More proof to my theory that grapes make the best base for vodka arrives in the form of Swan’s Neck Vodka, an artisan spirit from French grapes distilled in copper pots and named for part of the alembic still used to make it.
Swan’s Neck is a very sedate vodka, smooth and silky, offering flavors that hint at white wine: Apple and grape, perfume with flowers. A slight bitterness mars the finish just a tad, unfortunately, but Swan’s Neck offers a taste of the earth, soul-satisfying in a good way, nut musky and stinky in the way that “earthy” often connotes.
In cocktails, Swan’s Neck shines as that bitterness fades away, leaving that apple/grape flavor to work with whatever mixers you add. It should work well in anything, really, but it should shine exceptionally in wine- or fruit-based cocktails.
Swan’s Neck is hard to find (and expensive when it’s found), but if you do, snap it up.
A- / $40 / swansneckvodka.com