Meet: Buckeye Vodka

Part 1: The Brothers @buckeyevodka📷

Buckeye Vodka is an intentional well-thought-out product that was designed, developed, and founded by 4 brothers (well almost)—Brothers Jim & Chris Finke, Brother-in-law Tom Rambasek, and good friend and CFO Marty Clarke founded Crystal Spirits, LLC and developed the Buckeye Vodka brand.
I’m sure it’s not hard to put together that they’re Ohioans–I mean come on, they named their vodka “Buckeye”.. for a reason. The Finke’s are fourth generation Ohioans from Dayton. Tom was raised in the suburbs of Cleveland, and all four were educated at different Ohio universities.
The distillery is located in Dayton where each bottle of vodka is hand-crafted by the owners themselves—usually by brother-in-law’s Jim and Tom (you can see them pictured above). How cool is that? I think it’s profound to see owners truly dedicated to their craft. While Marty and Chris manage the financial and business side of the company from Texas.
You know me, anytime I catch wind of a family business I have to know, what it’s like working together? “No matter what, family comes first and matters more than any business decision. It’s a blessing to be able to work together and share the highs and lows of being a business owner with family. And, the holiday family gatherings are always guaranteed to have a few bottles of vodka as well.” Sounds about right!
Their story gets better though, they created Buckeye Vodka during a difficult time in our economy–“In 2010 we saw friends, family and neighbors struggle. We were determined to make a difference by investing locally. And we wanted to build a business that could create jobs and make a contribution to Ohio’s economy. Research had told us that although people would continue to purchase alcoholic beverages in difficult times, they would move down a shelf at the stores when money was tight.” They were able to produce an ultra-premium vodka at an affordable price – so consumers didn’t have to sacrifice quality… how? By operating with no debt. NO DEBT. Stayed tuned to find how–and what makes Buckeye Vodka special. No debt? I can’t get over it, I could use a drink right now over my debt! Haha

Part 2: No debt. Pure Grain. @buckeyevodka📷

“Chris, who lives in Austin, has a friend who already had an award winning vodka on the market in Texas, and we developed a strategic partnership with him. Since water is extremely important to any vodka, it was a natural fit for Tom (who owns & operates the Crystal Water Company, and who is an expert in the distillation & processing of water) to manage the operations of Crystal Spirits. Marty took the ball and ran with it, procuring the equipment and structuring the company with no debt.”
But the fact that they were operating with no debt isn’t the only thing that makes this vodka brand special. The actual process of making it is pretty remarkable. “80 proof vodka is 60% water, and therefore the quality and purity of the water used to make any vodka is tantamount to its quality.” Their source? The Crystal Water Company. “The water in our formula is softened four times and processed through activated carbon before it is distilled.”
They have a high tech state-of-the-art 20 foot column still that was custom made for Crystal Spirits, and it produces their signature brand, Buckeye Vodka. “Buckeye Vodka is distilled 10 times to eliminate the impurities that are commonly found in lesser quality vodkas. The result of our process is an extremely clean and pure grain spirit that we include in the perfectly crafted and Ultra Premium Buckeye Vodka.” Each batch of Buckeye Vodka is carefully distilled, blended, filtered and bottled by the owners of the company. That’s the personal touch and attention to detail that every bottle of Buckeye Vodka gets– to ensure each bottle is just as good as the last. “We’ve had many loyal customers do a blind taste test of Buckeye against other local and national brands. Buckeye wins every time.” Go Bucks! 😜


Part 3: The Gimlet Recipe

This week has me thinking all about summer. What hip patios to try, what concerts I want to go to, and yes–what camps to send the kiddos too. But also, what’s going to be my summer drink?!?! Every summer I have a “go-to-cocktail.” That’s a thing, right? For example, last summer was margaritas. This summer? Thanks to @BuckeyeVodka I’m now obsessed with 🍸The Gimlet.
“Let that lime juice shine,” said Riley (the witty and talented bartender Elizabeth and I met at a Buckeye Vodka event). Lime juice is a prime ingredient for the Gimlet, and helps makes the cocktail tasty. But truthfully, it’s because the Vodka is so dang smooth. Literally the best word I can use to describe it. It’s not rough. It doesn’t burn your throat. It’s been distilled with precision and enough times that it wins the smooth-word-award. You know how sometimes cocktails can be harsh? Well it’s not necessarily the juice/liquor ratio, but rather the particular brand of vodka.


So I’m excited for my summer Gimlets! They are the perfect blend of alliteration: Sweet, Sour, and Salty. I bet you want to know how to make one? Are you salivating for one like me?

 •The Gimlet {for the win}•

  • 1oz freshest lime juice
  • .75oz Simple syrup
  • 1.5oz @BuckeyeVodka

Of course then find yourself a handy dandy shaker, fill it with ice, press down to make a seal. Shake! Shake! Shake! And if you have tools to do it—strain it {into a snazzy martini glass}. What summer cocktail will you make with @buckeyevodka?

AND How about an awesome summer event. Yes please! Three words: Yoga, Brunch,  and Drinks. It’s called “NOM-ASTE yoga brunch.”

Saturday, July 15th @milestone229 at 10am. 60 minute yoga by the water led by the Art of Yoga. Brunch at Milestone229 and yummy drinks provided by @buckeyevodka- registration details below:



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