10 years ago

Local Pick: Prairie Organic Vodka and Gin

This fantastic local distiller grows its own organic corn on the Minnesota prairie to create award-winning single-vintage vodka and gin. In fact, owner John Sather and his family still farm the same prairie land their great-grandfather first broke by hand with a horse and plow.  

It takes three years to prepare each field, allowing the soil to cleanse itself from any contaminants and regenerate its nutrient base. Once the fields are ready, the family plants a 25-foot buffer crop to ensure that chemicals from neighboring farms don’t contaminate the Prairie crops. Since Prairie doesn’t use herbicides, they control weeds with old-fashioned prairie fires. Instead of pesticides, they rely on native birds and bats to eat insects.

After the harvest, the corn is brought to the farmer-owned distillery in Benson, Minnesota – a sustainable co-op that converts leftover corncobs into fuel and returns the leftover distillers’ grains to local farmers for use as feed.

Once it leaves the distillery in Benson, Prairie is bottled in the town of Princeton by Ed Phillips and Sons – a fifth generation and family-operated distilled spirits company.

Here’s a delicious way to enjoy Prairie Organic Vodka this summer: Mix up a Bootlegger, a Minnesota-born country club cocktail that’s gone mainstream:

Prairie Organic Bootlegger

  • 1-½ oz Prairie Organic Vodka
  • ½ oz lime cordial
  • 3 fresh mint leaves

Shake and strain into a highball glass with ice. Top with soda water.