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THL: What is it?
Hangar One Buddha’s Hand Citron Vodka is distilled with lemons and mandarin oranges.
THL: Why should you try it?
There are a bounty of citrus vodkas on the shelves. When Hangar One founder, Jorg Rupf, began his quest to create a flavored citrus vodka, he started his journey at the University of California’s Experiment Station. The Station is a mad scientist garden of rare citrus fruits, including the ancient Etrog Citron, Yuzu lemons and Emerald mandarins. The quest for the perfect citrus led him to Buddha’s Hand, an early ancestor of the lemon, whose long segmented “fingers” provide inspiration for its name. Jorg then sought the expertise of John Kirkpatrick, a citrus superstar whose small family farm now grows acres of the Buddha’s hand. Hangar One uses only the finest fruits at the peak of ripeness. The entire fruit — seeds, stems and all — is used in the infusion, so the final product has flavors and qualities beyond what the juice or zest alone would provide. The resulting Buddha’s Hand Citron flavored vodka is as tasty as it is unique.
THL: Who makes it?
What began as a limited edition batch for Hangar One’s “Tasting Room Series” at St. George Spirits, was quickly swept up as demand outpaced supply. Since that time, Hangar One has tripled production, and the vodka can now be purchased across the county.
THL: What does it taste like?
Hangar One Buddha’s Hand Citron is not a lemon flavored vodka that smells like Pledge. It is slightly sweet, with bright flavors of honey and citrus.
THL: How should you drink it?
The Buddist Monk from Robben Shulz of the Alley Bar in Detroit, Michigan was the most popular Buddha’s Hand Citron Vodka cocktail submitted to Hangar One’s Facebook Page . The use of melon and the herbaceous Green Chartreuse are the perfect pair for this uncommon vodka.
2 ounces Hangar One Buddha’s Hand Citron vodka
1/3 ounce Green Chartreuse
3/4 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 ounce Honey Simple Syrup
One square inch Watermelon Cube
Pour Green Chartreuse into old-fashioned glass, tilt the glass, and rotate to rinse with Chartreuse. Fill an old fashioned glass with ice and set aside. Muddle watermelon in cocktail shaker. Add Lemon Juice, Honey Simple Syrup, Buddha’s Hand Citron vodka and ice. Shake for 15 seconds, and strain into Chartreuse rinsed old-fashioned glass. Garnish with lemon zest.
Honey Simple Syrup: Mix 1 part honey with 1 part water. Stir until honey dissolves.