Given the world’s current circumstances, Chilled will Countdown to Earth Day April 22, 2020, with daily stories of sustainability from bars to brands that continue to honor our beautiful planet.

The restriction of movement of all people because of COVID-19 is having a profound impact on the Earth right now, with reduced pollution, better air quality, and cleaner water!

In celebration of the spirits brands that continuously keep sustainability top of the list, Chilled recognizes LeSin Vodka.

Charles Vaughn, Founder of LeSin vodka, black and white portrait

Charles Vaughn, Founder of LeSin Vodka

France’s Charente region is most famous as the home of Cognac, but the conditions in the area are also ideal for vodka production. Water is the key to any vodka, and in the commune of Gensac-la-Pallue, it is filtered through limestone and considered ‘the Champagne of natural filtration.’ Founder of LeSin Vodka, Charles Vaughn says of the water, “We use water from the Gensac springs. Plain and simple, the water is naturally filtered by the land and limestone that lends itself to a wonderfully clean, smooth, and sweet product. We chose to use the best water in pursuit of making LeSin. For a vodka maker, you simply can’t have it any better.”

We asked Vaughn about the environmentally sound practices that go into the making of LeSin Vodka. Here’s what he had to say:

“Water is a precious and sacred commodity. At LeSin Vodka, we employ an environmental best practices protocol for every step, from agriculture in France to consumption in your city.

The process starts with being acutely aware of the entire eco-system surrounding all our source ingredients. Aligning with harvesters of grain who employ environmentally responsible practices, such as consumption of fossil fuels in their efforts, keeping pollution both in the air and on the ground at a minimum, etc. Keeping air quality in mind impacts the acid rain and overall quality of the rain that falls from the sky. Keeping pollution and chemicals OUT of the agribusiness reduces the soil contamination. That’s key because the Earth is our natural filter in Cognac that filters the water ending up in our supply.

The protocol then focuses on production and bottling. Here it’s an old-school common-sense approach. Make sure we’re not wasting anything. We do our part in making sure the water sourced is conserved and protected, and most of all—not wasted. One thing I like to point out for people who may not know of some of the finer points of bottling vodka is that we clean and sanitize our bottles with actual vodka before we fill them with the finished good.  We recycle and repurpose our vodka for this sanitation process as opposed to wasting it and the water that goes into making it. Remember, alcohol is 40% of what’s in that bottle.  The other 60% is WATER.

Post-production we get into areas of logistics and transport where it’s less about actually touching water but focuses more on clean air. We prioritize working with European and US transport companies who use low emission and alternative fuel vehicles. It is not uncommon for these carriers to even go so far as to use bikes for in-town deliveries of their parcels. We do not simply look at the protocol that WE use.  We look at the ENTIRE global protocol when determining which logistics partners to align with.

The same applies to our ocean-going vessel operators. We seek to be customers of ocean carriers who are carbon-neutral and reducing all CO2 emissions from their global fleet. Keeping our oceans clean is personally important to me as I am an avid sport fisherman, and I appreciate the sea.

At home in the US, we do everything we can to raise awareness on the precious commodity we call EARTH and all it provides for and does for us. Whether it be endorsing strong conservation efforts in Las Vegas, Nevada and the surrounding areas dependent upon Lake Mead, to the Floridian aquifer that covers Florida and portions of South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, as well as the Great Lakes of the North covering several major cities, water plays a key role for us all.”

LeSin Vodka, bottle on grey with martini

LeSin Vodka

We asked Vaughn how the team at LeSin is coping through the COVID-19 crisis.

“We are coping by treading water until things bounce back. We are refining and emphasizing alignments and relationships with key accounts that go beyond mixology programs, volume pricing incentives, and even promotions and events. We are formally including sustainability initiatives with our accounts, so when this happens again (and we hope it doesn’t), we are prepared to jump in to be a part of the solution as well. Specifically, we’ve put the word out that we’re looking for bartenders to contact us to sell us some rather crafty and unique vodka cocktail concepts and content. I think this is a mutually beneficial initiative that gets these talented mixologists money to live on while filling our cocktail recipe book to the brim AND setting the foundation for a very personal relationship between them and our brand. These AMBASSADORS will ALWAYS be our focus going forward.”