I’m not a vodka drinker. I remember years ago tasting kosher for Passover potato vodka that tasted like lighter fluid and I vowed to stick to wine for Passover from that point forward. This year Vodka lovers can rejoice over at least two high quality, artisanal Kosher for Passover vodkas now being produced. I decided to give it a shot. Maybe two.
Last month, I shared my discovery of Zachlawi, a new artisanal distillery producing the popular Middle Eastern liquor, Arak. Zachlawi is also kicking it with kosher for Passover vodka. “Making vodka was not really my choice – rather it was my challenge,” explains Zachlawi founder Marty Kairey. He knew kosher for Passover vodkas weren’t so good and there was no reason they couldn’t be great. It was harder than he thought, but he created a fantastic Russian-style vodka. Marty might have stopped there, but he couldn’t resist another great challenge. After two years of R&D, Marty has another success, Sweet Potato Vodka. Having tasted this new kind of vodka I have to say I am excited to bring this out for Pesach. It actually has a sweetness that made it incredibly easy to drink. Maybe I do like vodka.
This year, another vodka comes to town for Passover from the City by the Bay. Distillery No. 209, the company that brought us the first and only kosher for Passover Gin in 2010, recently released a kosher for Passover vodka. This vodka is made from one hundred percent sugarcane and pure snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to produce a high quality artisanal spirit. Arne Hillesland, distiller and creator of these products said, “we decided to make the vodka for Passover, because the greater Jewish community asked for it.” When I asked Arne how it compared to other vodkas he said, “I believe that our Kosher for Passover vodka is a fabulous year round product. Judging from the on the spot evaluations from about 20 spirit writers here at the distillery last week, I am right on the mark.”
After the four cups of wine this Passover, try a L’Chaim with one of these new kosher for Passover vodka varieties.