Not Just For Chicks: Hangar One's Raspberry Vodka is Now in Season
Glory be, the Hangar One Fraser River Raspberry Vodka has just been released. Made from juicy, at-their-peak Meeker raspberries that grow way up in the north of Washington State, near the Canadian border, the reddish-pink, intensely flavored spirit is a true seasonal treat from those masters of fruit infusions over in Alameda. On top of the infusion, some fresh raspberry juice is added to the vodka for flavor, color and a little sweetness.
Interestingly, the Fraser River Raspberry is a seasonal vodka. As Lou Bustamante of Hangar One wrote to me, "we only do it once a year as a summer seasonal product and now regularly doing the spiced pear vodka as a fall/winter seasonal one. The seasonal ones have more juice and are therefore more sensitive products that we find making smaller batches makes more sense." If the tradition of a seasonal vodka seems strange, it's not—it goes all the way back to the origins of the spirit in places like Poland and Russia, when infusing and mixing vodka with seasonal fruits to add flavor and sweetness was a common practice. The uncharacteristically dark bottle for this product (the other Hangar One spirits are in clear bottles) is to protect the spirit from damaging UV rays.
While, yes, the fruity vodka might be considered a bit "chicky" (it's almost like a Cosmo straight out of the bottle), the fact is that it's a beautifully made spirit that you can drink by itself or on the rocks with maybe a spritz of soda to keep things lively. It also works wonderfully in cocktails. Here's one I whipped up the other day to celebrate a sunny afternoon. It uses Domaine de Canton ginger as a sweetenere/modifier, as I like the hint of spicy complexity it brings to the pure fruit of the vodka. I call the drink the "Down Goes Fraser!"
Down Goes Fraser!
1.5 oz Hangar One Fraser River Raspberry Vodka
.75 oz Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
juice of 1/2 a lime
juice of 1/2 an orange
Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass. Fill with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.