Thursday, February 21, 2008

Play with (360) Vodka

I am not a connoiseur of liquors, so when I was contacted by a representative of 360 Vodka who offered to send me a sample to try and blog about, I wasn't sure. But I was intrigued by the special angle of the 360 brand. Besides being a premium vodka that is distilled 4 times and filtered 5 times, 360 prides itself on being eco-friendly. So much so, in fact, it was named the official spirit of the Sundance Film Festival. So I responded that I would love to try it, and I waited for my package, and checked out their website to learn more about this vodka.

About a week later, when I got home from work there was a big plastic bag with a wet box inside from Fedex. When I opened the bag, my heart sunk because , I could smell vodka right away. I expected the box to be full of broken glass, but apparently, the unique pressure seal top was compromised in the trip and the vodka leaked out along the Fedex route from 360 Vodka to me. By now I had researched 360, and checked out all the recipes on their website I was going to try(not all at one time), so I emailed the 360 rep and told her the story and that I was crying over spilled vodka. She immediately sent me a new bottle that arrived just in time for the President's Day weekend, and so I began playing with vodka.

But before I tell you about the fun I had trying new cocktails, I want to tell you something about 360 Vodka and its eco-friendly stance. This is not just a gimmick, they have really made a commitment to being a green product from the industry-standard 85% recycled glass content of their bottles to the use of paper using primarily post-consumer waste, to a website powered and sustained by renewable energy. Their website gives information not only about 360 Vodka but information and factoids about being environmentally responsible.

But now to the fun part. I selected a few cocktail and made one each evening so that could get an idea of the taste of this spirit. First, I started with a cocktail that I often order out, a vodka and tonic. I tought this would be a great test of the vodka since there are few ingredients to detract from the vodka itself. I was immediately impressed. I have had drinks made with "top shelf" vodka, and this was the smoothest vodka I have ever had.

The next evening I decided to make 360's version of the Seabreeze, one of my favorite summer cocktails (I associate it with the beach). This drink with the perfect blend of tart and tangy from grapefruit and cranberry juices was perfectly supported by the smoothness of 360 vodka, for a great drink.

The next drink I tried (okay, I am starting to feel like Sandra Lee here) was the Bloody 360 Mariner. Now I have to preface this by saying I am not a big Bloody Mary fan, but I was intrigued by the clam juice and horseradish, and thought I'd give it a try. I used Clamato juice instead of separate tomato and clam juices, and the drink was hearty, delicious and fresh tasting with a strong undertone of heat from the horseradish. I am now a convert. I will definitely make this again(That is my husband's hand trying to steal a sip!)

Finally, I decided to try what my husband called a "girly" drink, the Purely Delicious. Made with 360, pineapple juice and creme de menthe, it made a beautiful and delicious cocktail that I know would be a hit on "girl's night".

There are still a number of recipes like the Global Warming and the Greentini just waiting for you to give them a try. Believe me, you, and the environment, won't be sorry!
Note: When you are done with your bottle of 360, you can return its unique top in the attached self addressed, postage paid envelope and 360 will contribute $1.00 to environmental causes!

360 Breeze
2 oz 360 Vodka
4 oz Grapefruit Juice
1 oz Cranberry Juice
Pour 360 Vodka into iced highball glass and fill with grapefruit juice and top with cranberry juice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Bloody 360 Mariner
2 oz 360 Vodka
4 splash Tabasco Sauce
1 dash Garlic Powder
1 dash Onion Powder
1 dash Chopped Horseradish
2 oz Clam Juice
Tomato Juice
Combine ingredients and pour into tall glass filled with ice. Stir well and garnish with a celery stick.

Purely Delicious
1 1/2 oz 360 Vodka
3 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Green Creme de Menthe
Juice of 1 Lime
1/2 tsp sugar syrup


Ellieut said...

Now that is what I call fun! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am heading off to France so I won't be doing any cooking this week, but I am sure Paris will inspire me, so be sure to check back in March!

Ellieut said...

Now that is what I call fun! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am heading off to France so I won't be doing any cooking this week, but I am sure Paris will inspire me, so be sure to check back in March!

Vicarious Foodie said...

Hi Deborah--Thanks for your comment! I completely know what you mean about preferring to go to a restaurant where you can sit down and be served, but for the Sierra Turkey I make an exception. ;)

By the way, I *love* seabreezes!

Ronnie said...

I am so jealous. I get lots of requests to try products and write about them on my blog-but never Vodka which is my favorite drink. I am enamoured with Cold River Vodka which is made in Freeport, Maine but I am open to anything. And I drink it straight so I would be a great taste tester!

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Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I'm not a drinker, so I won't be trying these recipes -- but I do appreciate the company's commitment to the environment through their cap return program.

Deborah Dowd said...

Ellieut- I love checking out other blogs for new ideas. How lucky you are to be headed for France. I looki forward to hearing all about your travels.

Vicarious foodie- The sandwich sounds delicious! You should see if 360 is available in your area- it makes a very smooth seabreeze.

Ronnie- I was so surprised! And vodka is one of the spirits I enjoy when I have a cocktail. It was quite a treat! I know real connoisseurs of vodka drink it straight, so you must really know your vodka!

Like indonesian food- I will stop by your site since I love indonesian food!

Lydia- You should check out their site, their environmentally friendly approach goes way beyond just the cap return program. It is really impressive!

s'kat said...

That is really quite a cute bottle!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Sounds like fun! Glad you had a good time with it! :)

katiez said...

They all sound good... What a fun project! Mon mari would have loved that test - he prefers his on ice!
That Seabreeze sounds yummy!

Ronnie said...

The folks at 360 sent me a bottle. It is indeed fabulous and so is their commitment to the environment.