They have recently become more of a mainstay as craft spirits continue to flood the market. Although some of the bigger brands have savory flavors in their portfolios, these smaller artisanal vodkas are leading the industry with unique savory flavor combinations. Friendly Disclaimer: Every one of these vodkas is great for a Bloody Mary or a Martini (Dirty and straight)!
Sonoma County, California is known for its phenomenal wineries boasting some of the best grapes in the world. Hanson’s decided this was also the best place to create their line of organic vodkas. Grape-based vodkas tend to have a lighter finish with a slight sour hint of grape peel. Hanson’s Habanero flavored vodka complements this well with bursts of spice. Using only fresh organic fruits and vegetables, Hanson’s combines a variety of peppers, Habanero being the most prevalent. This produces a subtle, vegetal flavor, slightly sweet with a hint of heat.
Chilled Dills Pickled Flavored Vodka is supposed to be the “perfect balance of brine and booze”. This sour spirit was inspired by the founders’ many family vacations to Florida beaches, where pickle juice and vodka shots were ‘a plenty. They partnered with Chilled Dill pickles to capture that same beach spirit in the bottle. Chilled Dills’ distills American grain with pure Appalachian Mountain water, before infusing the flavor. Pickle flavor is great to enhance any savory cocktail but doesn’t have much flexibility for sweet mixes. It should be noted that pickles are believed by some to help prevent hangovers. I have sadly found no scientific or personal evidence of that.
Basil has had its boom, taking over for mint as a key ingredient in modern mixology. It is utilized not only as a garnish, but often as a syrup for botanical flavoring. Square One is the perfect brand to take on this ingredient as a flavored vodka. Combining American grown rye, with pristine watershed from the Grand Tetons, producing a crisp finish. In addition to two varieties of basil, they also infuse it with lemon, honeysuckle, and lemongrass. Square One has always been a trailblazer in organic vodkas, conscious of not only the ingredients they use, and how they source them but their shipping and marketing carbon footprint as well. Great brand, great flavor.
The best thing about Crop Harvest Earth vodkas is the subtlety of their flavors. When sipping Crop’s “Tomato” flavored vodka, you taste the vodka first. Then it finishes with an essence of fresh tomato, that lingers on your palate. Crop’s mildness is its strength, as the flavor dances on your tongue while the bite quickly dissipates. All of Crop vodkas are not only USDA certified organic, but they are distilled so efficiently that no carbon treatment or charcoal filtering is required. The resulting flavor is delicate and incredibly clean. Like eating a fresh tomato, it has a slight sweetness, making it easy to mix with different flavor combinations.
Hangar One’s flavored vodkas are bold and present in whatever you mix them with. Their Chipotle flavor follows that lead with an exceptional smokiness that fills up the entire mouth. To accomplish this, Hangar One infuses their original vodka with Fresno Chilies, Bell, Jalapeňo, and Habaňeros peppers “roasted by a local pepper expert.” Like other vodkas in this category, they use no chemicals or artificial flavoring in their infusions. The difference is noticeable when compared to other gimmicky pepper and chili flavored spirits. This vodka is perfect to sip on with a good steak or a rich chocolate dessert in a pairing dinner.