Chocolate is one of the most recognizable flavors out there, and for good reason. It is rich and decadent, making it the perfect treat or ingredient for a host of food items.
Meanwhile, vodka is among the top alcohol options on the market, with every third drink ordered at an American bar being vodka.
It would make sense then, to combine these two signature items to make chocolate-flavored vodka.
There are a host of vodka companies out there with flavored options, but we will be looking at two specific chocolate vodka brands available on the market.
360 Double Chocolate Vodka or Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka
Vodka 360 first launched its Double Chocolate Vodka in 2010 having been made in Western Missouri.
The brand is owned by the McCormick Distilling Company in Weston Missouri. Having been founded in 1856, the distillery is considered the oldest business in the Kansas City area.
360 Double Chocolate Vodka is eco-friendly. The distillation process used maximizes efficient energy and the bottles used are made from recycled glass. The bottles have swing-top closures and are ideal for reuse and the labels are printed on recycled paper with eco-friendly ink.
Finally, any leftover byproducts are dried and used as feed for local farms leaving zero waste at the end of production.
Van Gogh Vodka is a brand of vodka owned by the Distillery Cooymans International in Tilburg, Netherlands. It was first introduced in 2000 and currently has sixteen flavored vodka options available.
The brand continues to create new flavors that live up to the name Van Gogh and the “Art of Vodka”. Master Distiller, Tim Vos, has worked with the brand since 2001 to create spirits that are celebrated and enjoyed worldwide.
How Are They Made?
Vodka is made universally with a simple method although some brands may alter it along the way.
Initially, the base ingredient is harvested and broken down to make it easier to blend. Water is added to the base ingredient, and it is blended to combine them. Next, yeast is added to ferment the base ingredient, converting the natural sugars to alcohol.
Next, it is distilled which is a process that heats the mixture, turns it into vapor, cools down the vapor, and collects the new moisture. After that, the vodka-like product is filtered to remove any impurities that may affect the vodka-making process.
Some brands will at this point choose to bottle it to age in old casks which will give them a deeper flavor and alter the color. Other brands will add flavoring to their vodka, either at the pre-bottling stage or during the distillation process.
Vodka 360 uses an energy-efficient distillation process that ensures eco-friendly vodka production. The distillation is down six times to ensure all impurities are removed and the resulting vodka is the ideal alcohol content and flavor.
Van Gogh Vodka is distilled twice in traditional copper pot stills to produce quality vodka. Copper stills are used as copper removes the harshness of the vodka product.
What Are They Made of?
360 Double Chocolate Vodka is made from locally sourced corn, making the final beverage naturally gluten-free. The corn is sourced from farms in Missouri. The flavored vodka has small amounts of added sugar with the flavor of the vodka coming from a range of proprietary sources.
Van Gogh vodka is made in small batches with a combination of barley, wheat, and corn as the base product. The chocolate flavoring comes from fine cocoa beans which leave light notes of coffee and caramel.
How Are They Similar?
Both Vodka 360 and Van Gogh Vodka use corn as a base ingredient for their vodka production. However, Van Gogh uses it as a base in small batches, with other small batches made using wheat and barley.
Both vodkas have the same alcohol content making them the same strength although Van Gogh has a higher price point than Vodka 360.
Direct Comparison of 360 Double Chocolate Vodka and Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka
|Item||360 Double Chocolate Vodka||Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka|
|Production Area||Weston, Missouri, United States of America||Tilburg, Netherlands|
|Raw Materials||Locally sourced American corn, chocolate flavoring||Corn, wheat, and barley base product. Chocolate flavoring from fine cocoa|
|Alcohol by Volume (ABV)||35% (70 proof)||35% (70 proof)|
|Taste||Rich and decadent chocolate, a slight bite from the vodka||Rich chocolate flavoring, notes of coffee and caramel|
|Average Price (1 Liter)||$20 (excluding tax)||$35 (excluding tax)|
|Color||Clear color||Clear color|
Vodka 360’s Double Chocolate Vodka claims to take the rich flavor of chocolate and double it. The brand suggests it is best drunk as an after-dinner dessert cocktail or to sip on the rocks for a rich and creamy drink.
Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka uses the rich flavors of fine cocoa to create its unique taste. The vodka is made from a premium blend of wheat that is sourced across Germany, France, and Holland giving it a soft and well-balanced taste.
The cocoa flavoring is infused in a double infusion process, ensuring that every sip of the beverage is rich and packed with flavor.
How to Drink 360 Double Chocolate Vodka and Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka
A 360 S’More is a signature drink that can be made with 360 Double Chocolate Flavored Vodka. In a shaker, combine ice, 2 ounces of chocolate vodka, ½ ounce of chocolate syrup, and ½ ounce of simple syrup.
Shake to combine the ingredients. Rim a martini glass with crushed graham crackers and strain the mixture into the glass. Top it up with 2 ounces of lemon-lime soda and garnish with a toasted marshmallow.
You can make a Holland-Hattan, which is a twist on a Manhattan, with only three ingredients. In a shaker, combine 2 ounces of Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka, two dashes of angostura bitters, and one ounce of sweet vermouth.
Shake with ice to combine the ingredients then strain into a rocks glass with ice. garnish with cherries and enjoy.
Chocolate Vodka Brands – Alternatives
Mozart Chocolate Cream Liqueur is a gluten-free liqueur made with milk chocolate and Belgian chocolate. It has notes of cocoa and vanilla and is a good option for a different chocolate-flavored alcohol beverage. It has an alcohol by volume of 17% (34 proof) and is priced at $26 per 750ml bottle.
Bird Dog Chocolate Flavoured Whiskey is a whiskey option for a chocolate alcoholic drink. It has rich cocoa notes with hints of caramel and vanilla that compliments the bourbon flavor. Bird Dog is bottled at an ABV of 40% (80 proof) for $19 per 750ml bottle.
Prichard’s Double Chocolate Bourbon balances the sweet taste of bourbon with the slight bitterness of chocolate. The bourbon is bottled at an ABV of 30% or higher (60 proof minimum) for $72 per 750ml bottle.
Olmeca Dark Chocolate is a tequila variation with a distinct chocolate flavor. It has a creamy flavor of dark chocolate with notes of fresh agave. The tequila has an ANB of 43% (86 proof) and is priced at $14 per 750ml bottle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which came first?
Van Gogh Vodka was introduced in 2000 while Vodka 360 was launched in 2011, making Van Gogh Vodka older.
Which is stronger?
360 Double Chocolate vodka has an alcohol by volume of 35% (70 proof) while Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka also has an ABV of 35% (70 proof) making neither option stronger.
Which is more popular?
This is a subjective opinion that depends on personal preference. It can be assumed that Van Gogh is more popular in the Netherlands while 360 Vodka is preferred in the USA.