The latest celebrity spirit, this one from Aquaman Jason Mamoa, is actually as good as vodka gets –
especially for the price!
Meili Vodka is the newest celebrity spirit to hit the shelves, and it not only tastes great, looks great on the bar, it also comes with a mission. Jason Mamoa (aka Khal Drogo and Aquaman), teamed up with Blaine Halvorson, a famous LA based clothing designer born and raised in Montana in the same region where the grains and water used come from. It is no surprise Mamoa’s latest venture is a continuation of his passion for saving the environment. Through his many endeavors from canned water, to being a constant advocate for clean oceans, removing single use plastic, and preserving the Hawaiian islands, Mamoa has ensured that Meili (pronounced May-Lee) vodka was created, sourced, and produced as ethically, environmentally friendly, and humanely as possible. Bringing awareness to the sustainability of how you can make things, and the footprint you leave behind without jeopardizing the quality. The vodka is designed to enjoy neat, not as the key ingredient in a cocktail, and once you taste it, you may just realize that this is quite possibly the best sipping vodka in existence, much less in the sub $30 category.
The bottle is made of 100% post consumer recycled glass, embossed with the name and a metal insignia, and the hidden line, Where will Meili take you. The glass is a beautiful bubble pocked transparent sea glass green, the imperfections (much like the scar above Mamoa’s left eye), enhance the overall beauty of the bottle.
Instead of proclaiming how many times the vodka has been filtered, the company focuses on the most important ingredient, the water. The water used to make the vodka is from a regenerative water source in Montana, and is considered one of the purest on Earth by EPA standards. Meaning they don’t have to treat the water before it’s mixed with the vodka out of the still and put into the bottle (proofing down is the act of adding water to spirits that have been proofed to reach a target alcoholic strength). The first batch notes Montana Aquifer/Spring Batch on the adhered label, but the duo hints at using other water sources for future limited release bottleings. The grains used are sourced from generational farmers located close to the water source
But what about what’s inside? The vodka smells like a river, and the taste is as smooth as a tumbled stone. It’s dangerously good with a rich texture, and minimal alcoholic bite on the finish. Akin to a Daiginjo sake that also relies heavily on water being the main ingredient. It is without a doubt the best tasting vodka I have ever experienced, and does not need ice, or any other mixers to be enjoyed.
Melissa L. Smith is the founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services and the creator of the Wine Collecting Master Class.
Prior to transitioning full time into the sommelier world, she traveled extensively as a fine dining chef spending 15 years in some of the top kitchens in the country as well as Japan, including stints at the French Laundry, and at Terra, under chef Hiro Sone. After spending years roaming the country with her knife bag and an unbridled sense of adventure, bouncing from a Relais & Chateaux dude ranch in Montana to a hunting camp in Idaho, to a charter yacht in Southeast Alaska, and a pineapple scented season in Maui, Melissa then spent time as the private chef for families of industry giants, and settled down in the San Francisco Bay Area to pursue a career in wine and hospitality.
Melissa is certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers, The Culinary Institute of America, The California State Bar Association, The Sake Education Counsel, and the Appraisers Association for USPAP. Melissa’s work has been published in print and online, and she is often used as a trusted source for industry news.