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Premium & Superpremium Vodka: The Topic


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Mmm.. Katie, you're just too ahead of the game.

*Steals recipe for party next week*

:laugh:

You're welcome to the recipe. The hardest part is infusing the vodka. Stuff about two Tablespoons of saffron into a 750 ml bottle of vodka and let it sit for approx. 48 hours and then strain it.

Vanilla-Saffron Martini

2 oz. Saffron infused Vodka

1 oz. Licor 43

1 oz. Southern Comfort

.75 oz. Sour mix

splash of Lime Juice

Shake vigorously over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime curl hanging off the edge of the glass. (mostly for color)

If you don't need a whole bottle full of the saffron vodka just scale down to 12 oz. vodka and one tablespoon of saffron for half a bottle's worth. I confess I never did come up with any other cocktails in which to use it, so I'm not sure what to do with that much of it in a "recreational" setting.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Thank you very much. As you say, don't overdo the saffron. Easy to do!

I will try gently heating a little vodka to infuse the Saffron more quickly before adding to a small bottle. I've got some Coupe saffron from spain...

Only the best for your recipe!

Edited by Bill Poster (log)
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Has anyone tried these? I guess they are available in SoCal, Las Vegas and Atlanta markets.........and Missoula, Montana.....?

Modern Sprits Vodka clickety

They are being marketed to sip with dinner...............

I'll have my husband bring one up from San Diego this weekend........what flavor?

To Quote a Palm Beach article:

Candied Ginger: Captures both the sweet spice and the biting heat of ginger. This, with a lemon twist, might be my favorite new drink.

• Grapefruit Honey: Clean and assertive, with the little bitterness that grapefruit fans look for.

• Pear Lavender: Great back-and-forth dialogue between the two flavors. This is the one with which to impress food friends.

• Chocolate Orange: Very interesting, with a flavor that makes you think of sticking your nose in a tin of Dutch processed cocoa. The orange comes through at the end like the bergamot in Earl Grey tea.

• Tea: A mix of black, green and oolong teas. The woody sweetness of oolong really comes through.

• Celery Peppercorn: Both come through modestly, with a bit of red pepper spice on the finish. I like the combination of flavors in this vodka, but the structure of the Pear Lavender is superior.

• Oregon Black Truffle: As advertised, with an earthy, mushroomy finish. Not exactly a pleasant drink by itself, but would likely recommend itself as an accompaniment to a course in an overly long meal.

All sound good to me except the Black Truffle............. :wacko:

Do yourself a favour and stay away from this crap.

These are just for people who enjoy cocktails who we all know are women or, at best, sexually ambiguous. :biggrin:

Seriously though, these products are horrendous.

If you really can't avoid the urge to impart alien flavours into vodka then do it at home.

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We do not carry the "Modern Spirits" but some thing called "Infusions 667" or some similar number. They are flying off the shelf. Vodka, Rum, or Tequila infused w/ pearl onion & lemon, cranberry, grape fruit, citrus, &c. There is an entire line. They come in an attractive package w/ the fruit showing in side an almost flat bottle which is why, I am sure, they sell. I did notice that the proof is incredibly low--as in 60* or there abouts but no one reads the fine print on liquor bottles except a few of us here.

Edited to add that the flavors are rather standard and nothing as unusual as "celery/pepper corn" or "lavendar/honey".

Edited by Lan4Dawg (log)

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Crater Lake is the best Vodka I've ever tasted bar none. When I first had it in Seattle, I drank it warm and straight out of the bottle (I recieved it as a groomsmen gift). I just found this thread, because my bottle is dwindeling and I was researching where I could find it.

I would say the texture is almost creamy, the flavor almost sweet and superior to Ciroc (Have one of those on hand also, but not touching it due to the presence of my Crater), Grey goose, VOX, etc...

I only drink it straight, no ice, no nothing. hmmmmmmmhhhhh..

anyone know where I can buy in the DC area?

Well don't just stand there......get some glue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 1 month later...

From their website:

Tito's Handmade Vodka is designed to be savored by spirit connoisseurs.  It is micro-distilled in an old-fashioned pot still, just like fine single malt scotches and high-end French cognacs.  This time-honored method of distillation requires more skill and effort than modern column stills, but it's well worth it. Our handcrafted technique offers more  control over the distillation process, resulting in a spectacularly clean product of incomparable excellence.  Only the heart of the run, "the nectar" is taken, leaving behind residual higher and lower alcohols.  The vodka is cleansed of phenols, esters, congenersand organic acids by filtering it through the finest activated carbon available.  Critics call Tito's "a homegrown symphonic spirt to applaud!" and say "it can go head to head with any of the worlds' greats and not break a sweat."

Tito's Handmade Vodka won the prestigious Double Gold Medal having prevailed over 70 of the world's best premium vodkas, as the judges' unanimous Gold Medal choice, at The 2001 World Spirits Competition in San Francisco California.

Tito's Handmade Vodka is produced in Austin at Texas' first and only legal distillery.  It's made in small batches in an old fashioned pot still by Tito Beveridge (actual name), a 41-year-old Geologist, and distilled six times.

Everybody in Austin knows about Tito's and it is well respected here. I've heard from a friend who visited Las Vegas that it is being sold as a premium vodka, in the same rank as Grey Goose, Belvedere, etc.

I'm not really an expert on vodka so I'd like to hear what more knowledgeable people think about Tito's. At $23 for 1.75L it's priced at less than half the price of Grey Goose. Does this sound like a good value to you? Considering that Goose is $55 for 1.75L and the very bottom shelf vodka can be had for $10, how would you hypothetically price Tito's?

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Twenty-three bucks for 1.75L comes to around thirteen bucks a liter, which is a pretty good price. Tito's is a fine vodka, tasting pleasantly of nothing.

Frankly, once you get over the hump of rotgut into decent quality vodka, I don't really see the point of spending cognac prices on vodka. There are plenty of less expensive vodkas out there that are every bit as good as the so-called "super-premium" brands. To make a direct comparison, Astor Wines has Tito's in a 1L bottle for 17 dollars. Grey Goose will run you $27/L. Belvedere costs $34 for a liter (not that much less than Courvoisier VSOP!).

I certainly can't see any reason why Grey Goose or Belvedere are worth any more money than Tito's. But, on the other hand, a 1L bottle of Luksusowa will run you only $11, and I don't see any reason why Tito's is worth another six bucks a liter.

--

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I have seen fairly heavy newspaper advertising for Tito, although I have not tried it myself.

I have always been loyal Ketel One drinker, but recently tried a new Norweigen vodka that I really enjoy called Christiania . It is one of the smoothest vodkas I have tried in a while.

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Sam's thoughts are 100% correct. Expensive vodkas are one of the things that have always escaped me. They are a testament to the power of advertising and marketing. Spending 34 bucks for a bottle of vodka just to mix it with cranberry juice and lime just makes no sense

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While vodka is really a blank canvas, if you drink it straight (whether up or on the rocks) it does have subtle flavor. I like Tito's, am typically a KetelOne person, and eschew the more high-dollar Chopin, Grey Goose, etc. To my taste, they do have flavor and it is not particularly pleasing to me. I was curious about Chiroc when it was first introduced, but it also failed to wow me, and gave me a pretty bad headache in the bargain.

I believe Tito's is priced somewhere in the $16/L range in our market, FWIW.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Does any one produce premium vodkas for flavor, or is the ideal always to taste like nothing? In that case, why not Everclear?

One dirty little secret of the vodka business is that most of it starts out more or less as Everclear -- which is to say, as relatively unrefined high proof alcohol delivered in big tanker trucks from Archer Daniel and the like. The vodka companies rectify (a process of selective re-distillation) and filter the raw alcohol to remove various "impurities," and then dilute the spirit down to bottle proof.

There are some small, artisanal companies that do less aggressive rectification and filtration so that some of the flavor of the primal ingredient comes through. Whether this is really "vodka" instead of a highly refined eau de vie is hard to say. There is, of course, a certain market advantage right now to calling something "vodka," but just because they call it that doesn't make it so. After all, what is gin if not "juniper and citrus-infused vodka?"

While vodka is really a blank canvas, if you drink it straight (whether up or on the rocks) it does have subtle flavor.

Another dirty little secret of the vodka business is that, after they rectify and filter the raw high proof alcohol, they are allowed to "add back in" a certain small percentage of things like glycerine and flavoring. These additives, along with the flavor of the water* used to dilute the alcohol down to bottle proof, are largely responsible for any subtle flavors present in the spirit.

* When you start with 95% abv vodka out of the still, it is diluted by more than 50% with water in order to bring it down to the typical 40% abv bottle proof. So there is more water than spirit in a bottle of vodka.

--

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Tito's is (or at least it was when it first came out) distilled from corn, although I'm not sure how much difference that makes.

I always thought Tito's was more interesting than most other vodkas (not that I have a lot of experience) primarily because of the mouthfeel -- it was comparatively viscous. As I recall (I haven't tried it in years) it had more flavor than most vodkas, too, which meant it didn't always work very well in the typical vodka + fruit cocktails.

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Yep. According to the Tito's web site it is made from 100% corn in pot stills. The site implies that they ferment the corn themselves rather than simply rectifying a 100% corn distillate from a large producer, but they don't come right out and say that. Then again, most vodka companys don't exactly come out and say "we get our raw spirit from Archer Daniel" either.

--

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Sam's thoughts are 100% correct. Expensive vodkas are one of the things that have always escaped me. They are a testament to the power of advertising and marketing. Spending 34 bucks for a bottle of vodka just to mix it with cranberry juice and lime just makes no sense

I was talking to a friend of a friend a week or so ago who helps come up with the branding & marketing for one of the very large liquor companies (he helped create Captain Morgan and Coke in a can). According to him, a case of high-end vodka is almost all profit, and no more expensive to produce than the cheap stuff.

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Twenty-three bucks for 1.75L comes to around thirteen bucks a liter, which is a pretty good price.  Tito's is a fine vodka, tasting pleasantly of nothing.

Frankly, once you get over the hump of rotgut into decent quality vodka, I don't really see the point of spending cognac prices on vodka.  There are plenty of less expensive vodkas out there that are every bit as good as the so-called "super-premium" brands.  To make a direct comparison, Astor Wines has Tito's in a 1L bottle for 17 dollars.  Grey Goose will run you $27/L.  Belvedere costs $34 for a liter (not that much less than Courvoisier VSOP!). 

I certainly can't see any reason why Grey Goose or Belvedere are worth any more money than Tito's.  But, on the other hand, a 1L bottle of Luksusowa will run you only $11, and I don't see any reason why Tito's is worth another six bucks a liter.

amen & amen.....

Tito's flies off of our shelves but then so does Grey Goose. (I actually had a couple come in to the store and the woman picked up a bottle of Beaujolais and said to her husband "Look, this is the wine we saw on the television show the other day; do we want to get some?" Her husband was aghast and said quite loudly, "NO! That is from France and you know how I feel about French [stuff]. Let me get our Grey Goose and we need to get out of here." I will leave the irony to the rest of you.)

One of the other old-timers here at the store and I were wandering through the vodka section a few weeks back and I asked him if he ever thought he would see the day that a 750 bottle of vodka would cost $60 (Stoli Elite--which I suppose replaced their Cristal). He laughed and said he never thought he would see the day that there were more vodkas on the shelf than scotch not even thinking about it being more expensive.

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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Yep.  According to the Tito's web site it is made from 100% corn in pot stills.  The site implies that they ferment the corn themselves rather than simply rectifying a 100% corn distillate from a large producer, but they don't come right out and say that.  Then again, most vodka companys don't exactly come out and say "we get our raw spirit from Archer Daniel" either.

You can buy your raw spirit from the corporate spirit pipeline and then redistill it in a pot still and call it pot still vodka. If fact, it happens all the time and Tito isn't the only one doing it. At least Tito doesn't charge an arm and a leg for his condensed alcohol. But like Sam pointed out, there's more water in a bottle of 40% alcohol than alcohol.

Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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  • 2 months later...

ok, was wondering if anyone has had any experience with this vodka. Being distilled from Burgundy Grapes, cote d' or water in france, it did get my attention. i was wondering if anyone had a sort of tasting note on it, whether on its own cold/room temp, or in a cocktail, vodka martini, etc. here's the website in case anyone would like to learn more.

http://idolvodka.com/index.html

thanks

Edited by djsexyb (log)

Grand Cru Productions

Private High End Dinners and Personal Chef Service

in Chicago, Illinois

For more information email me at:

grandcruproductions@hotmail.com

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You know, I'd completely forgotten that I have an entire sample bottle of this in my cabinet, given to me by the sales reps at the Bar show in June. Give me a couple of days to play with it and I'll be able to give you a better answer on taste, ideal usage, etc. I suspect it will be similar in nature to Ciroc vodka in that it will likely be a bit more floral in the nose than most vodka, and will have an affinity for similarly floral flavors in a cocktail. I made a really nice lavender sour with Ciroc that was delicious and very pretty in the glass - pale lavender in color and delicate in flavor. I used lavender simple syrup and lemon juice with an egg white for froth and viscosity. A tasty, if girly drink.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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