I’m always on the lookout for new spicy spirits, and these appeared on my doorstep one day, French vodkas made by a Cognac distiller, each one infused with agave nectar and a little something extra. (There’s an unflavored version too, but we’re all about the bold flavors here.) At first, I thought they might be made from grapes, but nope, it’s a grain-based vodka. Here’s the assessment:
DragonBleu White Ginger Vodka: It’s slightly cloudy in the glass, and has a true but relatively mild ginger scent. The spirit has a good ginger zing on top of the agave sweetness, and finishes surprisingly smooth. It had a slight bitter aftertaste, but overall I like it and I think others would too. I want to mix it with pineapple juice & make tiki-style drinks.
Final verdict: Very nice. Get some. Make tiki drinks.
DragonBleu Penja Pepper Vodka: Okay, so my first question was, what the heck is a Penja pepper? The label doesn’t really tell you, so I looked it up: peppercorns from the Penja Valley of Cameroon – black, white, or green.
The vodka had an earthy flavor, with a mild black pepper/pink pepper burn in the back of the throat, which lingers there. (I may have just interpreted white peppercorn as pink because the sweetness from the agave). It takes a couple of sips for the peppery heat to build, but it’s not a harsh heat, it’s about medium heat.
Final verdict: Medium heat. Could be interesting in fruity drinks, like a Cosmo variation. I appreciated it more than I enjoyed it.
DragonBleu Rose Blossom Vodka: Floral flavors are tough to do. Too much, and you imagine you’re drinking perfume or soap – bleech! So this one is a pleasant surprise. Just a faint rosewater fragrance, and an equally delicate floral taste manned up by peppery notes on the finish. There’s that now-familiar agave sweetness. Mixed with say, grapefruit and cranberry juice to cut some of the perfuminess, this would go down easy. I wanted to add a splash of rye whiskey too, to rough up the edges a bit.
Final verdict: Chileheads will hate this, unless they muddle a few slices of Serrano in there first. But a good choice for those who appreciate floral flavors.