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Vodka From Grapes - it’s a little strange. But we couldn’t seem to find a “straight” vodka we truly liked; some were harsh; all of them lacked the depth of our flavored spirits. I knew we had to find a way to make straight vodka our way - distilling it right from whole, just-picked fruit - skin, stems, seeds, leaves and all. Enter the Viognier. We blend a Viognier eau de vie with spirit made from midwestern wheat to make a perfectly balanced, fruity, "straight" vodka.
The viognier is not an easy grape. It has low and unpredictable yields and we can only pick it when it’s fully ripe - a window of a day or two. Sometimes I think we might be fixated on doing things the hard way. Probably it’s just the German way.
When I taste the results I remember why.
Lime can be almost impossible to distill. After all that hard work and time, you can still end up with a spirit that smells and tastes like artificially-flavored candy. Enter the Kaffir lime. It’s an unlikely customer, bumpy and uglier than the limes we’re used to seeing. But the Thais use this citrus - along with its leaf - because of its high aromatic oil content and intense flavor. When I began to infuse these limes together with the leaves, I tasted rich notes of wood, white pepper, and cucumber. The resulting spirit is like nothing we’ve ever tasted - unmistakably lime, and endlessly complex.
One evening, on the way from my apartment to the laundromat, the aroma from a neighbor’s orange tree was so arresting that I found myself sniffing for the good part of an hour, my clothing bags at my feet. The perfume was the most extraordinary thing I’d ever smelled. I tried distilling the fruit, but the acids in the juice were unstable - we couldn’t get a consistent aroma from one bottling to another. Then I realized: let’s use the flowers instead.
It takes an hour to harvest a pound of Mandarin blossoms. It takes 100 pounds of blossoms to do just two bottlings of our vodka. Since we only pick at the height of bloom, we’re constantly battling time and the elements, and we have to do it in giant bee suits. The complex, floral aroma is always worth the trouble, and much more.
It looks like sausages, yes? (Maybe that’s just me.)
The Buddha’s Hand isn’t just a funny-looking lemon. It’s actually the lemon’s great grandfather. And maybe like all great lineage, its flavors and aromas run so much deeper - from jasmine to basil; apricot to fruitcake. Its acid bite is milder than a standard lemon, allowing these secondary flavors to take center stage, and dance a ballet on your palate. We start by distilling the whole fruit - seeds, skin, pits, juice, oils and all. The purified lemon extracts in other vodkas give you a single note. Our Buddha’s Hand plays the whole symphony. (Maybe that’s what all the fingers are for.)
"The true expression of— Jörg Rupf, Founder
'from the tree into the bottle'"
Without a doubt. Most vodkas begin as a big industrial column still of fermented wheat that is cranked out by thousands of gallons a minute. Add to that, an occasional bit of flavored fruit extract - end of story.
Our method is different. We start by distilling fresh fruit on the same day it’s picked. Sometimes we work through the night so that the flavor we capture in our still represents the fruit at its most thrilling moment. We make an eau de vie, using centuries-old European methods, in a copper still.
Every bottle of vodka we make begins the same way. Fresh, in-season fruit from farmers we know by first name. Craft distillation by hand, in small batches. When something’s made like this, with love, you can always taste the difference.
|2 Parts||Hangar 1 Straight|
|3/4 Part||Simple Syrup|
|3-4||" Spanked " Sage Leaves|
Combine ingredients in a lowball glass and fill with crushed ice.
|2 Parts||Hangar 1 Kaffir Lime|
|1 Part||Lime Juice|
|1/2 Part||Simple Syrup|
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice, strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with cucumber slice.
|1 1/2 Parts||Hangar 1
|1 Part||Lemon Juice|
|1/2 Part||Simple Syrup|
|1 Bar Spoon||Campari|
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake to emulsify egg white, add ice, shake again. Strain into cocktail glass garnish with lemon zest.
|2 Parts||Hangar 1 Buddha's
|1 Part||Spicy Ginger Syrup|
|1 Thin Slice||Fresno Chili|
|1 Part||Lime Juice|
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice, strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with fresno chili.