2007_02_food_alchemyvodka.jpgOr is it all in the Alchemy? Flavored vodkas are everywhere these days, so it's rare to find one that stands out above the rest. You just might find that standout in Alchemy, an infused (not flavored) vodka from Agata Podedworny, who proudly touts her Polish heritage through her product. The bottle itself is striking, a sharp, angular and sleek design, with antiqued lettering reminiscent of chemical compounds. Alchemy sticks to traditional distilling processes, using water from ecologically protected land in known as "the green lungs of Poland," and is infused rather than merely flavored. While flavored vodkas are made by adding ingredients during the distillation process, infused vodka is made by introducing ingredients once the vodka has already been distilled.

Alchemy offers three infusions: Imbirowa, infused with ginger root, Wisniowa, infused with wild cherries from the Podlaskie region of Poland, and Czekoladowa, infused with cocoa. We had the opportunity to taste the latter, and found it to be quite delicious both chilled straight up and on the rocks, with a taste faintly reminiscent of tootsie rolls. Although Alchemy infusions can stand quite well on their own, their website offers cocktail creations from master mixologist Junior Marino of The Modern, including a few winter warmers. Try one of these creations to keep you cozy during our next cold spell:

1.5 oz. Alchemy Wild Cherry
1/2 oz. Ruby Red Port
1 oz. Pom
3 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
Put all the ingredients in a shaker, shake and serve in a martini glass and garnish with an orange twist.

1.5 oz. Alchemy Ginger
1/2 oz. Berentzel Apfel (apple liquor)
4 oz. hot apple cider
Garnish with a cinnamon stick.