June 24, 2024
‘I think it’s the future of our industry:’ vodka in a cardboard bottle

‘I think it’s the future of our industry:’ vodka in a cardboard bottle

The bottle

Half Shell Vodka, $24.99

The back story

We’re about to head into April, which is Earth Month. And that had me thinking about booze with an earth-minded point of view. Of course, there are wines made with biodynamic practices. Or grain-to-glass whiskey.

But here’s something else: A vodka that’s bottled in…cardboard.

Half Shell Vodka, a newly launched spirit made by Distillery 98, a micro distillery located in the Florida Panhandle village of Grayton Beach, is indeed packaged just like that. The bottle, which has the same familiar shape as the traditional Bordeaux-style glass wine vessel, comes courtesy of a British manufacturer, which markets it by noting that it has a “carbon footprint up to six times lower than a glass bottle.”

Distillery 98 co-owner Harrison Holditch told MarketWatch that the eco-conscious commitment doesn’t end there. The distillery uses locally sourced corn to make Half Shell Vodka. But the name of the spirit refers to the Panhandle’s famed oysters — and the vodka is distilled using what’s billed as a “one-of-a-kind activated coconut carbon and oyster shell filtration system.” Plus, as Holditch says, “Our distillery is about four miles straight from the beach.”  

Holditch admits that shipping the cardboard bottles from England diminishes the carbon footprint-saving aspect somewhat. But he said he has ambitions to manufacture the bottles locally. And he believe it’s only a matter of time before others hop on the cardboard-bottle bandwagon. “I think it’s the future of our industry,” he said.

What we think about it

Well, the packaging is certainly different: It has the feel of a cardboard box, but it holds the liquid without any issues (there’s a liner pouch inside the cardboard shell). As for the vodka itself, it has an appealing flavor profile on the sweet side — that’s probably the corn talking — with a clean finish.

How to enjoy it

There’s no difference pouring out your vodka from a cardboard or glass bottle, so pour away. Holditch says he likes using the vodka in a martini. But a caveat: Right now, Half Shell is available only in its home state of Florida, though there are plans to expand beyond that soon.

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