When my good friend, local public affairs consultant Karen "B.A." Besserman, announced that she'd taken on a new client in the liquor industry, I scratched my head for a moment. Then I stopped to consider the fine line between promoting progressive politicians and promoting booze, and it all started to make a ton of sense -- even moreso when I learned that Ocean, the vodka brand Besserman is promoting, is organic. A-ha! Progressive vodka! Now we get it.
Ocean, which is made in Hawaii, has yet to be approved for sale in Washington State liquor stores -- a formality that should pass muster in the near future. It purports to be the only USFDA-certified organic vodka in the country (although others claim to be organic, they lack the government seal of approval). Last night, Besserman staged a blind taste test, similar to the Pepsi Challenge and consisting of a three-person taster panel: me, SW photographer 'Lil Scoop, and my Aunt Gayle, who's been privy to enough liquor tastings to cast doubt on her amateur status.
Before we sipped, Besserman poured four brands -- Ocean, Skyy, Grey Goose, and Smirnoff -- into several small Solo cups. Ocean, I shit you not, was the unanimous runaway winner, a million times more clean and refreshing than its soon-to-be rivals. The worst? Skyy and Grey Goose. Talk about overrated. If you're going to drink bad vodka, save some coin and stick to the well.
At the end of the Vodka Challenge, the panel had but one request of Besserman: Appoint a separate panel to go on a night-long bender with each brand, spread over the course of a couple weeks, and then report back on which caused the least strenuous hangover. Common logic would dictate that Ocean, with its natural ingredients, should prevail on this count; but only time -- and post-imbibery Excedrin tallies -- will tell.