Friday Tastings: Karlsson's Vodka

Because it's five o'clock somewhere and there's no better way to enjoy some spirits and cocktails than with your co-workers.

This past Wednesday we had the fine folks from Karlsson’s Vodka join us at the Gilt MAN HQ for a little tasting and educational session. The vodka’s backstory is like something out of a Hollywood movie. Back in 2001, farmers in the Cape Bjäre region of Sweden were in danger of losing their farms to the golf resorts and hotels that were overrunning the area. Cleverly realizing the quality of their potato crop, they banded together to form a co-op and sell their high-quality potatoes. Known as “farmer’s gold,” the potatoes would eventually be distilled into a vodka that master blender Börje Karlsson would be proud enough to stake his name on. Not only is it gluten-free, but it’s the world’s only vodka made from Virgin New potatoes. And now? Well, the farmers of Cape Bjäre are sitting pretty on their priceless crop of potatoes.

We tried two different kinds — Karlsson’s Gold (taken from the name the farmer’s gave their potatoes) and Karlsson’s Batch 2009. The Gold is blended from a variety of potatoes, distilled once, and is left unfiltered to preserve it’s natural flavors. The Batch 2009 (a limited edition vodka — only 1,980 bottles are produced) was the team’s favorite. Distilled from one varietal of potato, from one farm, from one year, it’s one of the more robust, flavorful vodkas this writer has ever tasted. If you’re the kind of guy who likes drinking his bourbon or scotch on the rocks, this is the vodka for you. And like any good vodka, it can replace gin in most cocktails, which we were happy enough to sample in cocktail called the Ginger Lemonade Fizz. You’ll find the recipe below should you care to partake in some libations this weekend. Thanks again to the folks at Karlsson’s for stopping by and their generosity — we’ll be putting the vodka to good use this summer.

Ginger Lemonade Fizz
1.5oz Karlsson’s Gold Vodka
1oz Domaine de Canton
2oz lemonade
.5oz club soda
Combine over ice. Top with club soda and garnish with a lemon. Enjoy!

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