There are 3 distilleries in New Mexico, offering a gamut of products from 15-year-old rye whiskey to gin to vanilla extract. All three, however, distill vodka. Don Quixote offers Blue Corn Vodka, KGB Spirits has Vodka Viracocha, and Santa Fe Spirits has Expedition Vodka. Don Quixote and Santa Fe use corn as a base grain and KGB uses potatoes.
I thought a blind taste test was best since I have some personal ideas and allegiances to each of these distilleries. Two of us sampled the vodkas, and here are the results:
Vodka #1: bright, citrusy, minty, alcohol burn, not a great mouth feel.
Vodka #2: desert and cherry aroma, sweet, malty, finishes a bit harsh.
Vodka #3: smooth, flavorless, no alcohol smell, feels good in the mouth, clean finish.
I knew right away when I had tasted the Don Quixote Blue Corn Vodka (number 2). The sweetness that comes through is the result of the blue corn that’s used. Don Quixote calls it the “sweetest of the 4 varieties of corn.” Also the desert aromas instantly reminded me of their Spirit de Santa Fe Gin, which I wasn’t a fan of, but the vodka fared much better. Vodka 1 was Vodka Viracocha from KGB Spirits, and Vodka 3 was Expedition Vodka by Santa Fe Spirits.
Each of these New Mexico vodkas is a worthy addition to your home bar and certainly better than 90% of what you’ll find at the grocery store. The three are $25-35 per bottle, depending on where you purchase them. Don Quixote sells through their website, Santa Fe at the distillery and online, and KGB products are available at several New Mexico stores.