Kastra Elion is a “premium sipping vodka” made from Greek olives (“and grains”). While produced in Greece, it’s bottled in El Segundo, California. (Update: The brand informs us that bottling has now moved to Greece as well.) The white ceramic bottle, accented with blue paint, makes for a great alternative to the usual etched/frosted glass you’ll find on the market — as does the flavor.
As vodka goes, Kastra Elion has plenty to recommend it. Very clean on the nose, a light medicinal note is paired with a sprinkle of sugar and a gentle grassiness. The sweetness in the spirit is more clearly evident on the palate, where a clearer element of vanilla-scented white sugar comes into focus. That very gentle grassy quality — perhaps driven by the olives in the distillate — isn’t overwhelming, but it’s present. There’s not enough here to let you get away with replacing the olive in your martini, but the underlying spirit is so fresh and bright and creamy in texture that it doesn’t really matter.
A more harmless and innocuous vodka you are unlikely to find on the market — though the price tag certainly doesn’t pull punches in the same way.
A- / $50