Charbay Meyer Lemon Vodka: Like Biting Into The Whole Fruit

Back in the 90s when I
was traveling around, I was stopping by restaurants and bars
and seeing what people were drinking and we were making brandies and liqueurs
and there were a lot of people drinking, a lot of wine and a lot of people that
weren’t drinking a lot of wine and they were drinking a lot of vodka
and we’re a distillery. People are drinking a ton of vodka. Let’s make vodka. That didn’t go over too well. Dad didn’t want to make vodka because
it was just ethanol and there was no flavor and dad’s an artist of flavor. And at that, at that time we did not
talk about flavored vodkas. The word was vodka and vodka to
me means distilled clear ethanol. It doesn’t matter what kind of
vodka it is, vodka is vodka for dad. So I went back to the bars and restaurants
I was haunting and there’s an orange flavored vodka, there’s a lemon flavored
vodka from big brands and that was it. That was it. There was only two or three flavored
vodkas back in the day and I’m looking at the shelf at this bar and there’s
a lemon flavored vodka. Well, we have this extract from Meyer Lemons.
It’s going to be fantastic. We’re going to use it for a liqueur,
but look at that. There’s a lemon flavored
vodka on the shelf. Let’s make Meyer lemon flavored vodka
instead of liqueur. And then I, uh, talked to dad and said, “Hey, you know, I know you don’t want to make clear vodka,
straight vodka, but, uh, you know, let’s take this Meyer Lemon extract that
we’re making and let’s make flavored vodka.
Let’s make Meyer Lemon flavored vodka. And then that way you can’t say that
there’s no flavor in our vodka anymore. And um, yeah, he, uh, dad agreed to it. And all of a sudden it went ballistic. This was made the whole fresh, literally whole fresh lemon or blood orange. We have no dyes, no preservatives, no
additives. Things fall out of solution, but you just turn it and then it goes
back into solution. All the color is, it’s coming from all one
hundred percent from real fruit. That’s the fundamental difference. So, again, we work with growers and we
get the product shipped over when it’s ready to roll, shred it immediately and start
the extraction process. So, what happens in the extraction process is,
I like to say it’s “A.S.E.T Technology.” It’s an Ancient Serbian Extraction
Techniques that my dad taught me. We use water, we use alcohol to pull and remove the colors and the
flavors of the entire fruit. So you get the oils from the skins, you
get the, the bitters from the zest, uh, from the pith, the inside
of the skin, the white part. And then you get all the juice and the
acidity and the sweetness from, you know, from the whole fruit. Different citrus
take different amounts of time to extract. The blood orange, or the Meyer Lemons,
it’s about 68 days. A little less, a little more sometimes. And once we create, once we pull the color and flavor
out of all that Meyer Lemon, then we integrate that into our vodka and
make fresh picked fruit flavored vodka Sometimes we add sugar to balance the acidity just to fine tune it. And that’s a, that’s a taste call. It’s not, you know, I wish it was a set in stone
where it’s like, this is it, this is how many pounds we had and that’s
it. We keep it. But, it’s not like that. Every season is different. We’re not
stamping cookies. Yeah, we add, we add, a splash to balance the acidity and
then once we have that dialed in, we filter it lightly just to
remove all the chunks, you know, of skins and of the fruit particles to try and make it
as clear as possible. But, you know, things fall out of solution,
but that’s because it’s real. You know, we don’t drop that
out. You know, it’s not a, it’s not one hundred percent,
well, it is. It is soluble, but there’s so much flavor that we pack
into the vodka that through time some things kind of fall out of solution
in the bottle. But like I said, you just like go this like, go like
that and it goes back into solution. It’s just, it’s just proof that this is
so ridiculously real. I mean, when you taste this you taste the skin, you taste the oils like
you’re squeezing a twist. You taste the bitters from the pith,
you tastes the juicy acidity. You taste everything from
the entire whole fruit.

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