Another weekend and another round of vodka tasting. We sipped two of the very few American-made vodkas -- Tito's Handmade (an Austin, TX pot-still vodka) and Hangar One (a young Cali vodka born in 2001) -- versus Chopin, a traditional Polish potato vodka.
As in previous tastings, we tasted each vodka straight up with an ice cube, with soda, and in a mixed cocktail (a lemonade-chambord cocktail as in previous rounds). Two females and one male got drunk, er, um, I mean tasted with much thought and commentary.
Winner of the night: Hangar One
We didn't expect it, but the the sweetness of this vodka straight up and with soda won over our small crowd. All three tasters ranked this vodka tops in the three categories, with us especially enjoying this vodka mixed with soda.
Loser of the night: Chopin
While not as bad as some previous vodkas we've tasted (vodkas that shall remain nameless), this tater tot-based vodka was not a favorite. One taster noted this vodka "smelled faintly of a public restroom" and another said "this isn't as good as mashed potatoes." With comments like this, no wonder there is no deep love.
Overall, Hangar One is a reliable choice in your next bar setting. Tito's Homemade was noted to be a smooth and decent vodka, but if you have a choice, ask for Hangar One.
Note to readers: after we make it through the mainstream vodkas you see at your local bar, we'll be doing a "championship round." Don't miss it -- this really is a public service!