Na Zdrovia!

Eastern Europe and Russia may argue about where vodka truly originated, but at Table & Vine in West Springfield, Mass, I was very impressed by a few brands made right here in the good ol’ US of A.

 

Idaho held its own beside the big brands we all know from Russia and Poland with Zygo (www.fuelchange.com) and 44° North Mountain Huckleberry (www.rockymountainvodka.com). Both products are distilled in Rigby, Idaho and both are delicious. I tried them straight at the tasting but am looking forward to doing a little experimentation with a couple of recipes I snagged (see below).

 

Zygo is an energy vodka (it contains Taurine, Yerba Mate, Guarana, and D-Ribose) with a unique combination of natural flavors. Peach seems to be most dominant upon first tasting, but Zygo leaves a subtle vanilla taste on your tongue. Other flavors in the mix include mandarin orange and juniper.

 

44° North Mountain Huckleberry is distilled from Idaho Burbank and Russet potatoes and stepped in huckleberries for ten days. The result is a sweet, smooth vodka that I imagine would be great mixed (again, see below).

 

In today’s vodka market, it’s hard for a product to stand out among the millions, but these two certainly caught my eye and perked up my taste buds. In addition to these relative newcomers, the oldies but goodies were in attendance including Stoli Blakberi, which I have a great recipe for. Give these a try and let me know what you think…

 

“Fother Mucker” (originated by John Libonati of Brite Bar, NYC)

 

2 ½ oz. Zygo Vodka

1 oz. Southern Comfort

Splash of Fresh Lime Juice

Splash of Cranberry Juice

 

Shake well and pour into a martini glass.

Squeeze a Lime wedge and drop it in.

 

“Huck & Cuke Caipiroska” (from their site)

 

2 oz. 44° North Mountain Huckleberry Vodka

3 Cucumber Slices

3 Slices of Lime

 

Muddle the Limes and Cucumber in a shaker

Add 44° North Mountain Huckleberry and Ice

Shake Well. Pour into a rocks glass, top with Soda, and garnish with a Cucumber Wheel.

 

“Blakberi Mambo” (from www.HiramWalker.com)

 

3 ½ parts Stoli Blakberi Vodka

1 part Hiram Walker White Peach Schnapps

1 part Hiram Walker Mango Schnapps

2  parts Pineapple Juice

2 parts Apple Cider

½ part fresh lime juice

 

Shake ingredients over ice and strain into an old fashioned glass. Garnish with a pineapple.

 

“Sweet Clementine” (my recipe)

 

2 oz. Zygo Vodka

1 ½ oz. Hiram Walker Tangerine Schnapps

½ oz. Cranberry Juice

½ oz. Pineapple Juice

 

Combine ingredients in a shaker and shake well.

Pour into a rocks glass and garnish with an Orange Slice.

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