It shouldn’t be a shock to hear me say that I’ve enjoyed tasting the products that Eastside Distilling in Portland makes. From whiskies to rums, they’ve all proved to be excellent liquors. My expectations, then, were pretty high when I tasted Portland Potato Vodka.
Many folks assume that potatoes are the most common base for making vodka, but it’s actually grains like wheat or corn that are most often used. Potato vodkas like Karlsson’s (an advertiser at Simple Cocktails) are considered more “boutique” than your typical vodkas. I’ve tried 3 potato vodkas at this point, and they have a common earthiness to them and are occasionally herbal or minty.
Portland Potato ($23 retail) is pleasantly mild without a harsh alcohol bite. There is a very slight earthy scent that is followed by a nice, fresh, sweet finish. The flavor is full and it finishes clean and flavorless, like you’d expect from a quality vodka. I used PPV in Ed Wood’s favorite cocktail, the Vodka Gimlet, or as he called it, the “Akdov Telmig”:
- 2 oz vodka
- 3/4 oz lime juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- shake and serve up or on the rocks
- garnish with a lime wheel