Unlike most vodka that is traditionally derived from corn, sorghum, rye, wheat, or potatoes, Cîroc Vodka is made in France from “snap frost” grapes. The juice of Mauzac Blanc grapes from the Gaillac region and Ugni Blanc grapes from the Cognac region is extracted and cold fermented. While the Mauzac Blanc grapes are distilled four times in copper continuous stills, the Ugni Blanc grapes are also distilled four times but in steel column stills. They are combined together, 95% being Mauzac Blanc and the other 5% being the Ugni Blanc. The final concoction is then distilled one last time in a traditional copper pot still. It sounds like a tedious and drawn-out process, but the remarkable results are enough to bring a tear to one's eye.
Over ice, Cîroc vodka is truly a delight. The five distillations allow for the vodka to go down extremely smooth, and the taste is a light and fresh one. The finish is a sweet one with a very noticeable grape taste. It’s not like drinking wine or anything, but this unique grape finish does an exceptional job covering the traditional vodka burn or rubbing alcohol-like aftertaste most of us expect when drinking vodka on the rocks. This vodka stands as one of a mere handful I prefer to drink without even a splash of tonic water.
As delicious as Cîroc is to sip on the rocks, it is even more wonderful with a little Sprite©. It was really hard for me to muster the courage to actually mix this delicious vodka; I was terrified that it would water it down too much. I have no problem admitting I was wrong. I would recommend using a little more vodka than Sprite© in the mixture because the two compliment each other incredibly well. The mixed drink tastes like a slightly sweeter variation of the soda with an extremely pleasant and light grape aftertaste. The Coca-Cola Company should partner with the people at Cîroc to produce pre-mixed versions of this concoction. It is truly that good. Just try to remember that there is vodka in the drink because you will think you are sipping on a light and icy dessert. I don’t want to be responsible for you doing something stupid like spilling your liquor.
80-proof Cîroc gave me a nice buzz rather quickly, and after four drinks, I was floating in drunken bliss. I was definitely intoxicated, but the alcohol sat lightly on my stomach, and I still felt as though I was in control of myself. I was just very calm and felt warm and fuzzy inside. Naturally, I couldn’t stop this delight at merely four drinks. I ended up consuming about seven or eight of these delicious beverages over the course of the next couple hours. Surprisingly, I awoke the next morning with absolutely no trace of a hangover! My eyes were a little dry, but that is normal for me on any given morning. There was no headache, and I didn’t even have the slightest bit of dry mouth. I found myself completely naked and on top of my sheets with my clothes randomly strewn about the room. I found that a little odd, but the complete lack of a hangover totally put my mind at ease about the whole situation. I’m glad I got that off my chest. Doesn’t that sound sexy, ladies?
I read that Cîroc inked P-Diddy or the artist fromerly known as Puff Daddy, or whatever the hell he wants to be called, to do advertisments in 2008. I cringe at the thought of him talking about this stuff, but I guess they want to try to reach a younger audience or something. I personally don’t know anyone who would listen to what he has to say about anything, but they are paying him millions. Perhaps that’s why this vodka is steep in price. Plunking out 30-something dollars for a bottle may seem a little ridiculous for a fifth of vodka, but if you are looking for a new vodka experience, it’s a small price to pay for Cîroc. I’ve tasted a handful of “ultra-premium” vodkas that cost more than twice that of Cîroc that really don’t hold a candle to it. If you’ve ever even remotely enjoyed vodka, borrow, steal, or finagle some cash for Cîroc. You will be impressed.
Published on December 31st, 2007 in Liquors of the Month, Vodka by Hunter