Tulip Vodka - Gastro Obscura
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Tulip Vodka

Flower bulbs are the main ingredient of this quintessentially Dutch spirit.

Vodka can be made out of nearly anything. While it’s typically made from potatoes or grain, a new version of the liquor has sprouted up. Made from tulip bulbs, it comes, of course, from the Netherlands.

Released in the winter of 2017, Dutch Tulip Vodka draws on the country’s long love of the tulip. Bred for their beauty during the Ottoman Empire, they were introduced into the Netherlands in the 16th century. Carolus Clusius, a doctor and botanist, grew the exotic tulip in the garden he managed at the University of Leiden. When thieves stole and sold bulbs from his garden, they inadvertently laid the path for the infamous Tulip Mania of the 1630s, one of the first economic bubbles in history. Now Clusius Craft Distillers, named for the famed botanist, makes vodka from fermented tulip bulbs. 

The company makes two varieties. One, the Dutch Tulip Vodka Pure, is entirely made of water and tulip bulbs, 350 a bottle, to be exact. Another, the Dutch Premium Blend, is combined with grain spirits, and contains around 40 bulbs. Naturally, both offer plenty of floral notes with each sip.

Need to Know

So far, only a handful of Dutch retailers carry the tulip vodka. The "Pure" goes for €295 ($334), while the “Premium” blend costs €48 ($55).

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Anne Ewbank Anne Ewbank
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