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08.2010

Massachusetts Beverage Business

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AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT . . .

This takes the flavored vodka concept to a whole new level! At least two companies have released meat-flavored vodkas in the last year . . . and they’re doing well! The Alaska Distillery in Wasilla recently launched its Smoked Salmon Flavored Vodka, about a year after Seattle-based Black Rock Spirits cam out with a bacon-flavored vodka. Both spirits were initially intended to complement Bloody Marys, but are being used by mixologists in a variety of concoctions. The initial goal for Alaska Distillery was to market a local vodka which would stand out among the myriad bottles on store shelves. Toby Foster, a partner and the one charged with coming up with new flavors with Alaska themes, said, “I was trying to think of something Alaskan. What’s more Alaskan than smoked salmon? It was one of those epiphanies, I suppose.” The idea was the easy part; finding the right formula was a little more challenging. Foster and Scotti MacDonald, his partner, said the current formula took 48 tries, and some of the first 47 attempts were hard-core failures. Apparently, the partners (and their strong stomachs) persevered and #48 was the winner. There’s growing demand beyond Alaska. The first shipment was sent to Texas in June and it’s expected to be on the shelves in California soon with plans to expand.
But if fish vodka isn’t your thing, you can always sample Black Rock Spirits Bakon Vodka which is quickly expanding its distribution. In addition to Bloody Marys, the bacon-infused vodka is being used quite creatively in a variety of cocktails from cream-based drinks with chocolate to a drink called a Luau, a mixture of vodka, pineapple juice and a dash of butterscotch. The Smoked Salmon Vodka is being used by chefs at the Bear Tooth Grill in Anchorage in a cream sauce served over salmon and pasta. Who knows, this could be the beginning of a whole new trend in spirits.

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