Drink This Flower: Peony Vodka
FORMER NEW YORK CITY ATTORNEY Leslie Farhangi was captivated by the opulent rows of peonies blooming each June on her 200-acre farm in Millerton. She dreamed about something she could craft from the pastel-colored flowers and, eventually, teamed with local master herbalist Terri Lundquist to create Three Meadows Spirits last year. Peony Vodka, its first and only product, already has won high marks from critics and wide praise in the press.
Infused with tincture of peony root (harvested on the farm) along with geranium, jasmine, white pepper, gardenia, green tea and vanilla and distilled five times with American wheat, the lightly aromatic, 70 proof vodka displays a hint of the flower’s sweetness. “It isn’t intensely flavorful, which makes it extremely versatile,” Farhangi notes. “The subtle undertones are great in cocktails or on the rocks.”
Peony Vodka is available at many wine and spirits outlets in Dutchess, Columbia and Ulster Counties and online (about $30/750ml). A proponent of land preservation, Farhangi notes that a portion of sales will benefit local conservation projects.