By Charles Passy
If ever there was a spirit tailor-made for Halloween celebrations, it’s Crystal Head, the vodka, created by comedic legend Dan Aykroyd, that comes in a skull-shaped bottle.
But as much as Crystal Head is all about the vessel, it also has fans for the liquid inside — Aykroyd touts the fact that it’s made with “pristine” Canadian water (he’s a Canada native, after all) and is “always free from any oils, sugars or additives,” unlike some other vodkas. Since its launch in 2008, the brand has increased in popularity, with sales now topping 100,000 cases per year.
Aykroyd has also grown the brand by introducing different expressions and limited-edition offerings. Which brings us to Crystal Head’s latest release — dubbed Onyx. It’s special for not only its black bottle, true to the coloring of its namesake crystal, but also for the booze itself. That is, this vodka is made from blue agave, the same plant that goes into quality tequila. Aykroyd says the idea is to connect the growth of super-premium tequila to vodka — and to wed the flavors of the two spirits. “It is unlike anything you have tasted before,” he says.
This is very much a hybrid spirit — and a fascinating sip to enjoy. The tequila-like flavor comes through, but in somewhat subtle form, so we’d hardly call this a “flavored” vodka. Still, Aykroyd rightly notes that you can’t ignore the “unmistakable earthy grip” of the agave.
Although it’s a pricey vodka to use for mixing, we think that’s how this Crystal Head release is best appreciated. Aykroyd says he’s tried it in everything from a martini to a margarita. We opted for the latter and it worked very well.