The wine shop on my block has a corner rack specifically devoted to organically grown bottles. Next door to my favorite bar to grab a salted Tecate or Micholada, a wine bar has opened, dealing exclusively in organic wines. The term organic wine possesses a tone that in a way sounds fittingly appropriate, especially when paired with a menu of locally shopped ingredients prepared by an eco-conscious chefs.
But how about an organic martini? Or better yet an organic gin-fizz? Appealing? Perhaps. Niche? Yes. Healthy? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Organic wines are still finding their way under the heavy scrutiny of connoisseurs. So how about organic vodkas, gins and other hard spirits?
Last week the Wall Street Journal highlighted a few of these spirits on their constructs attempted to facilitate marketability within a popular trend.
As many in the industry see it, organic, is a too umbrella term. Consumers are often led to believe organic is synonymous with healthy, which is not the case. The USDA defines organic wine, as “a wine made from organically grown grapes and without any added sulfites.” Sulfites are a natural occurring phenomenon in wine, so what exactly does “without any added sulfites” mean? It means just that.
Vintners add extra sulfites to their wine in order to stabilize the wine. If a wine contains sulfites, it can no longer be labeled organic, but may be labeled, “made with organic grapes.”
However, there is no proof to being any healthier than non-organic wines. What the term organic does focus on is the process of which the grapes are harvested. These grapes are grown without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides.
Melkon Khosrovian, co-founder of distiller Modern Spirits, told WSJ, “It’s about sustainable farming,” in advocacy for organic practices as opposed to traditional methods that are deemed harmful to farmers. “We would like to support farmers to move away from those processes.”
So back to the organic martini, which won’t guarantee the benefit milder hangovers or more socially acceptable drunkenness, but may save a piece of green-mind.
Looking at the organic spirits WSJ covered and a few others, retail prices are comparable to non-organic distillations.
Square One Organic Vodka, 31.99 for 750ml
Distilled from organically grown rye, it is recognized as the first certified organic rye vodka.
Juniper Green Organic London Dry Gin, 24.99 for 750ml
Produced with organic juniper, grain, and angelica root.
Rain Vodka, 17.99 for one-liter
Produced from organic corn, and with sleek marketing is geared to the feminine consumer.
Chopin Vodka, 29.99 for 750ml
Polish crafted vodka distilled from organic potatoes, although not marketed as organic.
Plymouth Gin, 17.99 for 750ml
A growingly popular gin, noted for its sweeter notes and stronger character, it has been produced in Plymouth, England since 1793.
The Short Buzz will be a regular post here at the Daily Blender highlighting spirits.