Some people have a strictly monogamous relationship with cannabis, forsaking all other intoxicants, save for their daily dalliance with the caffeine in their coffee or tea. Others appreciate wine, beer and spirits as much as flowers, edibles and hash.
And then there’s the subgroup of that second group — the ones anxious to see a union between cannabis and alcohol. Those people have suffered a lot of disappointment. The market is flooded with dozens of mediocre and downright vile cannabis-infused alcoholic beverages, most of which amount to little more than marketing gimmickry.
But if you’re looking for a quality grain spirit infused with the complex, herbaceous aroma of fine Swiss hemp buds, you’re about to absolutely elated.
Elation Hemp Flavored Vodka is the first spirit of its kind approved for distribution in the United States — a premium Swiss vodka, expertly crafted from wheat, rye and alpine spring water from the Swiss Alps, triple distilled, filtered 10 times and then flavored with premium Swiss hemp blossoms cultivated for maximum flavor.
Elation has a complex herbaceous aroma reminiscent of a gin, albeit one loaded with fresh chronic buds. This makes it an especially versatile spirit, as at home in a martini or gimlet as it is in a “Bloody Mary Jane,” one of several signature cocktails formulated by Elation to showcase their vodka’s unique flavor.
Mascen Apollo Eastman, CEO of Elation Vodka, says the company has four separate grows in Switzerland, encompassing 5,000 cannabis plants from one single cultivar named Chronic.
“It’s got a real sweet flavor and kind of a skunk nose,” Eastman said of the vodka’s signature flavor agent. “Every wine has different berries and each berry has a different taste, and it’s that way with marijuana, each bud tastes different.”
Our own in-office taste testing found flavor notes of crabapple and juniper in this clean, bright, dry-but-fruity vodka, which nicely complemented the sweet skunk nose imparted by the hemp blossoms. We found it’s best served chilled or on the rocks, because at room temperature the herby character can overwhelm the smoother, sweeter flavor elements. Elation makes an excellent “sipping” vodka, allowing you to explore the sensory nuance of this uniquely complex flavor profile.
Currently, Elation does not contain any THC, although Eastman says that hasn’t dampened people’s enthusiasm about it.
“People have said to me, ‘this smells like my grandson’s car… I just want to roll it up and smoke it!,’” he said.
And the reception from critics and liquor connoisseurs has been largely positive, with Elation taking the silver medal at last year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition and winning a Flavored Vodka of the Year at this year’s Berlin International Spirits Competition.
So if you’re looking to add the unique flavor profile of premium Swiss hemp blossoms to your next cocktail, you won’t need to break out the ice axes and brave an alpine climb. Just break out the ice pick and few glasses and you’ll be neutral (spirits) territory in no time.