Vodka: Making it Clear
Artisanal vodka isn’t an oxymoron, it’s the new calling card of Colorado’s boutique distillers
By Erica Duecy
Vodka may be america’s favorite spirit, but it’s one that cocktail enthusiasts and liquor connoisseurs love to hate. Its offense: Vodka is bland — odorless and flavorless by definition (its name roughly translates from Russian as “little water”), there seems to be nothing artisanal about it. But while the virtues of vodka’s bouquet and taste may be up for debate, its lack of artisan ship is no longer an Absolut. Though most vodka is still produced in massive factories reminiscent of oil refineries, several craft distillers around the country are now making award-winning small-batch vodkas.
Some of the best are made in Colorado, one of the nation’s fastest growing areas for craft spirits production. The state’s favorable distribution laws and abundant natural resources — excellent local fruits and grains and pristine Rocky Mountain water — are manna.