I was over the MOON when I saw a Groupon for a vodka tasting. As a matter of fact, I think every FB friend I have AND my mother sent me the Groupon link! You think they know me or something?
Who knew that in Florida we make vodka? I sure as hell didn’t…
I jumped right on IT! For $19, I was able to get a tasting for two and half price on a bottle of vodka.
The only person that enjoys vodka in my family, as much as I do, is my dad. Where do you think I learned it from?😃
We went to the Florida Cane Vodka Distillery, right here in Brandon, FL (right outside of Tampa). Again…who KNEW??
Their Premium vodka is made from home grown sugar cane. Bonus?? For those of you that like vodka with a taste, they make FLAVORED vodka (not infused, I was informed, like some of the others). You have many options to pick from:
Plant City Strawberry
Key West Lemon and Lime
Weeki Wachee Watermelon
Beach Bum Berry
…just to name a few. It’s flavored because the fruit is used during the distilling process, unlike the process that is used for the INFUSED vodka. I don’t drink flavored vodka….I like mine on the rocks with 2 lime slices.
But that’s just me…..
One of the owners was our “cruise” director on the SS Cane Vodka. “Julie” (HIS name was really Pat…but I like the while cruise director theme…so I went with it!) walked us through the distillation process. Did you know in order for this to be vodka, it has to be OVER 190 proof? That’s not what it SOLD as, but that’s what it has to be prior to the mix with water. WHOA!!
How do you TASTE vodka, you ask? I’d be glad to tell ya….
1. It should be CHILLED in the freezer and taken out about 45 minutes before serving.
2. Once poured, it should be held up to the light to view . It should have a jewel like appearance in the light.
3. You should smell it prior to tasting it. Vodka can made of corn,potatoes, or sugar cane (didn’t know that….). Cane vodka has a sweet smell.
4. When you taste, you are looking for how it hits your tongue and how it rolls over the tongue or “bead”. This vodka had a “loose” bead meaning it rolled over the entire tongue. (Didn’t know that either…)
We first tried the Premium Vodka.
Key West Lemon and Lime was on deck (or bar) next.
This had a little sweetness to it with the lime taste! #OMG. This is PERFECT just by itself but I can see how it will work well with a mixer. SN: this company is a proud sponsor of the Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Team. They created a drink called the “Lightning Bolt” with the Key Lime vodka.
Then….Fire Ant Vodka. This is just what the name says…FIRE!!! It is jalepeño flavored and it’s probably best used for Bloody Mary’s. It was like eating the SUN!! OMG!
Orlando Orange was a nice treat. Part of the rhine is used during the distilling and it give the vodka a cloudy appearance ….
Lastly, we had a lovely conoction called a “Moscow Mule“. It was new to me, so I couldn’t wait to see what was on stores. It’s made of vodka (duh,Angie!), ginger beer, and lime juice. We had Cane vodka’s version, except with Okeehobee Cherry flavored vodka.
This was a surprise to me because I’m not much of a mixed drink person. I can see his being used a lot during the summer…on the beach or by the pool. #trouble
SN: Did you know that vodka was a relatively unknown spirit in the US? It wasn’t until 1964, with help of James Bond in “Dr. No” that we become familiar friends. Smirnoff was used in his famous “shaken not stirred” vodka martini. Bond….James Bond helped us add a new spirit in our liquor cabinet.
I OWE you, Bond!
Dad and I walked away with a deal! My Groupon allowed for half price on one bottle of vodka. We couldn’t decide on just one, so we walked with two – KW Lemon and Lime and Orlando Orange- for $30! NICE!!!
What a fun idea!! Even if you aren’t a vodka drinker, I think you would enjoy learning about and tasting vodka. Cane Vodka is available (right now in FL) at most Total Wine stores and ABC Liquor stores in the Tampa Bay Area.
Oh…Miguel made up a drink this evening. He used V8 Splash Fruit Medley blend, Key West vodka, and fresh lemon juice.
This was an EXTREMELY long post but I didn’t want to leave anything out! I had such a good time and I hope that you learned some new things about this great spirit. Cheers and…..
(Good bye in Russian)
Thanks for reading!
Do you think you’d ever do something like this?