The Goose Goes Down

French-made Grey Goose vodka has long been heralded in my husband’s family as the base of a true vodka tonic. After recently discovering a few small-batch vodka distillers from around the US, I formed a panel of experienced vodka drinkers to help me with a taste test. Thank you, panelists.

The contestants:

Vodka Taste Test Contestants

Grey Goose Vodka, distilled from grain; Teton Glacier Vodka, a potato-based gem from The Gem State (actually, I think it’s made in Wyoming, not Idaho, but I’m willing to bet the potatoes are Famous Potatoes); Cold River Vodka, made in Maine from, I presume, Maine potatoes; and Vermont Gold Vodka, distilled from maple sap.

Four of six tasters were able to bisect the contestants into two basic flavor categories: Glacier and the Goose both had a mineral, antiseptic flavor, with a sharper nose, while Cold River and Vermont Gold both had gentler, more floral characteristics. The Vermont Gold had a distinctly sweet flavor, and smelled a little more like rum than the rest.

After tasting, we agreed that Glacier would be the best choice for a sweet (as opposed to dry) martini on the couch at home, whereas we’d order Cold River if we wanted strong vodka flavor to come through in a citrusy cocktail or a dry olive martini out at a bar. We’d use the Vermont Gold as an interesting substitute for light rum in, say, a mojito, and we’d save the sterile-tasting Grey Goose for that last-minute vodka tonic one needs before a trip to the dentist.

In the end, we voted (we tested the vodkas straight-up). The results were duck, duck, duck, goose:

1. Teton Glacier and Vermont Gold, TIE
2. Cold River
3. Grey Goose

Watch out, Frenchie. Someone else might take your seat in the (admittedly very snooty) circle.

Recipe 2: Vodka Tonic with Pernod and Pomegranate

I’m no cocktail genius, but this is delicious and different: combine 6 ounces tonic water, 2 ounces vodka, 2 ounces pomegranate juice (such as POM), and a splash of Pernod. Mix well and pour over ice in a large tumbler. OR make your favorite vodka tonic and add pomegranate juice and Pernod to taste.


1 Comment

Filed under cocktails

One response to “The Goose Goes Down

  1. Roger Plothow

    For shame!

    Teton Glacier vodka is produced right here in Rigby, Idaho, about 20 minutes from my home and about 60 minutes from the eponymous Grand Teton mountain range. (Rigby also is the hometown of Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of the television.)

    Congratulations on your good taste.

    Roger Plothow
    Editor and Publisher
    Post Register, Idaho Falls, Idaho

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