It’s nearly summer – time for some refreshing cocktails. Consider these vodkas:
Griffon Vault Vodka
This one-liter vodka-in-a-box is great for parties. Put it in the freezer overnight, and it will stay nicely chilled for your guests. Made in Indiana, this moderately priced spirit is five-times distilled. It’s piney and crisp with hints of lime and herbs and a lemon twist finish.
80 proof; $15.99/1L
Empire Rockefeller Vodka
This premium vodka is distilled six times and made in France using French winter wheat and limestone-filtered water from the Cognac region. Citrusy floral aroma with hints of eucalyptus and mint leads to a mellow, almost slightly sweet flavor reminiscent of lemon peel and Maraschino cherry. Smooth and delicious.
80 proof; $29.95
Ketel One Vodka
Not even tulips can top Ketel One as Holland’s finest export. Wheat never tasted so elegant, like a gourmet wheat pasta with a bit of oil coating the mouth and a slight hint of honey. Both earthy and silky, this vodka packs heat but doesn’t burn; it’s a clean, lively-tasting spirit with a floral finish. Sip this one neat.
80 proof; $31.75/1L
Distilled 10 times, this Texan vodka has a clean, delicately herbal aroma and hints of mint and black pepper on the palate.
80 proof; $16.95
Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka
Deep Eddy fruit vodkas are among the best we’ve tasted. That’s probably because they are made from real fruit, not flavorings, and are judiciously sweet with no cloy factor. All that we tasted were fresh and natural tasting. The lemon is puckery tart, like fresh lemonade with a kick.
70 proof; $18.95
Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka
This is appealingly sweet/tart and refreshing, with cranberry’s natural acidity a good foil to its mild sweetness.
70 proof; $18.95
Deep Eddy Peach Vodka
Smells just like fresh peaches – and tastes like it too. Delicious.
70 proof; $16.95
Red Eagle red e Vodka
Distilled from grapes in Ashtabula County, this vodka is rich and almost buttery with hints of vanilla, pear, mint and butterscotch. Its unusual character shines best if not mixed with anything but a little ice.
80 proof; $27
Pope’s Mellow Mary Bloody Mary Mix
A good vodka deserves a distinctive mix for a Bloody Mary. This one is made for Pope’s Kitchen in Shaker Heights, Ohio. No artificial ingredients – just thick, chewy, natural flavors that include black pepper, lime, molasses and tamarind extract. Though the label downplays the heat, we found it quite deliciously fiery.
Prices may vary.