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Feb 12, 2008 12:57 PM

Grape Vodka-Cîroc

I posted about this new vodka I tasted elsewhere, but here is it's own topic. I did not know grape vodka existed, but I got some as a gift and wow, how different and wonderful.
Anyone else every try it?

Of course I also an a Grappa drinker, and it reminds me a bit of such.

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  1. I haven't tried it, but here is some info. (You probably already saw this)

    What exactly makes it vodka?

    1. With the caveat that I may be totally wrong, I believe it qualifies as a Vodka rather than, say an Eau de vie, in that it is distilled and filtered such that it becomes a true neutral spirit. I do know that there's a movement in the EU by the big vodka making countries to make it such that only Vodka made from grain or potatoes can be called Vodka. As a jaded drinker I'm of the opinion that it's just an attempt to get on the Vodka bandwagon by throwing in the twist of making it from grapes.

      1. In the FWIW Dept., the first "grape vodka" was introduced in the United States back in the late-1970s. Silverado Vodka, distilled from California wine grapes, was -- well, let's just say it not a great success.

        Secondly, you might want to check out Chowhound:

        And finally, if it does indeed remind you, even remotely, of a grappa, it is -- by definition -- a horrid vodka, which is and must be a neutral spirit. (Any flavoring -- such as lemon vodka, pepper vodka, etc. -- must be added AFTER distillation.) Grappa, by its very definition, is far from neutral. In so many ways.


        5 Replies
        1. re: zin1953

          Jason, grappa has a definative vine taste, agreed, this vodka's perfume was sweet and it reminded me of that same sweetness from a good grappa, yes, most detest Grappa, I do not, I enjoy it.
          And this vodka is great cold as ice, or in a martini.
          I truly think that it should be tried before it is judged~ lol...
          Anyhow, I found that everyone that tasted it here really appreciated it.

          1. re: Richelle

            I think he was referring merely to the strict and technical definition of vodka. Of course, Vodkas do have aromas and taste, be they highly subtle or not

          2. re: zin1953

            zin said "Any flavoring -- such as lemon vodka, pepper vodka, etc. -- must be added AFTER distillation."

            This is not true. The flavor can be added to vodka and re-distilled. Try hangar One flavors, this is how they are made although they may add some additional flavor after distillation as well.

            Any time you add flavor to a vodka at any point of the process, it becomes a different class called- "flavored vodka".

            Incidently, not a big fan of Ciroc.

            1. re: kchasky

              According to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 27, Part 5, Sub-Part C:

              § 5.22 The standards of identity.

              Standards of identity for the several classes and types of distilled spirits set forth in this section shall be as follows (see also §5.35, class and type):

              (a) Class 1; neutral spirits or alcohol. “Neutral spirits” or “alcohol” are distilled spirits produced from any material at or above 190° proof, and, if bottled, bottled at not less than 80° proof.

              -- (1) “Vodka” is neutral spirits so distilled, or so treated after distillation with charcoal or other materials, as to be without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color.

              [This section continues, but isn't relevant to vodka.]

              § 5.23 Alteration of class and type.

              (a) Additions.

              -- (1) The addition of any coloring, flavoring, or blending materials to any class and type of distilled spirits, except as otherwise provided in this section, alters the class and type thereof and the product shall be appropriately redesignated.

              -- (2) There may be added to any class or type of distilled spirits, without changing the class or type thereof, (i) such harmless coloring, flavoring, or blending materials as are an essential component part of the particular class or type of distilled spirits to which added, and (ii) harmless coloring, flavoring, or blending materials such as caramel, straight malt or straight rye malt whiskies, fruit juices, sugar, infusion of oak chips when approved by the Administrator, or wine, which are not an essential component part of the particular distilled spirits to which added, but which are customarily employed therein in accordance with established trade usage, if such coloring, flavoring, or blending materials do not total more than 21/2percent by volume of the finished product.

              -- (3) “Harmless coloring, flavoring, and blending materials” shall not include (i) any material which would render the product to which it is added an imitation, or (ii) any material, other than caramel, infusion of oak chips, and sugar, in the case of Cognac brandy; or (iii) any material whatsoever in the case of neutral spirits or straight whiskey, except that vodka may be treated with sugar in an amount not to exceed 2 grams per liter and a trace amount of citric acid.

              (b) Extractions. The removal from any distilled spirits of any constituents to such an extent that the product does not possess the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to that class or type of distilled spirits alters the class and type thereof, and the product shall be appropriately redesignated. In addition, in the case of straight whisky the removal of more than 15 percent of the fixed acids, or volatile acids, or esters, or soluble solids, or higher alcohols, or more than 25 percent of the soluble color, shall be deemed to alter the class or type thereof.

              (c) Exceptions. (1) This section shall not be construed as in any manner modifying the standards of identity for cordials and liqueurs, flavored brandy, flavored gin, flavored rum, flavored vodka, and flavored whisky or as authorizing any product which is defined in §5.22(j), Class 10, as an imitation to be otherwise designated.

              * * *

              Now then, if you look at the Hangar One website, it reads:

              "Hangar One is made by infusing real fruit into the finest midwestern wheat vodka, then redistilling the fruit infusion on our tiny copper Holstein pot-stills." Because it was RE-distilled, it's not flavored vodka, but according to some, it makes Hanger One a rectifier and not a distiller. I happen to believe they are both, but that's another story.

              C'est la vie . . . ;^)


          3. I'm not a big vodka drinker but a family member had a bottle and I tried in on straight up on ice. I like it. There was a sweetness that I don't find in grain vodka.

            1. Grappa by definition must be distilled no higher than 95% ABV (It will then be cut (with water) to reduce ABV). Grappa must have characteristics of the original product, which is required to be grape.

              Vodka, made from grapes or anything fermentable, by definition must be distilled over 95% ABV. Vodka is required to be be as pure as possible and resemble as closely as possible ethanol with little to now characteristics of the original base product used to make it.

              This is US law not EU law. They are similar but not 100% of the EU %s.