So, last night after a fun evening of gaming with my hubby (an addicting board game called Viticulture, followed by Soul Calibur IV on the PS3), Mark decided to open up a bottle of liquor that we purchased locally a year or two ago.
In general I prefer to review liquors that we purchased on holidays in exotic locations, and not things we could find at the corner liquor store. But this one was too unusual to ignore on many levels: Mary Jane’s Primo Hemp Vodka. Yes, you read that correctly.
And yup. This is made in Canada. We actually picked this one up in Banff, Alberta, at a cramped, cluttered little liquor store. Nothing had prices and several items were coated with a fine layer of dust.
Mark spotted this bottle and decided it was interesting enough to give it a try. But we hadn’t opened it until last night.
It’s made by Orchard City Distilling in the Okanagan Valley, British Colombia and, according to their website, is “banned in the USA.” This makes it sound edgy and dangerous, but remember, Kinder Surprise Eggs are also illegal in the USA. I’m pretty sure it’s safe to drink, there are just different standards for labelling and ingredient additives in different countries. No biggie.
Anyway, Mark opened up the bottle last night, took a sniff, exclaimed, “whoa!” and passed me the bottle. The first sniff….was not good. It reminded me of….the best way I can describe it, is did you ever drink soy milk when it first came out? And it had a very strong, distinct, earthy smell and flavour, a cross between wet cardboard and Play-Doh? That’s what this reminded me of. It wasn’t like new-mown grass, or wet hay in a farmer’s field, or even an AC/DC concert. This was just…yeah, there are no words.
So Mark made us a vodka-and-Coke highball to see if it would mix better than the smell indicated.
Nope, it does not mix well with Coke. The hemp flavour permeated, and dare I say decimated the classic Coke flavour. Considering the fact that Coke is strong enough to use as a toilet bowl cleaner, anything that can overpower and strong-arm it into submission has to be pretty hefty. These flavours just refused to play well together.
In fact, the combination was so bad, that after one sip I knew couldn’t finish it. We’re still trying to decide what this could even mix well with, but haven’t come up with any ideas yet. Maybe savoury drinks rather than sweet, or at least flavours that can hold their own against the strong flavour of this vodka, otherwise they will be overpowered.
Luckily, the Mary Jane’s website offers several recipes, and I would recommend trying those first before deciding whether you like it or not. Many of the recipes include stronger combinations like coffee liquor, orange juice or tomato juice (Bloody Mary’s, for example). I think ingredients like these might be able to meld the flavours together more favourably. But if we can’t find a good recipe to mix this one in, I’m afraid we might just end up tossing it.