitsch.

“Vodka distilleries are saying, ‘Listen, let’s get back to our basics. Let’s make these products and represent ourselves in a way that holds true to mixing a very clean cocktail,” says Jeff Leanheart, beverage director of The Smith Lincoln Center in New York City.

Flavored vodkas have been huge in recent years — bubble-gum flavored martini, anyone? — and Leanheart doesn’t expect them to disappear.

“There’s obviously a niche to any item.” But there’s a serious spirit emerging in new premium vodkas that mirrors the food world emphasis on fresh, local and seasonal products.

Reyka, a new vodka from Iceland, is being made with glacier water that is filtered over Icelandic lava rocks.

The result is a spirit with “a beautiful mouth feel that shows beautifully in simple drinks. It can be drunk almost naked, if you will,” says Charlotte Voisey, well-known mixologist and global ambassador for William Grant & Sons, the distillery that makes Reyka. (Other popular Grant brands include Hendrick’s gin and Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey.)

Water is a key part of making vodka since the point is to produce a pure spirit, says Leanheart.

How many times the spirit is distilled depends on the producer’s philosophy. Karlsson’s Gold is distilled just once and is also unfiltered to preserve the taste of the potatoes it’s made with, while Purity clocks in at 34 distillations.

Many vodkas are distilled from wheat, but by no means all. The popular Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which hails from Texas, is made from corn; there are vodkas made from grapes such as Ciroc, as well as vodkas that spring from a host of other ingredients, including Fair Quinoa vodka, which also is fair trade certified.

In Basalt, Colo., Woody Creek Distillers puts a modern twist on tradition.

The distillery, started by former defense industry engineers Pat Scanlan and Mark Kleckner, uses potatoes grown from the 30-acre farm Scanlan and his wife own near Aspen. The potatoes aren’t left to sit in cellars for months at a time. Scanlan and Kleckner say they take them right from the ground to the distillers on the same day.

It’s backbreaking work, but they say it’s well worth it.

“Being able to control every aspect of the production is how we’re able to control and ensure the highest quality,” Kleckner said. “We’re not second in line waiting on potatoes. We’re doing that farming to make sure we have absolutely the freshest potatoes for the production of the vodka. The buck all stops with us and we make sure everything is just right.”



Back to Food
Top Stories of the Week

Westerly man charged in domestic assault case …
WESTERLY — A local man is facing charges for the third time after he was arrested and charged with domestic assault on Wednesday. Westerly police … more ...

Police: Man broke into home ‘to be closer to girlfriend’ …
WAKEFIELD — A 20-year-old homeless man has been ordered held after police said he had broke into a home across from his girlfriend and began … more ...

Police logs: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 …
Westerly Dawn Carrasquillo, 35, of 11 Bowling Lane, Bradford, was charged Monday on a bench warrant issued from 4th Division District Court. Hopkinton Daniel A. … more ...

3 new buildings OK’d for Westerly Airport Industrial Park …
WESTERLY — The Planning Board on Tuesday unanimously approved a local business owner’s plans to expand his operation with three new prefabricated buildings at the … more ...

Police: 4 post office workers stole over $1.6M in checks …
PROVIDENCE (AP) — Four Rhode Island postal workerss face federal charges for allegedly stealing more than $1.6 million in U.S. Treasury checks bound for homes … more ...

Comments