A vodka that's good for the planet

An "Earth friendly" vodka is being introduced by McCormick Distillery, a Weston, MO, facility thought to be the oldest U.S. distillery west of the Mississippi River.

McCormick was founded in 1856 by Ben Holladay who went on to found the Pony Express and the Overland Stage Line. Its current portfolio includes such brands as McCormick Vodka, Tequila Rose, Tarantula Tequila, McCormick Irish Cream Liqueur, Wiser's Deluxe Canadian Whisky and Polar Ice Vodka.

The new product, 360 Vodka, is described as "an All-American spirit" to compete in the super premium category.

Ed Pechar, chairman of McCormick Distilling Co., located near Kansas City, says his company is crafting 360 Vodka through a unique, eco-friendly packaging program that will allow his company to support environmentally friendly groups with a "360 Close the Loop Program."

In addition to using American grain, 360 will be offered in a bottle using 85% recycled glass and a green-friendly packaging. Pechar said McCormick will set aside $1 for every closure returned to the "360 Close the Loop Program" to recognized environmental organizations.

"We are proud to introduce a totally All-American product that will be distributed in a totally environmentally friendly package," Pechar said, "and we will be able to give back to the community. American consumers no longer have to go overseas to enjoy a super premium brand vodka."

That last part may make for an interesting sales pitch, perhaps, but it doesn't give credit to a variety of super premium American vodkas, such as Peconika (New York), Cirrus (Virginia), 44˚North (Idaho), Ocean (Hawaii) and Cold River (Maine), among others.

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