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Herb's Aromatic Vodkas - Review

From the Garden to the Bar

by Jeff Hoyt

Herb's Aromatic Vodkas, Dill Leaf infused

Why do spirits makers suggest using their orange-flavored vodkas while making a screwdriver? If you use a top-shelf bottle with freshly squeezed orange juice, why would you need orange flavor in the vodka as well? Although fruits and juices are readily available for mixing, that hasn’t stopped vodka distillers from combing the supermarket aisles and farmers markets in search of more fruit flavors to make their product line even larger.

While Absolut has gone so far as to introduce a pear-flavored vodka (how often have you wished you had one of those in your liquor cabinet?), The Garden Variety Vodka Company is taking a different approach. Under the name Herb’s Aromatic Vodkas, they’ve recently introduced four herb-infused vodkas in squat, frosted bottles, which feature flavors rarely found in mixed drink ingredients: Dill Leaf, Rosemary, Fennel and Cilantro.

The company is a part of Idaho-based Distilled Resources, the only distiller of potato spirits in the United States and makers of the potato vodka Blue Ice. Still, these 80-proof vodkas are distilled from grain, then infused with herb extracts. Although the flavors are different, the experience is very similar to that of enjoying ice-cold caraway-flavored aquavit. The Dill Leaf flavor is strong and refreshing but not overpowering, with a long finish. It is enjoyable to drink alone, with a strong cheese, or with food that goes well with dill, like salmon.

Don’t be afraid to experiment to see if any of these vodkas can provide a new take on an old favorite. Dill leaf could easily complement the tomato in your next Bloody Mary, while rosemary could add a welcome kick to an old-fashioned screwdriver or sea breeze. For a south of the border vodka twist, try a Cilantro Herbarita.

COCKTAIL RECIPE

Cilantro Herbarita
2 parts Herb's Cilantro Vodka
1/2 part fresh lime juice
1 part orange liqueur

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with lime.

Price: $29

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P013007
(Updated: 01/18/11 BH)

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