Hangar One's "fruit-to-glass" flavored vodkas

Vote in their recent Tampa bartender contest!

Before my exhilarating ride in the Hangar One Blimp, I had the opportunity to sample all seven flavors first-hand. I can vouch that each flavor is extremely smooth and easy on the taste buds, which is good news for those of you who experience a gag reflex from certain other flavored vodkas. The Spiced Pear and Chipotle are unique because those flavors are trademark to Hangar One. I gravitated towards Chipotle, which is distilled from actual chipotle peppers. Spiced Pear was also delicious, and would be excellent in a Christmastime cocktail.

Bartender Geoff Crain of Fly Bar
Tampa's highlight of the Hangar One Blimp Tour was the bartender contest, held at Downtown Tampa's Fly Bar and Restaurant. Several local bartenders competed to determine who could create the best original cocktail, with Hangar One vodka being the star player.

Each bartender chose the vodka flavor(s) of their choice, and mixed up their creations live for the camera. The contestants were Bob Wagner (Ciro's Speakeasy and Supper Club), Daniel Guess (Fly Bar), Dean Hurst (SideBern's Restaurant), Ryan Pines (Bernini of Ybor), Kamran Mir (Czar), Lisa Hare (Fly Bar) and Geoff Crain (Fly Bar). Each bartenders' video is featured on Hangar One's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/hangaronevodka). The contest winner is determined by the number of 'Facebook Likes', so check out the videos and cast your vote today!

Fly Bar is the largest Hangar One vodka carrier in Tampa Bay, so it was an appropriate setting for the bartender contest. It is one of the classier cocktail bars (as well as a restaurant) in Tampa, featuring a selection of high-end liquors and handcrafted drinks. The paintings on their walls are creations of Tampa Bay area artist Sean Spoto, which adds an element of local charm.

Hangar One Vodka is available at most local liquor stores and served at select area bars. For further information on Hangar One, drink recipes and to find locations nearest you, visit www.hangarone.com.

Hangar One Bloody Mary

If you do not have all of these ingredients on hand, this drink is delicious with just Chipotle vodka and tomato juice — a simplified Bloody Mary, if you will.

1 1/2 ounces Hangar One Chipotle vodka
3 ounces tomato juice
4 1/4-inch slices of cucumber
3 fresh basil leaves
Dash lemon juice
Dash lime juice
2 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Pinch of salt
Black pepper to taste

Muddle cucumber, basil leaves, lemon juice and lime juice to a pulp in a shaker. Add remaining ingredients and ice, and shake. Strain into a glass with ice. Garnish with a leafy celery stalk.

click to enlarge Bartender Geoff Crain of Fly Bar - Hangar one
Hangar one
Bartender Geoff Crain of Fly Bar

  • Hangar one

If you looked up at the sky recently and swore that you saw a blimp floating by, you were not imagining it. A blimp did indeed grace the Tampa skyline — specifically, the Hangar One Blimp — making its way through Tampa Bay on its nationwide tour.

Hangar One is a high-end, domestic vodka distributor who recently joined the Proximo Spirits family; hence, the nationwide tour. Created by Jorg Rupf, with headquarters in Alameda, California, Hangar One prides itself on using authentic ingredients to flavor their vodkas.

"Hangar One is different from other vodkas because it is distilled from actual whole fruits, not flavored with extracts like other big names vodkas. Even the straight vodka flavor is distilled from Viognier grapes," said Billy Gallagher, Hangar One Vodka Brand Ambassador. Furthermore, all seven flavors are distilled twice in a process called "eau de vie," which removes the ethanol flavor present in most vodkas.

The flavors are: Straight, Mandarin Blossom, Kaffir Lime, Citron Buddha's Hand, Fraser River Raspberry, Spiced Pear and Chipotle. Straight, Mandarin Blossom, Kaffir Lime and Citron Buddha's Hand are available year-round, while Fraser River Raspberry, Spiced Pear and Chipotle are seasonal flavors.

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