The past few years have seen explosive growth in the infused vodka category. Every manufacturer from Smirnoff to Stoli has gotten into the game by infusing their vodkas with all types of fruits and berries. But leave it to the Dutch to infuse vodka with “herbs.”
As usual I bought a bottle of Sonnema VodkaHerb because it was something I had never tried and it was on sale. The original MSRP is usually around $30. I got a bottle for $14.99 because the owner of the store said it wasn’t moving very well. I was actually the first person to buy a bottle from him. I wasn’t sure at the time if that me brave, adventurous, crazy or just stupid.
I went home and made my usual vodka test drink of vodka and Simply Orange. Mixed half and half. The first thing I noticed was the smell. Light and airy with a hint of…well, herbs. I wouldn’t say it goes great with orange juice, but the pairing doesn’t taste bad. However, Sonnema is probably one of the best martini candidates I’ve ever come across. So the taste is kinda cool as is the smell, but it’s what this mysterious herb-infused vodka did to me that was strange.
I did my usual bit of enjoying my drink while sitting in my recliner and doing various things on the computer while getting my daily fill of HD DIRECTV. I usually have 2-3 drinks and stay up until around midnight or 1 a.m. But this night was different. I drank my first Sonema and orange juice and then made myself another around 9:30 p.m. I took a few sips and set it beside me on the end table and put my feet up to watch Fringe. I woke up at 2 a.m. fully reclined with a full glass of watered-down Sonnema and orange juice on the end table. I wrote it off as being too tired and not knowing it.
The next night I followed the same routine and got the same results. one and a half drinks and out. “Just a weird coincidence,” I thought to myself. The exact same thing happened each night until the bottle was gone, which didn’t take long considering I was wasting as much as I was drinking every night.
I went on the Sonnema website to find out what kind of herb they use in their vodka. I read every page of every document they had on the site. Nothing. Not a single word about what types of “herbs” they put in Sonnema.
With no real documentation to go on, I can only make assumptions based on my own experiences about what’s in Sonnema. That being said, I only know of one “herb” that puts me out like a light, and I don’t think that it’s a mere coincidence that Sonnema is imported from Holland. You gotta love the Dutch.
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Sonnema is actually not famous for making vodka here in Holland. They’re more known for their herbal ‘bitter’ called Beerenburg. The drink is Frisian, so it’s from the northern part of Holland.
I think it’s a pretty good drink, maybe you should try it! The name of the drink is Sonnema Beerenburg. Good luck!
From: http://www.sonnemahomeofcomedy.nl/sonnema-vodkaherb.aspx :
“Sonnema VodkaHerb is een eigenzinnige premium wodka, op basis van geheim kruidenreceptuur. Uniek in zijn soort, eerlijk en puur, voorzien van een rijke historie en een no-nonsense houding.”
Which translates to
Sonnema Herb Vodka is a unique premium vodka, based on secret herbal recipes. Unique in its kind, honest and pure, with a rich history and a no-nonsense attitude.
So basically they don’t want you to know. I am from Holland and I do know Sonnema as a premium vodka (I think they make extra pure; distilled 3 times) but I never heard of this “herbal” stuff.