The world's first vodka made from quinoa is also the first spirit to be made using Fair Trade ingredients - breaking two records in its release. But is that enough to make the swap? Vodka and tonic enthusiast, India Tarasin finds out.
As someone who chooses vodka over wine, I was very intrigued to hear of the newest brand on the market that had steered away from traditional methods and ingredients, making a vodka from quinoa grains.
And not just any grains: the organic quinoa grains are sourced from the magical Andean mountains in South America, and bottled and distilled in France - a bit more glamorous than the average potato farm.
And while I'm always excited to find new products that are made in a new, innovative way - the whole quinoa thing made me pretty skeptical, as I wondered why they needed to break away from the traditional potato base that has worked so well for centuries. Plus, a bottle costs $71.00. Was this just a new hipster fad?
But when I received the bottle, I discovered that not only was FAIR Vodka first in its league for using quinoa grains, but it's also the first spirit to be using Fair Trade certified ingredients.
So maybe there is a real benefit from this product after all.
But the real decider is how it tastes - so I took one for the team (literally) and tested it out a few times. Here's what I thought:
First of all, the bottle is beautiful. It's slim, long, and elegant with a simple white label on the front of the clear glass - perfect to sit on display on a bar cart or in your kitchen, and a shame to stash away in the freezer.
Upon smelling the vodka, it does have a slight tangy note to it - but I pour some ontop of ice and have a sip.
As a seasoned vodka drinker thanks to my Polish blood, I notice that it definitely tastes different from the regular smooth vodka, with the flavour being more acidic and lighter than the usual fuller notes.
I then pour some tonic water in to make my signature drink, and I notice that the tangy notes are definitely heightened. While tonic water naturally has a zingy taste, I can definitely taste the unique flavour of the vodka more than I would with a standard V&T.
A few days later I used it for a Dry Vodka Martini and for a different style, a Cosmopolitan, which was my favourite to drink as the cranberry juice complimented the vodka well.
So, while FAIR Quinoa Vodka is innovative in its design, impressive in its ethos and is a perfectly good spirit for cocktails, I personally would opt for something smoother and more in my price range.
This spirit is made for people with a healthy budget who prefer a stronger, tangy flavour with their spirits.
If you would like to have your own taste test, FAIR Quinoa Vodka is available at BWS.