by Lauren Mote
Why is Hangar One so special? Why is Hangar One crowding the shelves at Bin and Red Square? Why is Elizabeth Falkner cooking with Hangar One on Iron Chef America? Simple – this vodka line is lovingly handmade with expensive and rare ingredients, and the only vodka known without additives.
How did I get involved? Well, I went to the tasting at Bin 942 on West Broadway. That’s how.
Hangar One is based in California and distilled in a vacant airline hangar – go figure. This spirit is distilled twice using a continuous or a column still. Raw material of choice is wheat from the American mid-west. Made properly the first time, this spirit will have a soft mouth-feel and and a bread-like sweetness.
Straight vodka – quite fragrant – like perfume. Raw material includes 50% viognier grapes! Paired with Chef Gord Martin’s citrus vodka marinated prawn, on vermicelli noodles with fish rose and a citrus vodka vinaigrette.
Kaffir Lime vodka – pronounced aroma, but so powerful that it’s verging on citrus floor cleaner to me. Paired with basil and tapioca bubble tea shooter.
Citron vodka – made with buddha’s hand lemons, using only the rind. Subtle citrus aroma. Extremely smooth – like biting into a lemon, but without that sharp bitterness. Sweet spices on the finish – vanilla, caramel and butter.
Mandarin Blossom vodka – flowers and macerated tangerines. 30 lbs of tangerines for one bottle! Smells like candy and orange crush. On the palate, tangerines and flowers! Paired with hot smoked black cod, with a mandarin glaze, lotus chip and green peppercorns.
Raspberry vodka – colour of transparent deep rose. Smells of raspberry jam. On the palate, sweet fresh raspberry tartufo.
“I am making canapes that go with all of the vodkas” says Chef Martin, “I did a Hangar One dinner to compliment and pair each vodka to each course”.
I wish I was there for that!
Hangar One is proudly available through Derrick Cousins of Free House Wines and Spirits firstname.lastname@example.org
Lastly, a different note – I was fortunate enough to try on of Derrick’s suitcase-tasters for clients – and a proud resident of the top shelf at Chow Restaurant – The Renegade Rum Company. The minds behind Islay’s Bruichladdich distillery, this is rum is special for a couple of reasons: the rum is over 13 years old, and aged in USED barrels – this one was aged in Chateau Latour barrels – this is a serious rum. It’s smooth and delicate like a fine cognac. If you have the opportunity, give it a whirl.