Five Vodkas to Drink Instead of Ciroc
The one thing that has continued to baffle me since we've been open is how many people are surprised that we don't carry Ciroc. It's something I decided pretty early on even though I think that Diddy is a marketing genius. When I was in college, I found out about his Blue Flame marketing agency and I was so in love with it that I planned on mailing them my resume every day until they finally had no choice but to give me an internship. However, I got really depressed that year and had zero willpower to do anything. As I write this, I'm realizing that had that not happened, I would probably be marketing the hell out of Ciroc today.
Anyway, since depression is real (and therapy is cool), I now have a bar in Atlanta where I've had the chance to discover some amazing spirits. I don't personally drink Ciroc, but that's not the only reason we don't carry it. We don't carry Ciroc because Diddy's marketing team is too good. These evil geniuses have been able to convince a lot of people that if it's not Ciroc, it's not quality, they shouldn't drink it and they can't have a good time with it. That's genius.
If we carried Ciroc, few people would try anything else. When people come in and understand and appreciate our artsyness, this works well. When we have time to explain to people what we carry and why, people adjust and actually get excited about it. When we're super slammed, this all sucks. Still, I stick with it. (I'm told I'm pretty stubborn.)
So what do we carry? I've always favored brands that were started by two guys that wanted to do something different. It fits our curious and creative spirit. The packaging also needs to be pretty and of course the liquid needs to be high quality. Here's what we have and why:
1. Boyd and Blair - This is one of my favorites. In general, I’m not a huge vodka person. Boyd & Blair is one of the first vodkas that made me go: "...Hmmm...that’s interesting. Ok vodka!" Maybe it’s because it’s made from potatoes and I love potatoes. No, it doesn’t actually taste like potatoes.
2. Cathead Vodka - If you’re into flavored vodkas, their pecan vodka is a gem (it's the only flavored anything we've ever carried). We put it in a cocktail with soursop and while it didn't stay on the menu long it was one of my favorite creations. All around, Cathead is a cool company with good people. They support live music and we support that.
3. Ketel One - Ketel One comes from the Nolet Distillery. They’ve been making vodka for 325 years. That is a VERY long time. If you’ve been making something that long, I just believe you know a little bit about what you’re doing. This is the vodka that premium vodka drinkers will settle for when they don't recognize the others.
4. Tito’s - This was actually started by a guy named Tito. They're no longer that small, but it's been nice to see them grow in such a crowded field. It’s a great vodka at a solid price point. It’s also gluten free if you care about that kinda thing (although I’m pretty sure that all alcohol is gluten free...science and all).
5. Rock Town Vodka - This is our house spirit. It’s handcrafted, affordable, plays well with others, and won’t have you feeling terrible in the morning. (Unless you drink too much and that’s just on you.)
I know I haven’t converted any of you staunch Ciroc advocates because again: Diddy = marketing genius. And that’s ok. However, if you drink vodka and come to Studio No. 7, can you please try something else and not insist that we don’t have anything?
I didn't want to nerd out too much about tasting profiles and such. If you want to come by and taste a few things and chat some more about this stuff, just let me know.