Square One Vodka is one of the first organic vodkas on the market and uses only organic, American grown rye, instead of mass-produced corn, potatoes, and grapes like many other vodkas on the market. The company is based out of California and their rye is from the rolling hills of North Dakota.
When Square One founder Allison Evanow talks to bar chefs about Square One vodka, a singular grain vodka made from organic American rye using organic fermentation and distillation techniques, it's with a true understanding of her craft. As an ex-bartender at the Thunderbird Graduate Business School Pub in Glendale, Arizona, where she received her International MBA, she knows firsthand what it takes to please an ever-changing mix of first-time visitors and longtime regulars.
A native Virginian, Allison came to California in 1994 to finally be near her future husband after a long-distance relationship between Mexico and L.A. When she went to work for Jose Cuervo International a year later, her love for mixology rekindled, but she found that vodka was far more versatile for cocktails than Tequila, which she prefers in a margarita or sipped neat. She particularly likes the spirits industry and vodka in particular for its sheer depth and breadth of creativity.
"The creativity is at many levels," she says. "One: how you make the spirit itself; two: how you create a cocktail using your spirit of choice; and three: how you serve the cocktail —in cool glasses, with garnishes, etc. I love wine, do a bit of wine collecting and even headed up Marketing for a winery in Napa Valley, but wine is too staid from a creative point of view. For most brands you buy in any category, you get what you buy, but in the spirits world, you can buy a tremendously unique product but still infuse your own spirit and creativity in the final cocktail. How fun is that?"
Allison loves to cook and enjoys adding to a personal wine collection that ranges from Spanish favorites she came to love while living in Madrid in her 20s, to her favorite varietal, Pinot Noir. Yet when she goes out to restaurants and cocktail lounges with friends, or entertains at home, she almost always starts with a cocktail, and often creates a whole menu around different cocktails. After all, all work and no play is not a sustainable lifestyle!
Upon moving to Marin County in Northern California, Allison found inspiration in the community's embrace of the land, from protected public fields to abundant local organic farmers' markets. And she was thrilled by how the community created by the Saturday morning farmers' market was also a friendly platform for raising greater environmental issues. This led the spirits industry veteran to wonder, "Why not put the ethos of the farmer's market into a glass?" Indeed why not create a luxury spirit that leaves a light footprint on the earth yet makes a big splash [so to speak] among cocktail cognoscenti?
Vodkas are prized for their purity, so the idea of an organic vodka was both viable and exciting"¦Thus Allison set out to create the greenest clear spirit yet. And she started at"¦square one, with the purest ingredients she could find: pristine spring water from the Teton mountains and organically certified North Dakota-grown rye. The ingredients are so pure that Square One obviates the need for multiple distillation, emerging through a single pass in the distiller with its unique flavor profile intact.
But Allison wasn't content to focus only on what's in the bottle – the packaging had to reflect Square One's philosophy of eco-conscious sophistication. That's why the distinct square bottle is not frosted [a process that calls for some serious chemicals!] and the label is now printed on paper made from bamboo, bagasse and cotton, all sustainably grown and renewable fiber sources. And once the bottle is empty the label easily peels off so the bottle can enjoy a second life as a vase or other container.
The unusually rich, smooth taste of Square One vodka is not the result of chemical flavoring or tinkering in a high-tech lab. Its naturally distinctive characteristics literally come out of the ground and the fermentation process used to make it.
Square One vodka comes from organically grown American rye—not mass-produced corn, potatoes, or grapes—and is borne out of a certified organic fermentation process developed especially for Square One.
Master Distiller Bill Scott isn't the only one who likes to show off his craft. The Art of Mixology is going through a renaissance, where hand-crafted cocktails using esoteric ingredients and boutique spirits like Square One Organic Vodka are all the rage.
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