A stellar space race for potables is underway

While the billionaire bosses of Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic and SpaceX battle for space tourism bragging rights, other astral entrepreneurs are exploring marketing and maturation opportunities by marrying the moon with moonshine.

In 2015, Japanese distiller Suntory sent whisky to mature in the International Space Station to see if microgravity would result in a mellower finish. The results proved less than stellar, with one reviewer characterizing the aftertaste as “pungent, intense and long, with hints of wood, antiseptic lozenges and rubbery smoke.” 

Outer Space Vodka, outerspacevodka.com, $29

Undaunted, experimenters are continuing their work in space. This past January, SpaceX brought back 12 bottles of red wine that had been aging for a year on the ISS. The reviews are still pending.

Jim Denoon, creator and co-owner of Outer Space Vodka, conceived of his product while working for a glass manufacturer that made bottles for spirits brands. Denoon “learned what not to do” from the mistakes his customers made, and he found the inspiration to create his own brand. “I saw massive margins made by the creators behind Crystal Head Vodka and thought of building a bottle and brand around a cultural icon that was radically different and without fear of IP infringement,” he said.

With a distinctive style in place, Denoon moved on to putting some substance behind the brand by buying a couple hundred grams of “mongrel everyday meteorites” from a “meteorite broker.” He uses the 4-billion-year-old space stones to filter his French vodka. To date, he’s sold more than a million bottles globally, with his biggest U.S. sales volume in Texas and Florida.

Luckbox was skeptical, but Outer Space Vodka did pass the taste test. Beyond the appeal of the packaging, the product’s nose and palate exude a distinctive mineral presence that provided a welcome departure from a traditionally “tasteless” spirit—a visionary vodka