New Zealand is on a roll: Lord of the Rings, sauvignon blanc, kiwi fruit, Russell Crowe and Xena (not in that order), as well as the cleanest air and water in the world. And now those clever Kiwis have used that water to create a new, super-premium vodka: 42 Below. Made 42 degrees below the equator with pure volcanic spring water, four distillations and 35 filtrations, it's the trendiest vodka to hit this country in years. I think it beats Ketel One, Belvedere, Grey Goose and Chopin in the taste department (although with vodka, maybe that's the taste-less department), and it also comes in the novel flavors of Passionfruit, Manuka Honey and Feijoa -- a New Zealand fruit that tastes like a cross between guava, strawberry and pineapple. But since I was testing the vodka in the bar at the recently expanded Ristorante Amore, a fish bowl that all of Cherry Creek swims by, Passionfruit was the only way to go. And I loved the Passionfruit Cosmo ($8) made with 42 Below Passionfruit, Triple Sec, Rose's lime juice and cranberry juice -- not just because it was delicious, but because those New Zealanders had the good sense to produce a vodka that's 84 proof. That'll put you down under fast.
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