I’ve become a big fan of infused vodkas lately, thanks to some of the wonderful samplings I’ve had from Infuse Vodka. But are they an exception? Well, when the offer came to try an apple infused vodka called Tree Vodka and made by Apple Country Spirits it was a chance to find out.
The Vodka Makers
Apple Country Spirits are in Williamson, New York State, on the southern shores of Lake Ontario. It’s one of the largest apple-growing regions in the world. The company was only formed in 2012 by David W. DeFisher, working with his father who runs a 4th-generation family fruit farm As well as apples they grow pears, peaches, cherries, and several other fruit. More vodka infusions are promised, all made from fruit grown on the farm
It all sounds good, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Or the drinking. Tree Vodka comes in a handsome bottle (see the photo), and it took me forever to get the cork out – which is good as it means it can store safely on its side in the freezer, which is what I like to do.
I poured myself a shot and stuck my nose right in there. Wow! The fresh and clean aroma of apples really hits you with just one sniff. Then when I took a sip it’s more intense yet again, with maybe just a hint of vanilla in there. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not overwhelming, just beautifully intense like smelling a really fresh apple up close.
In the mouth it gives a very full taste. Even the tiniest sip seems to fill the entire mouth with flavor. It’s wonderfully smooth too, with no suggestion of a chemical smell or taste at all. There was no burning in the throat, just a very welcome warming from within as it went down, like you get with a good whiskey or smooth cognac.
Now some vodkas do lose some of their initial purity when they start to warm up to room temperature. Not this one, though. The aroma and the taste stayed consistently pure and intense, and the vodka was as smooth after 15 minutes as it was straight from the freezer.
Why Does It Taste This Good?
I was really curious how the vodka was made, and that’s when I realised my mistake. I’d just assumed it was vodka infused with apples. I read the label more closely: it’s vodka that’s distilled from apples, not infused with apples. I then went to the website where I learned that they press the fresh fruit to get the juice, ferment the juice and then distill the vodka from the fermented juice rather than from grain. Well, if you can make vodka from potatoes or sugar-beet, why not apples?
The Vodka Verdict
This is astonishingly good vodka. I don’t give marks but if I did this would definitely be up in the 90s. I’m glad I tasted it before doing my research otherwise I might have felt I ought to like it because of the way it was made. It has a purity and intensity about it, without the apple aroma and taste overpowering it. There’s a touch of sweetness to it, and to me that little hint of vanilla. It’s a fabulous sipping vodka, and I was reluctant to mix it with anything in my usual experimental way as it would need a true mixologist to get the most from it. And the good news is, there will be more fruit vodkas from Tree Vodka: Peach and Tart Cherry. I can’t wait.
Where to Buy Tree Vodka?
Tree Vodka is widely available throughout New York State, including a couple of locations in New York City. You can find out if there’s an outlet near you on the Availability page of their website.
You can also try it in the Tasting Room on the farm (see below), which sounds neat as the bar is made with cherry wood from the farm’s cherry trees. The Tasting Room also features wooden beams taken from one of their 100+-year-old barns, which blew down in a storm in the Spring of 2012.
Visit the website of Apple Country Spirits.