Tasting St Royale Flavored Vodka
On the day I was planning to settle down to taste and review this Green Tea Vodka, I heard that the makers, St Royale Flavored Vodka, had won a Silver Medal at the San Francisco World Spirit Awards. That obviously got my interest and raised my expectations!
To be honest, my expectations weren’t that high. My wife’s the green tea drinker in this house. To me, flavored teas just taste weird. Tea should taste like tea, and have milk in it. Raspberry tea? What’s that all about? Raspberry vodka‘s another matter, of course.
But Green Tea Vodka? I don’t know. I’m always prepared to give things a chance, but I didn’t think I’d be raving over this vodka… till the announcement of the award made me wonder.
I liked the bottle, which is always a good start. It’s square and solid, while also being tall and elegant. It tells you the vodka’s 35% ABV, which is typical for a flavored vodka. The cork came out with a pleasing pop, and a sniff of the neck revealed a really fresh and clean scent, slightly sweet but not overwhelmingly so.
Pouring a generous shot and nosing it again provided a beautifully clean scent, obviously with the aroma of green tea and that gentle sweetness. The vodka is a blend of grain spirit and green tea extract, with that sweetness coming from adding honey to the mix. St Royale also shows an ethical approach as it has partnered with the Bee Girl Organization, working with them to help protect the bees that provide the honey they use. Full marks for that.
But as I’ve said before, you can be full of good intent yet nothing matters unless you’re producing a good product. And this is a good product. I was surprised by how much I liked it. It has a good, thick mouth-feel, very smooth and rounded, and the green tea and honey blend perfectly on the palate, and in the throat. It slides down a treat. It’s distilled six times, with the green tea extract only added after the third distillation to keep its flavor to the fore.
Green Tea Vodka Cocktails
One suggested cocktail is a Ginger Bite, which is a simple combination of Green Tea Vodka with ginger ale and a squeeze of lime, on the rocks. I had the vodka, found some Stoli ginger beer and a lime in the fridge, mixed it up and poured it over the rocks. Delicious! The ginger contrasts the honey and green tea to produce an easy drink with a balanced blend of tastes. I’ve heard chefs say that you should never have more than three or four distinct flavors, otherwise everything starts to get lost. That certainly works here. Keep it simple, keep it delicious.
Another suggested recipe was a Green Tea Mojito, which I didn’t make but I can imagine it working brilliantly, the vodka bringing its own natural sweetness to that refreshing cocktail, and a little lighter on the alcohol. Otherwise, keeping it simple is the idea – try it with lemonade, with raspberry lemonade, or simply sip it straight.
Where Can You Buy It?
Green Tea Vodka is launching April 2017 in Illinois followed by Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, and Texas. Then expect it to roll out in other states.
To learn more about this Green Tea Vodka and to find several cocktail recipes, visit the St Royale Flavord Vodka website. It was interesting to read that the company plans to focus on tea-based vodka flavors. If they’re all as good as this, bring them on!