Organic and sustainable spirits are relative latecomers to the American eco-food scene — largely because the organics movement initially focused on more, um, essential nourishment. These days, though, people are recognizing the benefits of organic and small-scale production for all kinds of goods, and the green drinks market is consequently taking off. In the U.S., it’s starting with vodka, the top-selling spirit in the nation. Here are three of our favorite sustainable vodka choices — plus a couple of eco-friendly mixer ideas — that are sure to spice up your New Year’s celebrations.
Square One Organic Vodka
One of the first totally organic spirits to be made in the U.S., this vodka is ultrasmooth and creamy, making it a great choice for dry martinis—or straight up. The production specs made us feel extra-good about drinking it: Square One is made entirely from organically grown North Dakota rye, and it goes through a certified organic fermentation process before being distilled in small batches.
RAIN Organic Vodka
A pioneer in the organic spirits world (the brand has been around since 1996), this vodka is made from 100 percent organically grown Illinois corn. It lacks the smoothness of Square One and some other premium vodkas, but it mixes well and works nicely in a sweet martini. With its sleek, sexy bottle, it also looks great in your home bar.
Charbay Green Tea Vodka
Everybody’s jumping on the green-tea bandwagon these days (often with not-so-tasty results) but this vodka, made with real green tea, is an exception. We loved its authentic flavor, which hits the palate first, along with a subtle hint of sweetness. The family-run California company also offers excellent plain and flavored vodkas, made with real fresh fruit, including blood orange and grapefruit.
Modmix Organic Pomegranate Cosmopolitan Mixer
Launched last spring, Los Angeles–based Modmix aims to organicize the entire alcoholic beverage experience. We found this cosmopolitan mix perfectly pomegranate-y, and not too sweet — nothing like the cloying pink concoctions you drank in college (or while watching reruns of Sex and the City).
Story by Christy Harrison. This article originally appeared in Plenty in December 2006. This story was added to MNN.com in June 2009.