header home Backbar Bar Station Recipe Database Month's Feature "Drink-o-pedia" Mixology Contact

Salute American Vodka

Salute American


By Robert Plotkin

There are two really great things about Salute American Vodka. The first is the spirit itself. On occasion, some brands forget that the primary objective is to create a genuinely good product. In this instance, Salute American is a rock solid, broad-shouldered vodka crafted with American know-how.

Produced in Rochester, New York, the vodka is made entirely from American grown corn and wheat, which is fermented and then sent on repeated passes through the distillery's high-tech continuous still until essentially pure. After it exits the still, the vodka is charcoal filtered and rendered to proof at 40% alcohol (80 proof). Appropriately enough, the brand has earned the "Made in the USA" certification, something few vodka brands can say.

Salute American Vodka is a clean, crisp spirit marketed at the value-laden price of under $20. It has pristine clarity, a lightweight, satiny textured body and the subtle aromas of anise and semisweet grain. The vodka has a soft, relaxed entry. It quickly fills the mouth with a mild dose of alcohol warmth, which peaks well before it grows hot, a sign of skilled craftsmanship. Although most would describe Salute American as a neutral vodka, its refined palate is in fact imbued with the light flavors of citrus zest, anise, green apples and spearmint. The finish is long and seamlessly smooth.

Salute American enjoys unlimited creative use behind the bar. It is perfectly suited for any vodka-related assignment. It works equally well paired with tonic water or dry vermouth, fruit juice or Bloody Mary fixings.

The second great thing about Salute American Vodka is its makers have committed to donate $1 to approved U.S. veterans' charities for every 750ml bottle it sells—a declaration found on each bottle. Better Brands Beverage Co. is dedicated to investing in the future of U.S. veterans who have proudly served their country.

Salute American is the brainchild of CEO and founder Pete Kelly, a passionate entrepreneur who wanted to make a difference in people's lives through the "pay-it-forward" philosophy. "I can't think of a more deserving group to help than U.S. veterans—a band of brothers and sisters shackled with increasingly high unemployment and homelessness rates. Salute American became a practical way to help maintain and create jobs in the U.S. for veterans and to generate ongoing economic success and stronger communities.

Since the launch of Salute American, Better Brands Beverage Co. has donated more than $50,000 to Veteran's Charities, including:

  • Veteran's Farm Through Work Vessels (WVFV), an all-volunteer movement that assists returning veterans with the necessary start-up tools to begin their civilian career or educational pursuits. This donation enabled Adam Burke, Veteran's Farm Founder, a veteran and now blueberry farmer in Jacksonville, FL, to purchase farm equipment, supplies and housing for more U.S. Veterans to work on their farms;
  • Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), an organization that works with military veterans to find healing and meaningful careers in agriculture. With this donation, FVC placed an intern on Across the Creek Farm in Arkansas, which was founded by Terrell "Spence" Spencer, who served two tours in Iraq with the US Army;
  • Homes For Our Troops helped build a specially adapted home for Sergeant Nick Koulchar in Brighton, Michigan. Mr. Koulchar lost both of his legs above the knees when an explosively formed penetrator pierced the side of his vehicle in Sadr City, Iraq in 2008;
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Foundation Unmet Needs program, which supports struggling veterans and their families;
  • Wish For Our Heroes, which provides a wish—whether big or small—for every deserving active-duty military member;
  • Greater St. Louis Honor Flight, an organization that transports World War II veterans to see their National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

"We prove our patriotism by giving back to U.S. veterans who have proudly served their country and paying it forward," says founder Pete Kelly. "Salute American is more than a name—it's our mission."