Made in Minnesota: Feel-good vodka

Distilled from local corn, Prairie Organic Vodka rivals any import

By Maggie Kelly

Ah, the sound of ice clinking against glass. The folks at Prairie Organic Vodka understand what a cool drink can fix on a hot summer day. Family farms near Benson are the source of its corn-based vodka, the making of which is not simple. Each field is prepared for three years before planting in order to ensure the corn is USDA-certified organic — no pesticides, artificial fertilizers, or genetically modified seeds.

The feel-good factors abound with this label. Leftover corncobs are converted to bio-gas energy to power the stills, and leftover distiller grains are sent to farms for reuse. And since this vodka is made in western Minnesota, far less petroleum is used in bringing it to your glass than with imported brands.

Good for Minnesota and good for the environment, but what about the taste? With hints of melon and pear on the nose and a smooth finish, this local spirit rivals the most luxurious imports. Launched by Minneapolis giant Phillips Distilling Company in 2008, the brand recently expanded with Prairie Organic Cucumber Vodka and Prairie Organic Gin. Visit to learn more, and don't forget the ice.