My Fellow Inebriates,
What’s interesting about vodka connoisseurs is the value they place on the spirit being without taste. The most prized vodkas taste like nothing and disappear without a trace into mixers such as tonic and orange juice. This is what makes vodka so dangerous. You keep tasting your hi-ball to see if you can taste the vodka, and if you can’t, you add more. Next thing you know…well, you know.
I wondered whether CRYSTAL HEAD, a brainchild of “invisible world” enthusiast Dan Ackroyd, would impart that throat-parching edginess that is the hallmark of cheaper vodkas, or whether, with its sizeable price tag, it would be a bit more refined. My mouth is already furry inside, so I’m fairly forgiving of vodkas that evaporate one’s saliva, but I still wanted to see where this peculiar skull would land on the vodka spectrum.
The best test is the straight sip, so I sat up in bed and got to it.
The skull-shaped bottle references the great mystery of the 13 crystal skulls from ancient legend. Many believe there is a connection between the skulls and the upcoming End of Days. Each of the 13 skulls carries a distinct type of knowledge, and together the posse form a repository of unimaginable power that will be unleashed in the Apocalypse.
The smell is neutral, perhaps a little citrus despite the advertised lack of citrus oil in the vodka’s production. The first sip is sharp—not as smooth as expected, but it settles down in the mouth, finishing in an almost imperceptible vanilla sweetness. The mouthfeel is jagged and edgy, amplified by an acetone quality that seems to magnify with each sip.
I decided to lurch downstairs with my freaky skull and try a lemonade mixer. The kids asked me what was doing with their lemonade, and I told them I was making it extra yummy.
But it wasn’t. Far from disappearing into the lemonade, CRYSTAL HEAD seemed to crackle through it like with chemical harshness, that acetone taste redoubling in spikes that hurt my teeth. I loved it. It was the best way to wake up ever, and I’m grateful to my (yes, my) wonderful friend Pixie for a mind-altering taste trip that absolutely launched me out of my comfort zone. Drink up, people, the end of the world is coming sooner than you think.