In case you missed it, the big trend in vodka today is more complex infusions that eschew artificial flavors for real botanicals. In the case of Belvedere, it recently dropped a trio of Organic Infusions, each made with “100% organic fruits, spices and botanicals for flavor extraction, relying on the beauty of natural, simple ingredients to shine through without any artificial additives.”
Each is 80 proof.
Belvedere Organic Infusions Vodka Lemon & Basil – “with a touch of elderflower.” Powerful lemon notes kick off an expressive nose, and the elderflower hint is definitely visible. The greenery comes to the fore only when the palate is sampled, immediately showcasing more of a grassy element rather than a distinct basil note. Lemon reprises the finish, with a clear sweetness lingering on the back end. As fresh as promised, with plenty of nuance and lots to love. A-
Belvedere Organic Infusions Vodka Blackberry & Lemongrass – “with a hint of sage.” Jammy blackberry is ample on the nose, touched with a citrus note that feels more lemon than lemongrass. As expected, the palate strikes as quite a bit herbal, though fortunately it’s peppery lemongrass that does the heavy lifting rather than sage, which can be off-putting in a spirit. From there it’s a slow ride to the finish, which provides a fitful melding of the two primary ingredients. B
Belvedere Organic Infusions Vodka Pear & Ginger – “with a drop of linden honey.” This is the mildest of the trio by far, though perhaps the least obviously useful for cocktailing. The nose features both pear and ginger elements, in roughly equal proportion, with the palate showcasing honey-sweetened pear, followed by a mild slug of ginger root. It’s not nearly as aggressive a flavor as you’ll find in a good ginger liqueur, the finish more earthy and peppery than pungent. While the other vodkas have distinct fruit-forward profiles, I might suggest trying to use this in lieu of gin. B+
each $36 / belvederevodka.com