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Van Gogh Espresso Vodka

Van Gogh Espresso Vodka


By Robert Plotkin

America is the largest coffee-consuming nation in the world. So it was only a matter of time before our obsession would lead us directly to the marvelously stimulating flavor of espresso. Its enormous popularity has made it a virtual institution and spawned a coffeehouse on every corner.

Espresso doesn't refer to a type of coffee, but rather a brewing process. It is prepared by forcing hot water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. The heat and pressure cause the oils and proteins in the coffee to emulsify and produce a slightly syrupy, more viscous brew. The result is what Vincent Van Gogh called "perfekte koffie." Now that robust and exhilarating flavor is beautifully expressed in Van Gogh Espresso Vodka.

The ultra-premium vodka is produced at the Royal Dirkzwager Distilleries at the Cooymans Distillery in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Master Distiller Tim Vos handcrafts the vodka in small batches from select Columbian coffee beans, premium neutral grain spirits and purified water. Its vivacious character is derived through a proprietary double-infusion process that requires the vodka to spend at least 8 weeks in underground tanks to allow its flavors to thoroughly integrate. The all-natural spirit is bottled at 70-proof.

"The search for the precise coffee flavor lead us to Colombia where we found just the right espresso flavor," says Vos. "Van Gogh Espresso Vodka has a wonderful aroma of fresh roasted coffee beans complemented by a spark of cocoa. The taste has just the right amount of bitterness for coffee lovers and the coffee flavor lasts very long. The aftertaste also expresses this hint of bitterness, but is mellowed alongside a smooth cocoa finish."

Here's a vodka with nearly unlimited applications behind the bar. It marries seamlessly with other flavored vodkas and a wide assortment of liqueurs. Pairing it with brewed coffee or hot cocoa is a natural. Along those lines is the altogether delicious Iced Van Gogh Espresso, a tall specialty drink made with Van Gogh Espresso, half & half, a dash of chocolate syrup and a shot of chilled espresso coffee.

For those desiring something with higher octane there's Van Gogh Double Espresso Vodka. It has an intriguing burnished, coppery brown appearance, a velvety texture and a generous roasted coffee aroma. The medium-weight vodka tingles on entry as it immediately dazzles the palate with the semisweet, slightly bitter flavor of freshly brewed espresso. Its persistence of flavor is long and remarkably satisfying. It needs to be sampled neat to be fully appreciated.

How can the combination of coffee and vodka be anything but wildly successful? All of our futures should be so bright.