While Colorado is known for its abundance of breweries, one underdog spirit infusion has remained an acquired yet popular taste. It’s a pickle infused vodka used to add a tart twist to any cocktail or simply combined with pickle brine in a shot glass.
Austin Chesser, owner and creator of The World Famous Pickle Vodka noticed the growing popularity of pickle shots among various bar-goers in Denver. Popular bars like Retro Room and Mile High Spirits have become known for their popular infused vodka shots incorporating pickle juice.
Having had experience working as a merchandiser for Southern Wine and Spirits, Chesser chose to change career paths and create his own vodka brand in 2016. Though the process wasn’t an easy one, he worked through 200 samples over eight months to find the right natural dill pickle flavor.
The 60-proof vodka is distilled in Idaho, sold in Colorado and newly in Montana. While Colorado is home for Chesser — having lived here since 2009, he does plan to expand and sell across the nation.
As for an alcohol dedicated solely to one pickled vegetable, Chesser believes this is the niche that could use more attention. Any plans to add additional flavors are still up in the air but flavors like mango or pineapple aren’t in the cards.
“I plan to keep my brand very niche, garden flavors mostly. Maybe a hot pickle or cucumber blend,” Chesser said.
The vodka carries its own pickled taste without needing any additional brine unless warranted. Because its specific taste may limit the variety of cocktails appearances, it doesn’t mean Chesser hasn’t tried. The World Famous Pickle Vodka website offers six different recipes to infuse this handcrafted spirit. From a traditional brunch drink paired with the Real Dill Bloody Mary mix to a Pickled Sunset with Agave, lime, orange juice and pickled vodka, the recipes are untraditional yet intriguing.
Though it’s been difficult for friends to gather for brunch in the past few months, Chesser is hopeful that pickle vodka lovers will do more shopping around at the liquor store to make their own cocktails or pickle shots at home.
To find The World Famous Pickle Vodka at your local liquor store click here.