Double Cross Vodka and Chef Michael Schlow at Via Matta, Boston

Asked to create a pairing menu for the new ultra-premium Double Cross Vodka, Michael Schlow spent a lot of time thinking – and drinking, he says – and came up with a series of flavors that worked in different ways in different courses.

The vodka is light and on the pleasantly neutral side with hints of citrus and other fresh notes. And then there’s the bottle: its a thin, elongated glass brick, almost like some sort of award. The bottle is made in France but the vodka is from Slovakia, and the “Double Cross” name refers to the Slovakian flag. Lines of Slovakian poetry are scrawled on the rectangular back, with very little labeling to interfere with the product’s transparency.

Chef Schlow opened with a similarity of fresh citrus flavors in the Tuna Crudo with cucumber and lemon sauce paired with a Basil Lime Gimlet. He moved on to contrast rich, buttery Pumpkin Ravioli burro salvia con amaretti against DBlini with Prosecco, vin santo and sage.

And then a course of complements: Slow Roasted Arctic Char with roasted fennel, haricot vert and blood orange, served with a Blood Orange Martini with Fennel foam. The fennel in the food and drink both intertwined and emphasized their differences.

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