This past week, we were invited to check out the newest invention of Steven Grasse, the guy that came up with Hendrick’s Gin, Sailor Jerry Rum, Root, Snap and Rhuby. This time around, he’s got a sort of fortified wine called Spodee, made with grape wine, moonshine and spices, and it’s definitely interesting.
We hit this one at just the right time, since we’ve been on a bit of a fortified wine kick and finding an excuse to have some Sherry after every meal. The event at the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym was a lot of fun with Rival Brothers Coffee, The Smoke Truck, Cookie Confidential (a long-time favorite of ours), and Little Baby’s Ice Cream. A few variations of the Spodee were being passed around, from a coffee concoction to the Spodee and Sody [cola], and I have to say it’s more versatile for mixing than most wines. I’m not a big coffee drinker to begin with, so the Spodee Coffee Cocktail didn’t do much for me other than taste like coffee, but I did enjoy the unfortunately named Spodee and Sody (which will join “Moons Over My-Hammy” on the list of things I may want but will never order by name). I was also able to grab a glass of Spodee on its own so I had a point of reference on what I was tasting elsewhere. It’s got a very unique flavor: very sweet, with chocolate flavors and grape that leans more toward raisin and black cherry flavor than what you generally think of when you imagine wine. At 18% alcohol, it’s not going to put anyone on their ass, but it’s got a flavor powerful enough to stand up to mixing. The chocolate undertones give me hope for using it as a vermouth or sherry sub, or even swapped for a sweeter amaro.
The long and the short of it is that it’s different, which is almost never bad. We’re looking forward to messing around with Spodee in some cocktails, and picked up a bottle just this weekend in Old City (at a surprisingly affordable $8.00 for a 500 ml bottle). Some of the stores seem to have it behind the counter on account of its small size, so don’t give up looking for it too quickly.
Thanks to Spodee for having us out!