One doesn't think of Holland as home to the world's finest vodka. Nor does one necessarily associate Vincent Van Gogh with being a vodkaphile; seems more like an absinthe sort of guy. Then again, I've got a hazed purple bottle of Jimi Hendrix Vodka on my shelf, so I'm not a stickler for cohesive narratives when it comes to alcohol labels. My only yardstick when choosing vodka is smoothness. Well, that plus how cool the bottle design is.
You can check out Van Gogh's bottle in the photo -- not as Impressionistic as one would imagine, but pretty enough. But to the point: Three little sample bottles of Van Gogh mango, pineapple, acai/blueberry vodkas -- and three little sampling judges.
Quick test group taste scores:
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Mango vodka:Sprightly orange and cucumber notes fondle flavors of Indonesian mangos -- a felony in that country, but only a misdemeanor here. I was gathering verbal impressions on the mango vodka from the test group gathered for the sampling, but apparently their words went Indonesia and out the other -- although I vaguely remember that it wasn't our favorite flavor.
Pineapple vodka:Tart acidity (or is that acid tartness?) with a hint of orange (or could that be tangerine?). Quick cocktail recipe: 4 parts pineapple juice, one part pineapple vodka. Shake vigorously with ice and strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with pineapple wedge. This is officially called a Hawaiian Sunshine, but we think Van Gogh Sunflower has a nicer ring.
Acai/blueberry vodka:Violet hue makes the nicest color cocktails of the three, and blueberry/acai infusion, with whisper of almond, tastes best -- enjoy it well chilled and straight in an acai-blueberry Van Goghtini. No, we didn't make that up. Acai, of course, is best known for its' salubrious boost of antioxidants, so those concerned with good health will want to guzzle gallons of this stuff!
No, we are not going to end this post with a stupid joke about the cutting off of an ear -- what a tired Van Gogh cliché! We will note, however, that at $27 for a 750 ml. bottle, had Vincent purchased a bottle at least it wouldn't have cost him an arm and a leg.