Review: Quarantine Vodka Is a Spirit Born From Social Distancing
Forced isolation breeds creativity and a decent martini base
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What we’re drinking: Quarantine Vodka
Where it’s from: Newcomer Quarantine Spirits, which debuts with a U.S.-made vodka “using the purest water in San Diego” and distilled six times.
Why we’re drinking this: For people who say, “All vodka tastes the same” … Have you experienced bad vodka? Of course you have! So you know that saying isn’t true. Also, a vodka has to have some sort of flavor profile to stand up in a cocktail.
I’m not a vodka connoisseur, but Tito’s and Ketel One are fine for everyday drinks, Absolut Elyx works fantastic in a martini and if your local watering hole uses Wodka as its well choice, you’re in good hands.
I had a good experience recently trying a Japanese, rice-based vodka (Suntory Haku) and I’ve personally found potato vodkas to have more weight and personality. Quarantine is distilled from 100% corn, which intrigued me. Could this be a vodka for the bourbon fan?
How it tastes: Loneliness. A hint of homemade banana bread, followed by some lingering Zoom.
I kid (social distancing jokes for the win!). In reality: I was expecting corn on the nose, but I actually discovered floral notes, with a little lemon and some pepper. The personality of the spirit shines best here, on its own … maybe by choice, given the vodka’s moniker.
That (tiny) hint of lemon continues during the first sip, although it recedes quickly. There’s not a lot of heft here on the palate; the vodka is extremely smooth, if now lacking character.
I also tried Quarantine in a vodka soda with lime, a Moscow Mule and in a very dry martini with a twist, and yes, it was a long night. In the first two cocktails, the flavor was masked (pun intended). At best, it was inoffensive — a trait casual drinkers probably won’t mind.
In a martini with a twist — I refuse to call this a Quarantini — there was a decidedly creamy mouthfeel and that tinge of lemon was accentuated. I prefer something a little more crisp, but I’d certainly use this again when I’m feeling fancy.
For being corn-based, I was surprised by the lack of, well, corn. Quarantine is a smooth sipper, probably good for shots, perfectly acceptable for non-discriminating boozers and a solid, inexpensive choice for martinis.
Fun fact: For each bottle of Quarantine Vodka sold, the company will donate a bottle of antibacterial soap to the COVID-19 relief effort.
Where you can get it: Quarantine Vodka is available on Flaviar for $28.
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