Well, we had a half an hour of really amusing video (funny that, a vodka tasting and giddy video) but the tech gods decreed it was too powerful for this world and thus, erased it from our videorecorder (it had NOTHING to do with our own intake of vodka, we swear).
Undaunted, we are prepared to report on the blind taste test between the Polish potato vodka Luksusowa, and the Canadian vodkas Iceberg and the significantly more expensive Crystal Skull, repped by Canadian Celebrity (that’s not a misnomer!) Dan Akroyd.
The clear winner: Luksusowa. And not just because I had to pry it out of my unnamed friend’s hands at the end of the evening.
The rumour has always been that Iceberg vodka, which is inexpensive, is the same exact elixir as Crystal Skull vodka, which is the opposite.
This, my friends, is not the case.
What is the case, according to a taste test at Eat Drink Tweet, a wine and food social media conference?
Iceberg is better than Crystal Skull. So save yourself about $40 a bottle and get the cheap stuff.
The crowd favorite, however (and here I wish the video had come through, for it is PRICELESS) is Luksusowa. After the first round of tasting, in fact, people changed their seats to be closer to this Polish potato elixir, although it must be said, only people of Eastern European extraction.
Luksusowa is softer in the mouthfeel than any grain-based vodka, and the rep (who, full disclosure, sent me the bottle for tasting; I paid for the others) explained that potato vodkas are more expensive to produce than grain vodkas, but that the more complex carbohydrates, otherwise known as starches, are what account for the smoothness and roundness. You could mix this, and it would make any drink better. But for me, if I were to do shots of vodka in the traditional manner, this would be my choice. Yes, it’s strong, but my god, it’s silky too.
Iceberg, as I have mentioned in the past, is my favorite mixer vodka. It’s an excellent meeting of quality and price. In the blind tasting, every tester (and we are talking about people in the business of tasting, wine producers and retailers) guessed that this was the more expensive vodka. The reason was, its smoothness and its flavourlessness.
Crystal Skull vodka, however, is not without its adherents. Retailer Rod Phillips explained that it’s a top seller around Halloween, when the company comes out with an extra-large decanter. Frat boys and their decorators apparently favour the 1.5 liter size, something Phillips described as “an expensive candle holder.” Still, awesome.
The tasting notes on Crystal Skull are somewhat less complimentary. Uniformly, the testers described it as either medicinal or antiseptic. This reflects, Phillips says, the split in vodka schools between the flavoured and the “stripped of flavour” super-filtered varieties.
The victor of the taste test was Luksukowa, with Iceberg pushing second, and the most expensive entry coming in a distant third, with not one vote. Oddly the next day there were no leftovers of the first two for sober comparison and contrasting.
This is his take on Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars” and let’s just say the man is true to his Irish roots. Click over the jump for the lyrics, such as I can make them out. They are a little slurred…
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So here I am, watching the Food Network Chopped All Stars and I find myself (not alone) irritated by Chef Penny, the self-described Persian Princess. But I’m not irritated with her because she’s a bitch (that would be hypocritical of me). I’m irritated with her because she’s either stupid or ignorant of the most basic geographic facts; these would be annoying enough, but she is also ostentatiously pretentious about mistakes these failings lead her to make.
No, Penny. You may not “bring Middle Eastern flavours” to the table with your Moroccan spice mix. You were born and raised in California; had you actually lived in the Middle East, you would perhaps be aware that it is about two thousand miles east of Morocco.
Now go tell half the menu writers in the world.
This one thanks to Celebrity Chef and Gourmet Ginger Bobby Flay.
He’s a New Yorker, in case you couldn’t tell.
20th Century review: “Piquant, with lingering notes of…”
21st Century review: “Off the chain.”