A wave of distillers is working to put green spirits on the map. You can now find organic gin in spades and even sustainably made cognac. But the spirit leading the eco-conscious charge is vodka. Clearly.
Distilling is inherently a waste-producing endeavor. But it’s possible to mitigate distillation’s effects, and we applaud distillers who are trying to do exactly that. Sustainable vodka is made with organic ingredients and often uses a reduced carbon footprint.
Buying a bottle can make you feel like you’re doing your part to save the planet, in some way. And, given how much care and effort goes into making vodka that’s eco-friendly, you can bet it’ll probably be delicious. These seven vodkas taste great––they just happen to be arguably better for the environment, too.
The first USDA-certified vodka in Washington State, Bainbridge draws inspiration from its lush Puget Sound location, which is surrounded by mountains and marshes. The vodka’s grains are sourced directly from small organic farmers in the region, each with histories that span decades, if not centuries. The result is a vodka that’s plush on the palate and clean, with lemony hints on the nose.
Green Mountain, in Vermont, has been a pioneer in the organic distilling scene since 2002. Made from 100% certified organic grain (provided by a family farmer-run cooperative), this vodka goes through a six-time distillation process. The company also makes two flavored vodkas, lemon and orange, which both show a refreshing, bright crispness.
Crafted in the heart of California wine country using a range of local grape varieties, Hanson of Sonoma has become a role model within the world of sustainable small-batch vodka. The USDA-certified grapes bring a sweet, fruity note to the spirit, which has a buoyancy that lends itself to sipping neat. Hanson also offers a series of infused vodkas made with organic fruits and natural flavors, including ginger and habanero.
Water is at the heart of this brand. The Michigan company uses the country’s most untouched H2O and builds its expressions around that sourcing. One bottling is made with Rocky Mountain mineral water and another with glacial water from Alaska. Can you tell the difference? Absolutely. Five-times distilled, both versions are crisp, offering some of the best organic vodka bargains on the market.
Ocean truly tastes of its terroir: fresh with tropical notes that speak to its island origin. Hailing from Maui, it’s crafted using organic sugar cane and “deep ocean” mineral water sourced from 3,000 feet below the Kona Coast. No GMOS, herbicides or pesticides are involved, and the company is so committed to repurposing materials that even the glass used for bottling is recycled. Bonus: The bottle is pretty enough for you to reuse in your own home.
Iceland is a country blessed with extraordinary natural resources. Whether you’re looking for waterfalls, volcanos, hot springs or glaciers, the Nordic country has it. Thankfully, it uses some of that bounty for the greater good: to make great vodka. With a distillation process that’s powered by geothermal energy and filtered through lava rocks using a copperhead still, Reyka is the epitome of purity and an homage to its native land’s beauty.
7. Snow Queen ($30 for 1L)
With a name like Snow Queen, a spirit better broadcast refinement. This one is crafted using organic wheat and spring water from the Alatau Mountains in Kazakhstan. It has a smoothness on the palate that’s almost velvety, making it one of the few vodkas with enough sweetness to pair with dessert. Distilled five times, it’s made to sip straight—no need to share the throne with a mixer.