Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Van Gogh Vodka Brightens The Day {Review}

With the holidays now over, I have taken time to look back at all that we ate and drank. We truly enjoyed ourselves and I hope served all of our guests well too. One thing that seems to make its way into our house more around the holidays is alcoholic beverages. Whether beer, wine, or items for mixed drinks, they tend to be on the list more than any other time of the year.
I was lucky enough to be approached about sampling some amazing products that would help make our spirits brighter. I knew it would be a great fit for all the people we would be entertaining over the holiday season and beyond.
*You must be 21 to enter the Van Gogh Vodka site*
Van Gogh Vodka was founded in 1998 and is handmade in small, high quality batches with help from Master Distiller Tim Vos. To read more about Master Distiller Tim Vos, click here. Van Gogh Vodka is crafted using the best fruit, grains, and purified water, the finest in Holland. The grain alcohol goes through a multiple distillation process and an all natural double infusion flavoring process. This process takes six weeks to complete and create Van Gogh Vodka's signature smooth taste. With a quality controlled bottling process and three bottling lines, Van Gogh Vodka offers a 1750ml, 1000ml, 750ml, and 50 ml bottle options. Van Gogh Vodka offers 22 flavored vodkas and 2 unflavored vodkas and has been called "The best in the flavored vodka business, period.”
We were offered the chance to review some Van Gogh Vodka samples and share them over the holidays with our friends and family. It was suggested to create a décor bar and let Van Gogh Vodka do the hard work.
Here is a sample of ideas for an amazing Décor Bar
Create a do-it-yourself holiday vodka-fest for the senses with the decadent, delicious flavors and decorative bottles of a Van Gogh Vodka bar –
  • Set up 6-10 flavors from Van Gogh
  • Add to the bar mixers like seltzer, juices and sodas
  • Remember garnishes like pomegranates, lemons, limes and other fruit
  • Put table signage on mini chalk boards with ideas and inspiration you can get from Van Gogh
Voila! You have yourself not just a bar, but an in-house decoration!
Our box of Van Gogh Vodka is here. I did have to sign for the package, which clearly states I must be 21 years old to receive. Good thing I was home when the package came!
The box was large, I was expecting some small sample bottles, so the size of the box really had me curious as to what could be inside.
Inside I first found this, a small baggie of papers with some serious packing material underneath
Wow, I was surprised to see 2 full sized bottles of Van Gogh Vodka in the box
As you can see they were packed between two secure fitting pieces to cover the top and bottom safely. These are glass bottles, so the protection needs to be excellent, which it seemed to be.
From the baggie I removed three items, a letter about what I was receiving, information sheets on both bottles, and a recipe book for Fall & Winter 2014-2015.
The letter
Info sheet one:
"Rich and bold like your favorite cup of espresso in a naturally deep shade of coffee"
This flavor of vodka was introduced in 2005 and is 70 proof/35% alcohol by volume
Information sheet two:
"Sophisticated deep chocolate colored vodka with a complex, dark cocoa flavor."
This flavor of vodka was introduced in 2011 and is 70 proof/35% alcohol by volume
A recipe book super full of yummy ideas
 Also included is a brief history of Van Gogh Vodka and a listing/explanation of all of their flavors. I was so intrigued to see all they offered.
The recipes are organized by Classics, Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Winter, Holiday, New Year's Fizz, Valentine's Day, Double Espresso, Shooters, Crowds, and Hot.
I found these two yummy sounding recipes in Halloween
and this one in Winter
I haven't made any of these yet, but they are on my to do list.
Now on to these beautiful bottles of Vodka.
I am not a huge drinker, but do find time to partake in them sometimes. These flavors both intrigued me and I couldn't wait to try them out.
Our Rich Dark Chocolate Vodka displays an intense chocolate fragrance with hints of coffee, nutmeg and spice. In the mouth, the complex, dark cocoa taste is beautifully complemented by notes of coffee, chili pepper, caramel, and exotic spice giving this sophisticated vodka layers of complexity, and a slightly spicy finish that will linger on the tongue.
When you open the bottle you can immediately smell chocolate, one of the things I love. I knew that this would be a hit with many people in my family and the first thing we paired it with was some creamy hot chocolate. It was delicious and gave the hot chocolate just a hint of deeper flavor, you could not tell there was alcohol even in it. My parents, sister, and husband were all big fans too.
After Thanksgiving, we tailgated with a group of friends for an end of the season football game. It was about 45 degrees and we were all bundled up. Both my husband and I had a huge mug of hot chocolate with the Van Gogh Rich Dark Chocolate Vodka added in. It definitely helped us stay warmer while we cheered on our team.
I really like this vodka and will keep using it, especially as a small addition to my hot chocolate this winter. I would also love to try out this recipe:

Milky Way Martini 

  • 2 oz. Van Gogh Rich Dark Chocolate
  • 1/2 oz. Van Gogh Vanilla
  • 1 oz. butterscotch schnapps
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Shake vigorously and pour into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a miniature chocolate candy bar.
Smooth yet bold, like your favorite cup of espresso. The Colombian coffee beans are significant and noticeable in our Double Espresso, which has a great roasted aroma with a touch of sweetness. There is a hint of bitterness in the taste that adds to the complexity keeps the spirit balanced.
I am not a coffee drinker and this vodka screams to coffee fans. I was not a fan of this flavor, even gave it a go in some hot chocolate thinking it would help hide the taste, but it was a no go. Now my mom and sister were fans, but they are coffee lovers. I sent the bottle home with them to share the rest of the winter.
This recipe sounds interesting, maybe I should have given it a try:

Banana Mocha 

Created by Jonathan Pogash, The Cocktail Guru
  • 1-1/2 oz. Van Gogh Double Espresso Vodka
  • 1/2 of a Banana
  • 1 cup Fat Free Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1/4 oz. White Chocolate Syrup
Add to Blender and blend well. Pour into wine glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of ground cocoa and banana slice.
I think my flavors were a bit harder to create too many holiday drinks for the people in my family. I did browse the selection of other vodkas and think I would be a big fan of these.
This recipe sounds amazing!
Oranje Creamsicle 
Created by Jonathan Pogash, The Cocktail Guru
  • 1 oz. Van Gogh Oranje
  • 1/2 oz. Van Gogh Vanilla
  • 1 oz. Orange Juice
  • 1 dash Orange Bitters
Add ingredients directly to a rocks glass with ice and garnish with an orange peel.
Frozen PB&J Sundae 
  • 1 1/2 oz. Van Gogh PB&J Vodka
  • 3 Scoops Vanilla Ice Cream
Combine all ingredients in blender with ice and blend until smooth.
Seems like a perfect summer drink

Berry Berry Fizz 

  • 1 oz. Van Gogh Raspberry
  • 2 oz. cranberry juice
  • 1 oz. club soda
Add vodka and juice into a tall glass filled with ice and stir. Top with cub soda and garnish with a twist of lime.
Van Gogh Vodka makes entertaining super easy. With a list of all of their products available online, along with a huge list of recipes, you don't have to put in too much effort to create a great party scene. I can't wait to try out more of the Vodkas and share them with friends.
Want It? Buy It!
*You must be 21 to enter the Van Gogh Vodka site*
See what you can create with Van Gogh Vodka, you will not be disappointed! You can also follow Van Gogh Vodka on all of their social media outlets--Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

 Thanks to Van Gogh Vodka for some delicious treats!

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