February 22, 2006
There are some rock stars that bring the word "Vodka" to mind. Among them are Slash, 1960s Keith Richards, any member of Motley Crue, and Pat Boone. OK, maybe not the last one, but he has about the same badass image as the guy Absolut has tapped for their latest campaign. Lenny Kravitz? We think they should have gone with Lenny Leonard.
VODKA brand Absolut likes to do things slowly: it's a Swedish thing. More than 20 years ago Andy Warhol painted a canvas inspired by the now iconic bottle. This time next week, musician Lenny Kravitz's efforts at bringing to life Absolut's brand values of clarity, simplicity and perfection aurally will be there for all to hear. Kravitz is the latest in a long line of artists and designers, including Jean Paul Gaultier and Gianni Versace, to step up to the challenge, not to mention the fee.
via Sydney Morning Herald - That's the Spirit
February 5, 2006
What's better than going to your local bar and ordering a shot of vodka? Going to your local bar and ordering a shot of vodka with a swear in the name. We've recently discovered Ivanabitch Vodka, and not only do they claim to make a great vodka, they also say they're swinging around the biggest attitude. We did a little digging to find out more about both the vodka and the attidude, and here's what we came up with:
The Attitude: They certainly don't shy away from their name over there, with cocktail recipes have names like "Dirty 'Bitch," "Power 'Bitch" and "Twisted 'Bitch." The site has a funny pretty funny tone, where they're daring you to like their product. There's also a bio of Dmitri Ivanabitch, the half-crazy Russian who created the spirit in 1666, if he ever existed at all.
Ivanabitch also created a little stir last year when Viacom and Clear Channel banned their billboard and radio ads due to an overly suggestive pickle. Wondering what a pickle has to do with Vodka? So did we - keep reading to find out.
Oh, and they sponsored a lingerie fashion show last year called Teddies and Tinis - they're certainly not the first liquor company to sell with sex, but we had to throw them some props for the name.
The Drink: Ivanabitch is Russian Vodka by way of Holland, and it's charcoal-filtered and distilled five times. That's only one distillation less than our favorite, Tito's Handmade Vodka, and more than your typical two to three distillations.
According to the website, the distillation process makes Ivanabitch "one of the clearest vodkas in the world while, at the same time, giving it its singularly pure taste and trademark smooth finish." We guess that remains to be seen, but we like the sound of it.
Oh, and about that pickle thing - they say you should garnish your Ivanabitch on the rocks with a dill pickle instead of your traditional twist or lime. We couldn't make that up and it sounds a bit gross, but we won't knock it until we try it.
Learn more about Ivanabitch Vodka at Ivanabitch.com.
December 28, 2005
Face it...some day you're going to have to polish off a large amount of vodka in one sitting. Maybe you move to Poland for work. Maybe you're challenged to a drinking contest by a large Eastern European man. Maybe you're having lunch with Ted Kennedy. Whatever the situation, read on to find out how to avoid getting too drunk as you pickle your liver on Crankshaft ...just in time for New Year's!
Continue reading: "Drink Vodka Like a Russian"
December 13, 2005
Finlandia is hoping you like your vodka in the buff, as they introduce a new ad campaign that touts the virtues of their spirits in the nude. So, the question is, are you ready for naked vodka?
That is the multimillion-dollar question being asked by the Brown-Forman Beverages Worldwide unit of the Brown-Forman Corporation as it readies a campaign meant to reintroduce American drinkers to Finlandia vodka. The campaign, along with versions using variants on the theme, will also appear in other markets, including countries like Hungary, Israel and Poland, where Finlandia is a top-selling vodka.
In the United States - where Finlandia ranks No. 6 among imported vodkas and 22nd among all vodkas, domestic or imported - the campaign will run initially in magazines before branching into other media like television, radio, the Internet, signs and commercials in movie theaters.
Like we needed anything else to make vodka attractive...now they go and make it all sexy. Read the full story at nytimes.com
(registration required). Or, head right over to the naked vodka site
to try to sneak a peek for yourself.
November 30, 2005
The Donald is making the vodka. Yes, you heard right, even though we never thought we'd see the day where Mr. Trump would stoop to shamelessly attaching his name to a consumer product willy nilly, but apparently that day has come. Prepare your pedestrian taste buds for Trump: The World's Finest Super Premium Vodka...at least he's not letting it go to his head.
Trump isn't the first celebrity to dabble in high-end spirits - we've already covered Willie Nelson's whiskey and Ed McMahon's vodka - and we're sure he won't be the last. And hell, who says it isn't time for more celebrities to throw their weight around for the booze industry? We've already seen that chick from Sex and the City shilling for low calorie rum, and Billy Dee Williams was the MAN when he used to sell Colt 45.
Learn more about The Donald's vodka plans at the Globe and Mail.
November 29, 2005
Remember way back when, we told you about Bong Vodka and the fact that there were going to be some release parties in December to celebrate its arrival in the States? Well, December is almost here, and said parties are underway in Miami this weekend.
If you're going to be in the Miami area, take time out of your hectic schedule of retracing the footsteps of the Golden Girls to check it out. What could be better? Vodka in a bong, Red Bull, and according to the flyer (the image to the right), Bong Vodka girls chasing Evilgoose.
Wait, what's Evilgoose? Sounds like someone's been hitting the vodka bong a bit too hard maybe. Anyway, looks like Bong Vodka is a hit (wink wink). Here's the party schedule and information we found via Bong Vodka's profile at MySpace:
Thursday, December 1
--Pawn Shop Midnight - Close
Friday, December 2
--Official Launch Party at Mansion
Saturday, December 3
--Bong Pool Party at Al Capone Estate- Bong Red Bull Party
Saturday, December 3
--Design 05 Street Party- Diasporavibe Gallery
You can also check the Bong Vodka MySpace profile
for a list of liquor stores where it will be available, become friends with the vodka and more. Plus, go to the Bong Vodka site
to sign up for the newsletter and more.
November 16, 2005
80 proof Imported Swedish Vodka, made by Absolut
Typical Price: Around $30 for 750ml - Buy it at Internet Wines & Spirits
Initial Thoughts: We're going to let you in on a little secret - we like to drink. That's why we do what we do. In fact, our general rule is that the more we drink of something, the more we like it, as we rinse away our judgment and common sense. The trick, therefore, is to find liquors we like right away...that's how we know they're the genuine article. Level vodka is one of those liquors.
The first thing we noticed when we opened the bottle was a whiff of citrus and booze, like a lemon that had been soaked in Absolut, and we mean that in a good way. When we poured it straight it had some bite, but left a fragile lemony tang that dissipated quickly and finished smoothly.
Cocktail Recipes: Level is a high-end vodka, so we went high-end; martinis all the way. We usually like our martinis extra-dirty. With Level, we found we liked them as dry as possible so the vermouth wouldn't take away from the taste of the vodka. And that's saying something - vodka martinis are usually two parts vodka to one part dry vermouth, and we usually add another part of olive brine (or Dirty Sue) to give it that filthy texture. The fact that we wanted to drink ours dry (as little vermouth as possible, for you martini virgins), with only a twist of lemon, says something about the quality and smooth taste.
In fact, we liked our Level martinis so much, we did something we normally wouldn't do. We noticed a cocktail recipe on the site that we would normally scoff at, and we just so happened to have the required ingredient in the office, so we decided to mix one up. And so, we present to you:
The Level Rosemary Martini
1 part Level Vodka
1 dash dry vermouth
1 sprig of rosemary
Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass without ice for a few seconds.
Add ice cubes and stir for a few seconds more.
Double-strain into a chilled cocktail glass; garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
We're not sure what possessed us to mix them, but we have to admit the rosemary added an interesting level of complexity to the drink. We also have to say we liked it...and admit we drank them with our pinkies extended.
Finishing Thoughts: We're not classy guys, but we're pretty sure we know it when we see it, and Level oozes it with their vodka as well as their packaging. Level comes in the kind of bottle that you want to break out of the freezer for someone you're trying to woo, because it will let you pass for the debonair 007 type you're really not. We recommend Level for romantic evenings, intimate get-togethers, and nights you just want to get suavely plastered.
Learn more about Level and find recipes and more at LevelVodka.com.
November 14, 2005
Ikon True Russian Vodka
80 proof Russian premium vodka
Typical Price: Less than $15 for 750ml - Buy it at Internet Wines & Spirits
Initial Thoughts: One of the things we find interesting about vodka is the fact that it's not really supposed to have a taste. Other liquors brag about their distinctive and bold flavors, but with vodka it's more like, "We taste the most like water." OK, maybe that's an oversimplification, but one of the things we liked about Ikon vodka was the fact that it had such a clean taste without an overpowering alcoholic tinge. We did some reading on the stuff, and that might have something to do with the fact that it's quadruple-distilled, and then filtered through birch wood four times before it's bottled.
We're not sure what effect the birch wood has on the taste, but we were impressed with the clean nose when we sniffed a glass of it straight. When we first discovered Ikon we were impressed by the vodka's lineage and the awards it has won all over the world. When we took our first sip, we were impressed by the taste. Clean and distinctive, it offered a slight mineral tang but it was never overpowering or oily on the tongue. When we sipped it over ice we liked it even better, and all in all we found it lived up to its claim that it could "out-Ketel" Ketel One. On top of everything else, typical retail price is somewhere in the neighborhood of $12.99, a damn good price for a damn good vodka.
Cocktail Recipes: We went simple with Ikon, enjoying it the most on the rocks or mixed with a splash of seltzer or tonic water. We also mixed up a mean martini that was a hit among the interns, and we were big fans of the Vodka Chiller, a recipe we found on the Ikon site:
1.5oz Ikon Vodka
7oz Ginger Ale
Garnish with Lime Wedge
Finishing Thoughts: Not only was Ikon great-tasting vodka, we were impressed with the value. You can get a bottle of the stuff for about the price of a twelve pack of micro-brewed beer. The last time we paid less than $15 for a bottle of vodka we nearly regretted it, but Ikon has once again restored our faith that great taste doesn't have necessarily have to be accompanied by a high price. The next time you're reaching for a top-shelf brand, think about picking up a bottle of Ikon instead, especially if you'll be using it as a mixer. Your tongue - and your wallet - will thank you.
Learn more about Ikon vodka and find out where to get a bottle near you at IkonVodka.net.
November 12, 2005
We've never been big fans of Jell-o shots. The goopy consistency and nagging feeling that the vodka has been diluted has always led us to keep our Jell-o and our shots separate. A new experiment by some real drinking go-getters out there might make us change our tune, and it looks like they've figured out how to maximize the booze-per-shot, but we still have a problem with any shot you have to chew...
Ultimately we determined that the breaking point of a Jell-O shot – the point at which the gelatin began to lose its structural integrity (i.e., ability to gel and hold its shape) is somewhere between 19 and 20 oz. of vodka per 3 oz. package of Jell-O powder. That’s at least 14 oz. (1 2/3 cups) more than the 5 oz. of vodka in the original Jell-O shot recipe. The Jell-O shots we made with 19 oz. of vodka (lime) held their shape nicely when unmolded, whereas the shots made with 20 oz. (grape) began to slide apart, and the shots made with 21 oz. (orange) quickly disintegrated. The batch containing 19 oz. of liquor was 76% vodka by volume, and 30% pure alcohol by volume, very close to taking a straight shot of vodka.
All we really want is for someone to figure out how to create pudding shots, preferably chocolate. In fact, we're putting out a bounty on the idea. Make us pudding shots and we'll make you rich beyond your wildest dreams.*
We discovered these Jello shot idiot savants via two sources; The Sporting Life and our good friend Craig. Or, you can go right to the horse's mouth at My Science Project.
* As long as your wildest dreams don't involve you actually getting any money.
Update: We actually found our own pudding shot recipe. We thank you for your support.
We like ice. Ice is an ingredient in a lot of our drinks. Iceland has lots of ice, so they must just make drinks all the time. OK, so the logic isn't that great, but one drink from Iceland we'd like to try is Reyka Vodka.
Reyka Vodka is Iceland's first ever vodka. The word derives form the Icelandic word for steam; it is geothermal steam that powers the distillery. They also use perhaps the purest water yet used in the production of vodka, drawn from a 4,000-year-old lava field it is so pure that it requires no treatment or demineralization, which most other distillers have to do. Apparently the water used for Reyka is so pure that Volvic has a content of dissolved solids that's five times higher than Reyka's, Evian's level is nearly 15 times higher.
We were unaware that Iceland was known for its lava, being ICEland and all, but apparently Reyka is filtered through volcanic rock instead of the charcoal used by a lot of other vodka companies. I guess there aren't many trees in Iceland, and they don't want to burn them up to make vodka. Understandable. We've never had vodka filtered through lava before, but we bet it's AWESOME.
via Slashfood; learn more at Reyka.com.