Even sweet, sweet vodka isn't safe from kale

By Mike Pomranz
Updated April 16, 2018
Credit: Photo courtesy of Ving

Plenty of people believe that one of the keys to a healthy lifestyle is balance. For instance, it’s fine to indulge in chocolate cake if you ate a sensible dinner. Or it’s fine to eat a whole lasagna because you just went for a run. Or it’s fine to drink vodka because… uh… it has kale in it.

Launched last year, Ving Vodka makes what is billed as “the world's first Farm Fresh Organic and Gluten-free Kale, Lemon peel and Cucumber Vodka.” “I couldn’t find a spirit I loved that was in line with my healthy lifestyle,” founder Flo Vinger writes on the company website. “I really drink for flavor and wanted an elegant, delicious clean cocktail with no mystery ingredients.”

According to Ving’s site, the brand takes extensive measure to make sure it reaches its “clean” goal. “I only use the freshest and cleanest, organic kale, lemon and cucumber from organic certified farms,” Vinger explains. “We hand wash and inspect every leaf and vegetable to insure we produce every batch of Ving at the highest quality possible.”

Later, she said she choose a corn base so Ving would be gluten-free, and added a personal anecdote as another reason why organic corn was the only way to go. “When I tried non-organic corn vodka I wanted to join a circus and become a fire breather,” she says. “It had an undesirable burn and bitter aftertaste. For me the choice was crystal clear, even though organic corn is substantially more expensive.” Certainly, not enough distillers are taking the lessons they learned as circus performers and applying them to their products.

As far as flavors are concerned, the product promises “to combine the rich, peppery undertone of kale, the crisp freshness of lemon peel and the gentle, sweet finish of cucumber.” But much like with kale the vegetable, for kale the vodka, flavor doesn’t appear to be the biggest selling point. The Ving website barely offers any cocktail recipes or tips on how it should be drank. Instead, as an athletic-looking actor in a Ving Vodka commercial posted on YouTube says, “My goal is to achieve what others say is impossible.” Like, for instance, convincing people that a kale vodka is somehow a better option for a healthy lifestyle.