Yeah, you read that right: Vodka, sparkling. The idea of carbonated vodka is either genius or stupid. I mean, you can pour your vodka into a little soda and it’s got plenty of carbonation right there, doesn’t it? Well, maybe you don’t want soda… maybe you just want sparkling vodka. Great idea! I think.
Those looking for a Coke-style fizz will be instantly disappointed in O2. The carbonation here is extremely light, and in a cocktail you’ll likely have trouble picking it out if you don’t already know it’s in there. Even straight, the carbonation is very light. It comes across more as a spicy, peppery note initially. Only after you think and roll it around for a few seconds do you realize it’s not a flavor that’s tickling your mouth but bubbles popping on your tongue.
O2 vodka comes from Britain and is distilled from grain, then filtered three times and bottled at 80 proof. Putting aside the carbonation factor, the flavor is very, very mild, surprising for a grain-based spirit. It’s got a hint of smoke and nuttiness, but otherwise is quite neutral.
O2 works well in cocktails, departing just the faintest amount of bubbling into the beverage. You can watch a couple of columns of bubbles rise up for a few minutes, then they dissipate.
If nothing else, O2 is at least an interesting conversation piece. All the more so if you try one of O2’s recommended cocktails, some of which include caviar and raw fish. (Check them out on the O2 website.) Whoa.
B+ / $33 / sparklingvodka.com
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