News News/Local

Halsted liquor says it's vodka with a cause

The owners of Halsted vodka want you to raise a glass, have fun and support LGBT causes--all at the same time.

"Here's a product that the gay community likes and spends money on," said Jennifer Schulze, one of the owners of the Chicago-based and Colorado-distilled company. "Wouldn't it be nice if some of that money came back into the gay community?"

Halsted vodka was three years in the making, Schulze said, with the flash of inspiration coming from a group of friends talking about how they could benefit their favorite causes while making some money. After years of taste-testing, recipe-tweaking and focus groups, Halsted debuted its vodka--named for the iconic street in Boystown--in October.

"It's been very well-received," Schulze said. "People really liked it."

She said 15 percent of the profits from selling Halsted vodka go to organizations like the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus and the Legacy Project. And the spirit's taste, which Schulze describes as "bold" and "smooth," has already won over several of the bars and restaurants near its namesake street. Sidetrack and Minibar are two of the locations where it's served.

Schulze said about 12 bars and restaurants--many gay-owned or -focused--offer Halsted, a premium brand. A 750 ml bottle of Halsted at the only retail location in which it's sold,  Andersonville Wine and Spirits, will run about $26 to $29, she said, on par with luxury vodkas such as Grey Goose and Ketel One.

Schulze said the taste of the vodka, created in what she said is one of two glass stills in the country, make it unique. They use a mixture of American corn and wheat to craft the spirit.

"When people drink it straight, either chilled straight or straight, they're blown away," she said. "It's just really good."

Plus, Schulze adds, people can feel good about supporting their favorite causes with their martini.

"There are lots of products that everyone buys," she said. "This just happens to be one that we thought we could mix fun and community building together."

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge
    Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge

    An argument over a woman led to one man being killed and another wounded during a shooting inside a South Loop music lounge early Saturday, police said.

  • Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise
    Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise

    Members of a University of Oklahoma fraternity apparently learned a racist chant that recently got their chapter disbanded during a national leadership cruise four years ago that was sponsored by the fraternity's national administration, the university's president said Friday.

  • In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing
    In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing

    Someone may have improperly tapped a gas line before an explosion that leveled three apartment buildings and injured nearly two dozen people, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday as firefighters soaked the still-smoldering buildings and police searched for at least two missing people.

  • Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden
    Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel has reduced spending and increased fines, fees and certain taxes to shrink the chronic budget deficits left over from his predecessor, Richard M. Daley.

  • Six Flags Great America's lost attractions
    Six Flags Great America's lost attractions

    Not every ride's the Willard's Whizzer. That iconic coaster debuted in 1976 when Marriott's Great America, now Six Flags Great America, in Gurnee, Ill., first opened. And it's still popular today. But for every Whizzer there's a Tidal Wave, Shockwave or Z-Force, rides existing only in memory.

  • Denim's just getting started
    Denim's just getting started

    Five years ago, denim-on-denim defied all of the dire warnings in the "Undateable" handbook: Instead of evoking John Denver or Britney Spears in her misstyled youth, chambray shirts paired with darker blue jeans became as cool as actor Johnny Depp and street-style heroine Alexa Chung.