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What’s not to like? I’m Polish; this vodka is Polish. I happen to really like Polish vodka (and Russian vodka and French vodka and American vodka), and besides, 15% of the profits from the sale of this vodka go to helping the endangered snow leopards. Sounds like a win-win to me, that is if it tastes as good as they say it does.

In the first place Snow Leopard vodka is made from spelt, an ancient grain that is hardier and more nutritious and tastes better than its cousin, modern day wheat. By the 1970’s, there was no spelt being grown in North America because modern hybridized versions of wheat could be harvested and processed cheaper and faster. Thanks to a growing interest in more healthy and more tasty food, it was re-introduced in 1987 and is making a comeback.

Using that special spelt grain, they distill it six times, in small batches, using natural spring water drawn from an artesian well and finally filter it twice through charcoal. Sounds like it ought to be mighty tasty – let’s find out.

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Snow Leopard vodka comes in a tall clear bottle bearing a picture of a snow leopard crouching upon a mountain top. The vodka inside is as clear as water. And just like pure water, this vodka has virtually no nose. By that, I mean no ethanol vapors, no aromas, really just nothing, which by the traditional definition of a vodka makes this a really wonderful smelling vodka. The palate follows suit with a very clear and clean tasting vodka, again sporting no off-color flavors or even great flavors of any kind. If I really concentrate on it, I might find a bare hint of a grainy flavor but even that’s a stretch. The finish is smooth with just a slight taste of pepper, but again, it is really quite transparent and leaves a finish that lasts a short time. This is definitely a superior super-premium vodka, well worth the price. Needless to say, it makes one hell of a martini.

The good folks at Snow Leopard sent along with this vodka a small kit that would allow me to make their Conservation Martini. To be perfectly honest, I made the martini using their vodka and a sprig of rosemary, but I deferred on the Vermouth as I really hate all Vermouth, especially in martinis, gin or vodka, makes no difference. I have always stated that if you’re crazy enough to buy a bottle of vermouth, it should last you the rest of your life. That’s because “using vermouth” to me consists of passing the unopened bottle over the martini glass while mumbling a prayer petitioning the good Lord to not let a single drop fall into the drink below. As I just said previously, this vodka makes one hell of a martini.

Snow Leopard Vodka is 40% ABV and is available for around $35.00 to $40.00 per 750 ML bottle. Now, I have to admit that $40.00 is a bit pricey, but remember, 15% of the proceeds go to saving the Snow Leopard, so you can have a good time having a drink while doing something worthwhile for the animal kingdom.

By George Brozowski

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