Happy Monday, football fans, party fans, Seattle and New England residents – you made it through the mega-gigantopolistic-wham-o-dyne extravaganza known as Super Bowl!

The Grog Dog couldn’t possibly have offered better game-time cocktail recommendations than my drinking buddies at Liquor and Drinking In America, so I didn’t try. But I enjoyed my own Super Bowl cocktail so much, I just had to blog about it!

My brother and sister-in-law – to whom I credit my cocktail journey – gave me a bottle of Vermont White vodka for Christmas, and it’s a delicious follow-up to last year’s gift of award-winning Barr Hill Gin.

Had I been rooting for a Super Bowl team I might have chosen some themed cocktails for the evening (Cape Codder? Washington Appletini?), but I was simply thirsty – and Vermont White, it turns out, is an excellent quencher.

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Vermont White is made by the Vermont Spirits Distilling Company, a craft distiller located in Quechee, Vermont. (Unrelated note: My autocorrect wants me to spell it “Quiche”, Vermont. There’s a small joke in there somewhere.)

Vermont White is distilled from whey – yes, the liquid that remains after milk has been curdled and strained to make cheese. Vermont being a huge dairy state, it’s terrific that Vermont Spirits is finding an excellent use for that unglamorous by-product. (Never fear; this vodka does not taste anything like cheese or milk!)

Before chilling the bottle in the freezer (the only way to keep your vodka), I tasted it neat at room temperature. It felt “big”, with a blooming heat from the alcohol rather than a sharp bite. It had an unusual but pleasant creamy flavor and slightly viscous mouthfeel that reminded me of a liqueur.

During the game, I poured a basic vodka-and-soda: 2 oz. Vermont White over ice in a tall glass, topped with club soda – with no garnish, as I wanted to taste-test the vodka itself. It was very smooth and slightly sweet, with no discernible alcohol bite when mixed with soda. As the ice melted and diluted the vodka further, it became lighter but didn’t lose the distinctive mellow taste. Score!

So take a moment to search your local liquor store or online for some unusual craft spirits like Vermont White and Barr Hill Gin. Craft distillers are doing what they do because they love it, and if they’ve been successful enough to market their products in stores, they’re probably pretty good at it. You just might find a new favorite to include in next year’s Super Bowl party lineup!