The hardest part about this review is finding where to start. The concept is so original that there may only be one way to start, and Misadventure & Co already put it on their website: A bartender and agricultural economist walked into a bar…
A conversation held in a Southern California bar was followed by four years of R&D and culminated in a vodka made from unsold baked goods. Currently, Misadventure & Co is keeping 78,000 pounds of baked goods out of landfills per year, which accounts for 140,000 pounds of CO2 required for producing the equivalent amount of new distillates. For the sake of comparison, according to the US Energy Information Administration, combusting a gallon of the most common gasoline can produce around 17.5 pounds of CO2. As the project grows, Misadventure hopes to scale those figures up to 8.5 million pounds of baked goods and 15.25 million pounds of CO2. In other words, drinking this vodka is having a direct, positive impact on the environment.
I’m no expert on the lifecycle of baked goods, but it goes something like this:
Fresh and packaged baked goods ranging from bagels to cookies land on the shelf at your local supermarket. Not all the packages sell, so food banks pick up the massive amounts of excess. Because of the massive volume of unsold goods going into the food bank, not all of the food can be distributed. What’s left ends up in a landfill. That’s where Misadventure & Co steps in.
Misadventure & Co takes the left over baked goods, still in their original packaging, and gives them a new home: a custom pot still. This allows the distillers to fine tune the ethanol produced from the flour in the baked goods to get rid of any undesirable molecules. They distill 12 times and filter 180 times through coconut carbon and a custom filtration system. In other words, Misadventure Vodka is as pure as the driven snow.
And it’s excellent.
Misadventure is a vodka drinker’s vodka. It’s accessible and very good if you have a casual relationship with vodka, but if you pay attention, the vodka says a lot. It’s quite sweet at the start, conjuring images of cupcakes in my mind. As the vodka lingers, a tongue-tickling peppery flavor comes to the fore. It feels nice in the mouth and smooth on the swallow. The aftertaste lingers a bit and keeps the same peppery sweet flavor. Misadventure is a delight to drink straight.
I put Misadventure vodka through a series of my favorite mixed drinks. The vodka, in part due to it’s flavor, mixes very well in sweet cocktails.
Misadventure vodka makes a perfect screwdriver. The sweetness of the vodka hides very well in Simply Orange. In fact, stronger mixes simply taste like watered down orange juice. I don’t ask a lot from a vodka in a cocktail this simple, but it delivers everything I ask for.
Frequent readers know that I also like to put some Pom pomegranate juice as an add on to my screwdriver, and this is excellent as well. The vodka complements the ingredients by staying under the flavor profile of the juices. Misadventure is a team player in a cocktail.
I made my first vodka martini with Misadventure. I used a 2:1 vodka to vermouth mixture with a dash of orange bitters. I don’t have any real experience with martinis, especially making my own, but this martini exceeded my expectations. Since I haven’t fully formulated an opinion on vermouth, I can say Misadventure tastes great given the constituent parts. That makes sense knowing Misadventure is so good straight.
I don’t know if Misadventure converted me to a martini drinker, but, due in no small part to the quality of the vodka, I have a much better opinion of the cocktail now. Misadventure isn’t just for fancy drinks, though. As a down-home, daily driver vodka, Misadventure won’t let you down. It’s delicious straight and it played nice with every mixer I threw at it. That alone would make for a great vodka. Add on the original concept of reducing food waste, and there’s no down side to this vodka.