IMG_1201Known for it’s vast mountain ranges, vibrant fall foliage, and nerve-wracking moose crossings, the little state of Maine can sometimes be overlooked by the liquor industry. However, it just so happens that there are some big boozy things happening up north. Twenty 2 Vodka Distillery, up in Brewer, ME, is putting their fresh and luscious local ingredients to good use, working to embrace the true flavor of Maine with their new collection of infused vodka. We were lucky enough to get our hands on three bottles from their new Rested Expressions Collection.

Our team was all too excited to try these new releases, and for good reason! The three flavors we sampled included Whole Bean Coffee, Black Peppercorn, and Orange & Lemon Peel! Each flavor also came with it’s own unique cocktail recipe card, which had us drooling before we could even start pouring. After grabbing necessities to whip up a few cocktails we gathered the crew to begin the sampling!

The very first thing that caught our eye was the bottles and the little “bits” floating them – trust us this WAS a good thing! These little bits were referring to are the ingredients, including local coffee beans from Skowhegan, ME, organic lemon & orange rinds, and black peppercorn, all used in the infusing process and giving the vodka it’s smooth, natural flavor. We fortunately didn’t have any of the infused ingredients fall into our drinks while pouring, but we assume when you get to the end of the bottle a strainer may be necessary!

We sampled the vodka straight as well as in three different cocktails, enjoying every sip! Like any other typical flavored vodka the product is offered in 750 ml bottles with the average 40% ABV, however the Rested Expressions line differs itself from the rest. Let’s just say the funky artificial after taste definitely wasn’t invited to the party in our mouths. But we’re sure you want a few more details than that, so check out what we thought of each flavor & the unique cocktail recipes that went along with them.

Whole Coffee Bean: This should definitely be the new drink of choice for all you who enjoy a good cup o’ joe. With a darker brown color from the coffee beans, this vodka has a bold, strong flavor profile, similar to black coffee. We recommend picking up a bottle to mix into your next batch of espresso martinis, or give this featured recipe a try, which comes highly recommended from yours truly!

Caffe Mocha Crema
In a rocks glass filled with cubed ice, combine:
2 oz Twenty 2 Rested Expressions Coffee Bean
2 tbsp. Vanilla Ice Cream
Chocolate Syrup Drizzle
Top with Cream Soda.

Black Peppercorn: If you’re a lover of all things spicy, then this Vodka is right up your ally. This booze also has a darker color, seeming almost black from absorbing the peppercorns. There’s no other way to spin it, this vodka was MADE for a Bloody Mary. Even though it offers little versatility, you’ll be sure to impress your friends at brunch by whipping up a round of Bloodys using this recipe!

Prepared Mary
In a pint glass filled with cubed ice combine:
2 oz Twenty 2 Rested Expressions Black Peppercorn
5 oz Bloody Mary Mix
Garnish with a celery stalk.

Lemon & Orange Peel: We aren’t sure there could be a more fitting spirit for summer time in New England. This vodka infused with both lemon and orange has tint of yellow reflective of it’s super light and refreshing flavor. Perfect for fruity punches and cocktails, this vodka has a vibrant, truly natural citrus taste. If you cant make it out to one of the beautiful Maine beaches this summer, mix up this cocktail and pretend you’re sitting on Old Orchard Beach.

Lobstah Trap
In a rocks glass filled with cubed ice, combine:
2 oz Twenty 2 Rested Expressions Leon Orange
½ oz Campari
Top with lemon Seltzer