It may not be the beer that made Milwaukee famous, but Guy Rehorst hopes his spirit will make Brew City a destination for martini sippers.
“I just love it when I pour someone a taste and they get this look of surprise and say ‘That’s incredible,'” Rehorst says.
The astonishing sample Rehorst gives his would-be consumers is from the premium vodka—Milwaukee’s first and only vodka and Wisconsin’s first hard liquor since Prohibition—he crafts in an imported German still. The product, aptly named Rehorst vodka, is made from Wisconsin red wheat, along with a special yeast, and filtered Lake Michigan water. “Any time a vodka is labeled as having fresh spring water, you know that’s just marketing because the water’s
minerals would create sediment,” Rehorst says.
There’s no sediment, but it does offer substantial taste, says Peter Clement, bar manager of Elliot’s Bistro in Milwaukee. “It’s very smooth with a very slight antiseptic edge to it, perfect for a slightly dirty martini,” Clement says. “It can compete with well-known, premium vodkas.”