A growing number of liquor producers are adding a splash of wine to their bottlings. Here’s a look at four hybrids that combine the best of both worlds.
Hangar 1 Rosé Flavored Vodka, $32
The California vodka maker launched this carnation-pink spirit in February. It contains 5% California rosé wine, which lends a fleeting, juicy cranberry note. The bottling is “inspired by the Bay Area,” says Head Distiller Caley Shoemaker. “Our Hangar 1 Straight Vodka is made from a Californian grape distillate, which means we work with many local farmers and neighboring winemakers.”
Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye, $40
The first permanent addition to the Basil Hayden portfolio mixes a splash of California Port-style wine with Kentucky and Canadian rye whiskeys. The producer claims that it’s “designed to stand out in the ever-expanding crowd of American whiskeys.” The end result: a ruddy hue and warming caramel-cherry flavor profile, recommended to mix into a Boulevardier with Campari and sweet vermouth.
J. Rieger & Co. Kansas City Whiskey, $40
A small amount of 15-year-old oloroso Sherry (about 2%) adds roundness and complexity to this blend of Bourbon, rye and a 10-year-old light corn whiskey. The ingredients are sourced elsewhere, but blended in Kansas City, Missouri.
Rieger Co-founder Ryan Maybee says that Kansas City-style whiskey has contained Sherry since at least as early as the 1800s, when straight whiskey was hard to find. “It was a way to pay tribute to our roots,” he says, although, “it also adds a tremendous amount of flavor.”
Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin, $39
“People asked us when we would get around to making a sloe gin,” says Founder/Distiller Cameron Mackenzie. “We don’t grow sloe berries in Australia, but we do have grapes. The Shiraz grapes are medium-bodied and don’t kill the gin.”