Alaskan Vodka

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Lat night we went to a Vodka tasting party at my good friend Simone’s house. It’s a fun way to kick off the round of holiday parties that are coming forth.

Our contribution to the tasting bar was Permafrost, a vodka distilled in Alaska.

With curiosity we waited for everyone’s “tasting” verdict  …

And I’m happy to report that it did extremely well. In fact, for many it was their clear favorite.

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This distillery started in 2005 and Permafrost is their clear vodka. They also have a blueberry infused vodka and a smoked salmon infused vodka. (Gotta love those Alaskans and their salmon, eh?)

Now, unfortunately this vodka is a little challenging to find here in the lower 48. We ended up ordering it from Mel & Rose in Los Angeles where it runs for $40 a bottle, which is pretty competitive with other micro-distilleries.

It would be impossible for me to name them all—there were 20+ vodkas to try—but here are a few of the samplings …

The vodka categories were broken up in two: clear vodkas and infusions. It was obvious that almost everyone enjoyed the infusions more than the clears. But then, how many people drink vodka neat? Not many. You almost always add olives or lime or orange juice or something that makes it into a great cocktail.

Anyway, it was interesting to taste vodkas made all over the world. In the clear category there were several Russian varieties since it’s the mecca of great vodka.

I think the Russian favorite was Spyke, which is made from wheat. and you can see here they actually place a stalk of wheat in the bottle.

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The one thing we did notice with the other Russian brands was that they were QUITE strong, even medicinal in some cases.

My favorites happen to be domestic. They were Charbay (made in Ukiah, CA)
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We also tried their Blood Orange infusion, which was good, but I wasn’t bowled over. However, I’m very interested in trying their Meyer Lemon infusion. Doesn’t that sound yummy? They also have a Green Tea, which I would like to try as well.

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and Permafrost (made in Alaska).

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Really enjoyed this one. The flavor is at once crisp and soft. It actually tastes like your drinking snow.

Some folks really enjoyed Tito’s (made in Austin, TX). Who knew Texas made good vodka?

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There were some homeade infusions: pumpkin and cloves, and pineapple.

And then a whole bevy of ready-made infusions, from lemon to mango and passionfruit to grapefruit.

And you can’t do the holidays without a little chocolate … these two, Chocolate and Chocolate Rasberry, from Godiva were quite popular.

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Ordinarily I’m not a big vodka drinker, much preferring Scotch or Rum, but this was a great experience and it gave me a whole new appreciation for the potato.

Plus, we were tickled that the Permafrost landed on top. Go Alaska!

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