Introducing Green Owl Vodka, Canada’s Only Green Tea Flavoured Vodka
Calling all green tea and vodka lovers! Green Owl Vodka is a triple-distilled, small-batch vodka that is infused with green tea extract from Japan. Not only is it locally made right here in Ontario, but it is known for being very smooth.
We spoke with Carmen Sandor, the CEO and Founder of Green Owl Vodka, to learn all about this unique and delicious beverage.
Tell us about yourself and Green Owl Vodka!
I am a former professional tennis player and after finishing my career as the captain of the Penn State University tennis team, I was looking for a career change. I ended up getting into finance and spent seven years at one of the largest hedge funds in Canada. I eventually became the youngest VP at the firm but I always had an appetite for something more entrepreneurial. I began importing alcohol to Ontario as a hobby, so I would travel to find good brands and sell their products to bars and restaurants in Ontario using my license to distribute. Although I loved doing this, I always wanted to create my own brand.
When did you start Green Owl Vodka?
I started experimenting with the company in 2018 by playing around with recipes. It was a long process and the vodka product we developed introduced something entirely different to the category. People think vodka is too much in terms of burn and flavour, while ours is really quite smooth. Before starting Green Owl, I noticed that there were no natural options on the market. Every product was either sugary or flavoured with citrusy or fruity additives. So with Green Owl, we focused on creating a well-balanced vodka with no artificial flavours that highlighted premium matcha imported from Japan. As a result, we created some really unique branding and the only green tea flavoured vodka in Canada. When we applied to the LCBO, we got in on the first try!
When did you start selling Green Owl in the LCBO?
Green Owl has been on the shelves since May!
Do you plan on expanding outside of Ontario?
Yes! British Columbia is the perfect market for a product like Green Owl and we would love to share it with the rest of Canada. At the start of next year, Green Owl will be sold in British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta.
What’s the story behind the name?
I felt that an owl really fit the brand because owls are wise, mysterious and nocturnal. The green element highlights the use of green tea.
Can you speak to the flavour profile of Green Owl?
It is shockingly smooth which is the number one piece of feedback we receive from our customers. And although green tea in vodka may sound strange, if you take a look at our reviews, the taste really surprises people because it doesn’t burn.
I noticed that Green Owl is made in small batches and triple distilled, can you explain why?
Most vodka brands produce their vodka in large quantities at a time but since we are local, we make our vodka in smaller batches. This allows us to pay more attention to detail and focus on creating a smooth flavour through the distillation process.
What is your favourite drink to make with Green Owl Vodka?
For our team it’s always vodka soda with a light garnish; it’s really that easy! When you try it you will get it. Green Owl is so smooth and good on its own that you don’t want to mix it too much. I suggest garnishing with cucumber or mint but it tastes the best when you keep it simple!
What else makes your company unique?
We are one of the only female-owned spirit companies in the LCBO. Our team consists of six people and most are women. Our goal is to grow with diverse, cool people and lead in a male-dominated industry.