Corn Vodka: Buttery, Full and Lightly SweetBy Stephanie Moreno
As we’ve gone over before, vodka can be made from any agricultural product. And while potatoes, rye and wheat vodkas get a lot of notoriety, corn vodka (also known as maize) is quickly making up ground. Since the US produces the lion’s share of the world’s corn, you can expect that most brands will be based here. Several of these brands should be familiar to you if you’ve had vodka served to you in the past 10 years. But there are smaller craft brands trying to break through as well. Make sure to give them a look.
As for the flavor, generally corn vodka is full-bodied, yet soft and has a sweet, buttery quality (think popcorn). As a result, this makes it an excellent mixer in either stirred or shaken cocktails. Craft distillers making corn vodka will provide a bit more of the corn flavor, typically by going light on the filtration process. Also, there are several brands that prioritize using organic and/or non-GMO corn as well as using locally-grown ingredients when possible.
And of course most brands will also add flavored versions to their portfolios. However, the base ingredient of corn remains the same. We recommend adding at least one of these corn-based vodka brands to your home bar.
Created by Texas native Bertito “Tito” Beveridge, this corn vodka sold its first bottles in 1997. In fact, when the Austin-based distillery was first established it was the first legal distillery in Texas since Prohibition. Notably, Tito’s does not have any flavor extensions for the vodka brand and Beveridge has stated he has no future plans to add any.
Prairie Organic Vodka is distilled from non-GMO organic corn sourced from farmers in Minnesota. After harvest, the corn is brought to a co-op farm where the corn is milled, mashed and fermented. This fermented mash is then taken to the Prairie distillery where it is column-distilled.
Bagger Vodka is produced by Iowa’s Cedar Ridge Distillery. As you might expect from an Iowan vodka, it is made from 100% corn. Notably, Cedar Ridge donates $1 per bottle to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation in support of new trail development and maintenance in Iowa.
Frankly is made from non-GMO organic corn and is gluten free and certified Kosher. The brand is based in Austin, Texas where the product is bottled and the brand lists all ingredients it uses on the back labels. Frankly Organic Vodka also has several flavors in its portfolio including Organic Strawberry, Organic Apple, Organic Pomegranate and Organic Grapefruit.
This vodka from Black Button Distilling in Rochester, NY is made from 90% corn and 10% malted barley. The grains are sourced from Edgewood Farms in Groveland, NY just 30 minutes from the distillery. It’s bottled at 80 proof.
Founded by Flo Vinger, VING Vodka is made from organic, non-GMO corn. Made in California, it is gluten-free and there is no added sugar or other additives. VING Vodka is a women-owned and women-led company. Uniquely, the brand also has a Kale, Lemon Peel & Cucumber version available.
Wisconsin-based La Crosse Distilling Co. is the maker of Fieldnotes Vodkas and Gins. It is a grain-to-glass distiller that uses organic ingredients from local and regional family farmers whenever possible. For its Organic Corn Vodka, Midwestern organic yellow dent corn is used. Incidentally, the distillery also makes an organic potato and an organic rye/wheat based vodka.
Deep Eddy Vodka is column-distilled and charcoal filtered before Texas water is added to bring it to proof. Surprisingly, the unflavored version was released a year after the brand released its first product: Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka. Today there are several other flavored vodkas available including Ruby Red Grapefruit, Cranberry and Lime. Deep Eddy Distillery is located in Buda, Texas just outside Austin where the brand’s headquarters and Deep Eddy Pool are located. This freshwater swimming pool is the oldest pool in Texas and is the inspiration for the vodka’s namesake.
Crop Organic Vodka is made with USDA certified organic corn grown in the US for the neutral grain base. The corn vodka is bottled at 80 proof. In addition to the unflavored version Crop also has a Cucumber and a Meyer Lemon expression. Of course they too are also made with organic ingredients.
Crystal Head Vodka is a brand launched by actor Dan Aykroyd back in 2008. The brand uses a variety of corn called “peaches & cream” in its production and they filter through layers of quartz crystals known as Herkimer diamonds. The water used in its production is glacial water from Newfoundland where the vodka is distilled. Of course we must comment on the unique bottle which was designed by John Alexander. Moreover the brand releases a specially designed rainbow-colored bottle each summer to celebrate Pride Month.
Ready to grab a bottle of corn vodka for your home bar?
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