As I said in the Ving Farm Fresh Vodka Review, Ving embodies Southern California. The straight vodka takes you there, but the kale, lemon peel, and cucumber variant takes SoCal to a new level.
I hate kale. It takes a lot of effort, and by effort I mean bacon, to tasted good on a plate. I have no qualms with cucumber. Lemon peel varies by day. But if you mix them together in a vodka, maybe you have something.
Straight Ving is a great vodka. Start tossing some rabbit food in it, and you get into some serious subtleties. It’s very rare that I can keep a vodka around for a month, let alone 3 months. And, yet, here I am finishing up the last ounces of this vodka long after I opened it.
On the first tastes, the kale was so peppery that I couldn’t get anything else out of it. I could only get a slight hint of lemon, but it was mostly peppery kale.
It took until the very last ounces of this vodka to find the sweet in the back of my palate. The peppery kale is strong but the sweet cucumber just barely lingers on the finish.
This is unlike any infused vodka I’ve had before. If you are into sipping liquors like Scotch or Bourbon, you really need to try this vodka. You have to take a deep dive with this vodka to root out the flavors. If you’re not committed, there are easier vodkas to get your palate around. But, if you dedicate yourself, there’s a great payoff.
My first inclination after tasting this vodka was that it needed to go into a Bloody Mary, and I’m really upset that I landed there. Not because the Bloody Mary isn’t good, but because I limited myself.
Ving’s kale variant is excellent in a Bloody Mary. The peppery flavors were perfect with Zing Zang. That said, I don’t think I accessed the depth of this vodka.
I tried a few of Ving’s cocktail examples, but failed at them all. I sadly spent way more time drinking Bloody Marys than I did drinking this vodka straight. I say “sadly” because I eventually found the nuance of this vodka, and I think I wasted it.
There are some things that you can only see in hindsight.
Ving Kale goes great in a Bloody Mary. Really great, actually. But I think there are a lot of other cocktails that it would go better in if I had the talent. Straight, if you want to pour it over ice, it’s really great once you get acclimated to the kale hints.
Maybe if I had spent another few years in SoCal to find out kale was a thing before I did in real life, I wouldn’t need that qualification. Maybe I’d already be indoctrinated. But, I got there eventually, and you probably will too.