Malcolm Jolley tries an interesting spirit from British Columbia.

A couple of my friends have recently adopted a vodka diet. I should clarify, that they are not drinking vodka to try and lose weight, but are drinking vodka, straight or mixed with soda or sparkling water, instead of other alcoholic drinks. In one case, my friend explained that she avoided debilitating hangovers, if she stuck to the clear stuff. Another friend echoed this rationale and added he thought he could better keep track of how much he drank in an evening if he kept the contents of his glass transparent. I can’t attest to either claim as I am much too much of a wino to give up my stemware, but I thought of each of them the other day when I was asked to try a vodka that’s relatively new to the Ontario market.

Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka (LCBO# 486258 – $28.25 for a 750ml bottle) is made by Vancouver based Goodridge & Williams. Distillation at Goodridge & Williams is overseen by Steven Goodridge, an industry veteran. The distillery is fairly new, conceived as a project built around Goodridge’s expertise (and 38 plate rectification still) by the branding and communications company Me&Lewis, which has offices in Vancouver and Toronto. After years working for alcohol industry clients, one of the founding principals at the firm, Paul Meehan, thought it would be interesting if he put his money where his mouth was and got into the business himself. The distillery makes a range of products, but Sid’s was launched at the beginning of April and is something of a flagship.

It’s a pleasant drink with an all important “clean” taste, and just a touch of perceived sweetness (although there no actual sugar in the bottle), that lends itself nicely to a squeeze of lemon or lime. It’s also reasonably priced at under $30 and made from a 90% wheat and 10% barley blend of grains farmed in the  High Peace River Valley and water from Delta, making it a 100% BC product.