Eco-friendly distilled spirits quickly became all the rage when they were released, and while Square One is no longer new, it remains one of the best eco-vodkas on the market. Essentially, Square One created a new class of spirits. The real question is whether it is a flavored vodka, a relative of gin -- minus the juniper -- a liqueur, or something totally different?
- 100% organic spirit
- Rye base adds richness to the liquor
- A wonderful bouquet of herbs and fruits
- Excellent for mixology experimentation
- Rye based organic spirit infused with pear, rose, chamomile, lemon verbena, lavender, rosemary, coriander and citrus peel.
- Produced by Square One Organic Spirits
- 45% alc/volume (90 proof)
- Released in 2009
Review of Square One Botanical Spirit
Quite honestly, I would put Square One Botanical into the flavored vodka category if it were necessary to define it in some way. However, this is not the average infusion, which is usually limited to a few flavors. This one has eight organic botanicals and fruits inside, including pear, rose, chamomile, lemon verbena, lavender, rosemary, coriander and citrus peel. It is a bright spirit with the most unique of tastes and not one of them takes the lead; instead, all are wonderfully blended, which happens to be another unique quality of this spirit. That is why this is a "spirit" and doesn't really fit into any of our conventional categories.
Despite the light and airy flavors of the infused ingredients, Square One Botanical is backed by one of the most robust spirit bases available. The rye adds a depth, almost a dark side, but not the usual darkness you think of with a rye whiskey. Instead, this base adds a richness that is intrinsic to the grain and brings everything into a truly delightful balance.
I did find it amazing how each ingredient from the rye to each of the botanicals makes a distinct appearance at least once in the tasting. They are like well-stacked bricks of flavor, a harmonious symphony with degrees of solo performances.
So, the big question is "How do I mix Square One Botanical?" The easiest answer I can give is to use it to replace a clear vodka in almost any vodka cocktail you can think of (with a few exceptions like a Mudslide or White Russian), especially when thinking of a standard Vodka Martini, Cosmopolitan and Champanska. Think light, fruity and herbal cocktails with this spirit and I encourage you to even dive into the realm of gin cocktails, where the pear and chamomile make a refreshing change of pace from a juniper-based cocktail. You will also find some fantastic signature cocktails using the spirit on Square One's website - their Flower Sour being one of my favorites.
The fruits are soft but in the forefront of the aroma, there is a light hint of rose and the lovely combination rosemary and lavender to back it up. The palate is silky and the warmth of the rye is apparent. Once on the tongue the herbs come forward and are backed up by the fruits.
The finish is one of the cleanest you will find, long and refreshing with none of the alcohol bite that is often found in 90 proof spirits, but the herbs are there, especially the coriander, backed up by a spark of fruit.