|Christian "Woodside" Gonzalez crushing citrus behind the bar|
Last night at SoBe's swanky Shore Club
, the usual crowd of clean-cut marketing types, long-legged girls, and old dudes with braided ponytails gathered to imbibe large quantities of free booze. I was there, too. And together in the Red Room, we all loaded up on sips and shots of a new local liquor, 4 Orange Vodka
Now, unlike most vodkas, this stuff isn't distilled from grain, potato, or beet molasses. Instead, 4 Orange is made using (duh!) oranges. More specifically, it's produced from four distinct varieties of orange -- Parson Brown, Temple, Valencia, and Hamlin -- all grown in the Peace River basin. The vodka's also distilled locally at Florida's first registered distillery in Lake Alfred. And to certify the product's "From Florida" status, each bottle's stamped with a little, sun-rising-over-land-and-water logo from the Florida Department of Agriculture.
In any case, everyone got a taste. And some, like me, got six. There were certain delicate individuals who tried their 4 Orange in a cocktail, like the oh-so-girly Pink Flamingo (vodka, triple sec, simple syrup, fresh lime juice, cranberry juice, and a lime wedge) or the ultra-weird Heat Wave (vodka, cherry tomatoes, red chiles, basil leaves, simple syrup, and bitters). But personally, I preferred guzzling this tangy 80-proof booze straight from the mini-bar bottles in our gift bags. That's how the chic, sophisticated, and slightly sleazy do it.
Say what? You want some? Well, currently, 4 Orange Vodka isn't available at very many retail outlets. The 750ml bottle ($24.99) should hit all Florida stores later this month. In the meantime, get your guzzle on by visiting Swank City, a.k.a. the Shore Club, or one of the other Miami-area boozing establishments already stocking 4 Orange, including Love Hate
, Automatic Slim's
, the Van Dyke
, and River Lounge. Now, go forth, the citrus stuff awaits you.