November 18, 2006

Cirrus Vodka

Bill Dowd photo

This creation intrigued me because it was the product of essentially a one-man operation named Paul McCann in Richmond, VA. It was excellent.

Cirrus Vodka:

My panel of four tried this triple-distilled potato-based vodka three ways -- straight from the freezer; in what passes for a “standard” martini these days now that the original gin component has been supplanted by vodka, and in a Cosmopolitan to see how the vodka would stand up to various cocktail flavorings.

Syrupy cold from the freezer, it exhibits a certain creaminess along with a hint of vanilla and a vague sweetness present in most multiply-filtered potato-based vodkas. For those who enjoy vodka cold and straight along with salty tidbits or strong cheeses, this is a drink that will hold its own.

In a martini, it worked well with my house brand vermouth, Noilly Pratt original French dry. I like the oak notes derived from the vermouth’s aging in wood, something that brings out the best in gins or vodkas. It certainly complemented the Cirrus, expanding the middle notes and finish while letting that signature creaminess come through. However, we found the Cirrus wasted in the Cosmopolitan, with too many warring ingredients that tended to overshadow the nuances of the vodka. Better to use a lesser distillation for a drink that doesn’t require the finest vodka to be successful.

Retails for about $25.

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