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If you ever find yourself up and around the San Diego area, you just might want to drop by a local watering hole and have a misadventure. Now, that really isn’t quite as precarious as it sounds since Misadventure is the brand name of a new vodka being distilled in the region. You might rightfully assume the misadventure might come from finding out that this particular vodka is not distilled from the usual suspects: corn, wheat, potatoes or rye – but instead is made using discarded baked goods such as Twinkies, Ding Dongs, donuts, jalapeno cheddar bagels, bread and even fruit cake. You can literally have your cake and drink it, too!

As crazy as all that initially sounds, it actually makes a great deal of sense! 40% of all food grown in the United States gets thrown away and on average 21% of American landfills are filled with food that could have been eaten. Knowing that and the fact that those discarded baked goods contain a lot of the sugars that can be transformed into alcohol, the co-founders of Misadventure Vodka, Sam Cherskin and Whit Rigali, formed a relationship with the San Diego Food Bank. Although the food bank receives and distributes most of the food it receives to people in need, they still throw several tons of bread and sugary treats out each week. Every Monday the Misadventure crew goes down and picks up 1,200 pounds of excess baked goods that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill somewhere.

They bring those discarded Twinkies and Ho Ho’s to the distillery where they break everything down to crumbs, stir in water to make a porridge like wort for the yeast to feed on and distill the resulting liquor to a 96% pure vodka. And believe me that process isn’t as easy as it sounds. They had to modify their still with a custom column designed to increase efficiency, then the pre-cut spirit runs through a sequence of 6 filters 30 times. And to top it all off, this entire process is crafted to remove Gluten.

Well well I do believe it’s time for me to have a Misadventure. This vodka comes in a tall dark green bottle with the words “Misadventure Vodka” printed in white and framed by a bit of golden artwork. Considering what they start with, the nose is actually quite clean with the slightest hint of ethanol and yeast. The palate presents as slightly minty sweet with a suggestion of cinnamon but otherwise is clean with a trace of peppery spice. The finish is sweet and just a bit spicy and lasts a medium amount of time and leaves me feeling like I had just eaten something although I obviously hadn’t. A bit of ice in the glass rounds out the flavors, accents the minty sweetness and tames the spiciness but leaves me with a very pleasant mouth feel and a sweet finish.

I am absolutely amazed at this finished product. Who knew you could essentially take refuse and transform it into a truly drinkable and enjoyable vodka? And the cherry on top of this treat has got to be the price of only $22.00 per bottle! I do believe that this vodka will soon find a place on a liquor store shelf near you in the not too distant future.

Misadventure Vodka is 40% ABV or 80 proof and can be found for a very reasonable $22.00 per 750ML bottle.

By George Brozowski