Photo providedLimited production and limited distribution may be the only thing keeping these vodkas from being the Next Big Thing. They're made by Mike Sherwood of Sub Rosa Spirits in rented facilities in Oregon. Each is 90 proof and infused with fresh herbs and spices, creating true flavors and natural colors.
• Sub Rosa Tarragon
The licorice-like tang of the fresh tarragon is at once evident in both the pale green color and the fragrant nose, but a hint of mint quickly creeps in, making me think of a variety of other things to blend with the vodka for some offbeat cocktails: light rum, pomegranate, fresh lemon juice ...
• Sub Rosa Saffron
Sherwood says he uses eight spices in this infusion, which begins moving it into the gin category. The pale yellow color catches the eye and complements the lemony flavor of coriander as well as the bite of peppers and ginger. Then, the sweetness of saffron and muskiness of cumin play off each other and cry out for citrus juices -- orange, lemon, lime -- to become part of a cocktail.
While I enjoyed the Tarragon Vodka, the Saffron expression outdoes it in complexity and possibilities.
Suggested retail price for each: $29.95.
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