Posted on | February 5, 2013
Written by | Cara McIlwaine
Sidney Frank Importing Reaps the American Harvest
Amid a powerful culinary movement fueled by artisanal-crafted food and drink, American farmers are finding themselves in the limelight, industrious champions of fresh-from-the-earth local ingredients. Sidney Frank Importing Company unveiled American Harvest Organic Spirit, the first USDA Certified Organic product in its portfolio, as a celebration of the American farmer and of sustainable agriculture. American Harvest launched in eight states in 2011 and expanded into thirteen additional states in 2012. The brand is expected to be available nationally by mid-2013.
Handcrafted in small batches using a continuous column distillation process in its Rigby, ID-based distillery, American Harvest is made with organic winter wheat sourced from a single purveyor: farmer Steve Rhodes. “He’s everything you imagine an American farmer to be—hardworking, dedicated and passionate,” points out Julie Byrne, American Harvest’s marketing brand manager. “Made-in-America is a major component of the brand,” she continues. “Thus far, consumers and trade have been extremely receptive to our All-American and organic messaging.” To complement the Idaho wheat, American Harvest also uses water from an aquifer of the sprawling Snake River. At an SRP of $23.99, American Harvest is quite competitive for the organic market.
The Alternative Vodka
At first glance, American Harvest may seem to have a lot in common with vodka, yet Byrne points out that despite the similarities, American Harvest is decidedly different: “It is organic vodka to which a proprietary blend of organic ingredients has been added, creating a truly unique vodka specialty. It’s a revolutionary way to look at the vodka category. The addition of these ingredients results in the distinctive, smooth, clean and crisp character of American Harvest.”
Sidney Frank’s long-heralded association with vodka allowed the company to explore a different approach. “We wanted something that offered a distinct taste, but that consumers could wrap their arms around because of the emotional benefit,” Byrne explains. “American Harvest is crafted with the same American values that this country was built on: integrity, opportunity, independence, hard work, innovation and pride.”
2 parts American Harvest
The juice of two tangerines Squeeze the tangerine juice
*To make the mint syrup, combine equal parts water and organic
As with any product new to the market, an emphasis on its mixability is key to making an impact on bartenders. That is why Byrne points to American Harvest’s versatility as one of its biggest assets, whether the spirit is enjoyed in its most basic form sipped on the rocks, or in one of the fresh, organic fruit libations whipped up by Todd Richman, Sidney Frank’s corporate mixologist.
When enjoyed neat, Richman explains, “American Harvest has an aroma of sweet pastry, lemon peel and black pepper. The taste is well-balanced with a creamy mouthfeel and a long finish.” In terms of mixing, “Craft cocktails have been using fresh ingredients since the origin of the cocktail. As the pendulum continues to swing toward that on a larger scale, having an organic spirit is a natural fit,” Richman says. “American Harvest has a great taste and texture, which makes it ideal. In stirred cocktails, the viscosity is fantastic; when shaken with fresh juices, it has body and the unique brand character is showcased in the drink.”