Properly Sauced - VeeV
By Anthony Todd in Food on Feb 6, 2009 8:45PM
Here at Chicagoist Cocktail Labs, we’re somewhat skeptical about new spirits. All too often, they are artificially flavored grape-root beer-blue raspberry malt liquor concoctions masquerading as fine “vodka” with price tags to match. Believe us when we say VeeV is different. This stuff is tasty, addictive and compatible with tons of cocktails or sippable on it’s own.
Billing itself as “The World’s First Acai Spirit,” VeeV distillery makes a lot of health and lifestyle related claims that we don’t care much about. We’ve discussed the Acai trend before, and the idea that you’re going to care much about your health when drinking anything with 30% alcohol strikes us as a bit silly. We’re more respectful, however, of their environmental record - they give $1 from every bottle sold to a rainforest protection program and they are the only certified Carbon Neutral distillery in the world.
Enough primping - what does it taste like? When you smell it, the first thing you notice is a strong berry scent. Strangely, it doesn’t have the same sharp edge that raspberry or blackberry has, just a fruity smell and a smooth finish. In addition to the acai, VeeV is made with Prickly Pear fruit and Acerola cherries. This combination of flavors with smoothness makes it a great mixer, and there are a ton of recipes on the website. We tried a bunch of them and our favorite was the following (we apologize for the name; it wasn’t our idea).
Joie de VeeV
1.5 oz VeeV
.75 oz Cointreau
.75 oz simple syrup
1 oz lemon juice
1 large slice of ginger, diced
The recipe suggests crystallized ginger as an alternative, and we tried it. It’s cheap, shelf-stable and we almost always have it around. We liked it better - but for some of our readers it may be too sweet. If you wish, you can use crystallized ginger and omit the simple syrup.
Muddle the ginger and the simple syrup in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add lots of ice and the rest of the ingredients and shake. Hard. Strain into a martini glass.
If you’re skeptical (believe me, we were), Sam’s Wine and Sprits Wine Director Efrain Madrigal gave it a score of 94 and said that he went through a bottle in less than a week. VeeV retails for around $28 for a large bottle.