Square One Organic Spirits
“Founded & Owned by Allison Evanow.
Farming for Flavor — Square One makes 100% rye vodka because rye
offers richer flavors than the more common grains and potatoes used for
most vodka. Rye is one of nature’s most complex and flavorful grains, which
is why humans cultivate it. Its dense fiber makes it hard to grind into flour or
cook into other edible forms, but it tastes great! When the art of distilling grain
mash into spirits was discovered, it was the same: rye tasted better, but it was
harder to work with. This is why rye was the base ingredient in the vodka of
connoisseurs and aristocrats in centuries past: those who wanted the best
were willing to pay for the extra labor required. And that’s why rye is the grain
of choice for Square One: a great cocktail should come from the best
ingredients, even if that means going a few extra miles.
Organic Farming and Fermentation — The next step was choosing to
make Square One spirits organic from beginning to end, so that the rich
natural flavor of the rye would not be muted in any way. Finding organically
grown rye turned out to be the easy part. The hard part was finding a distiller
willing and able to turn the rye into vodka without synthetic chemicals.
Conventional vodkas are made with laboratory yeasts and a range of
synthetic chemical agents that regulate fermentation of grain into a mash so
that it can be distilled into a spirit. All these synthetics have become standard
because they ensure uniform, speedy processes. But Square One was still
thinking about that great cocktail, so the company worked with a master
distiller for nearly two years to develop and refine a proprietary process that is
all natural, all the time. The result is that the rye flavors remain vibrant in the
vodka, and Square One spirits are much more sustainable for the earth from
beginning to end. It’s technically possible to distill out synthetic chemicals, but
Square One Organic Spirits cares about the earth and its grain farmers just
as much as it cares about its customers.
Exposing the Myth of Distillation — Many vodka brands proudly proclaim
that they have been distilled numerous times in copper or copper-plated pot
stills. But Square One’s master distiller uses only one short distillation in a
four-column continuous still and one time pass through a micron-paper filter.
The Square One vodka comes out clear and full of flavor. With Square One
Bergamot, Square One chooses taste over looks and purposely leaves the
essential citrus oils in the spirit, which creates a slight haze in the spirit. So
what’s going on with other vodkas? It turns out that distillation doesn’t add
anything to vodka – it only takes away impurities. That’s why most vodka has
no flavor or character: they’re stripped out during distillation along with
residues from fermentation chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers. Square One
never contains those impurities, so it doesn’t have to distill them out.
Focusing on “Culinary Cocktails” — Square One’s vision of a great vodka
cocktail isn’t necessarily sweet. It can be savory, or bring a balance of sweet
and savory like fine wine (or good Thai food). It can be enjoyed with food,
whether that means pairing with tapas at the bar before going dancing or
lingering over a cocktail well into the first course at the dinner table. This is the
kind of cocktail that company founder Allison Evanow liked to create for
herself, and she found that successful mixologists and sophisticated cocktail
fans shared her experience. So she founded Square One to create spirits that
would make it easier for everyone to create “culinary cocktails” – drinks that
take their flavor cues from the garden, not the mixer aisle at the liquor store.
Growing the brand organically — Square One’s focus on the cocktail as
the inspiration for the spirit is unconventional, yet it’s been one of the
company’s strongest selling points. Instead of raising money for glossy
magazine ads and billboards, the company took its story to bars and
restaurants where great cocktails are born. Those who added Square One
spirits to their line-up did so because they tasted the quality, understood the
potential, and believed in a better future for cocktails. The word spread until it
reached every state in America and a growing list of countries outside the
What Square One does is not simple, easy or ready for mass production.
That’s because the company aims for the same standard as innovative chefs
in great restaurants: essential flavors from nature, brought to the table with
elegant simplicity or in inspired combinations that seem startlingly new yet
immediately welcome. The difference, perhaps, is that anyone can make a
great cocktail with Square One spirits! ”
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