Dan Aykroyd's Crystal Head Onyx Vodka Is Made With This Unusual Ingredient

Crystal Head Onyx marks Dan Aykroyd's latest venture into the craft vodka market with a trademark skull bottle in a stunning new black, but it's not the visual that makes this particular option stand out. Aykroyd's brand is known for its unique filtration method which refines the vodka seven times and uses semi-precious crystals known as Herkimer diamonds. While using the same standards and high-quality ingredients as other varieties of this skull-shaped vodka brand, Onyx adds a new and interesting twist to the crafting of this spirit — agave. 

Crystal Head describes Onyx, launched in fall of 2020, as one of the first commercially available agave-based vodkas. So what's special about agave in vodka you might wonder? 

Fermentation, the process that makes things alcoholic, requires a sugar or starch. Agave is often the sugar of choice for tequila or mezcal, including many different spirits that don't often make it to the United States (via Eater). In Onyx, distillers at Crystal Head use Blue Weber Agave sourced from a single farm in Mexico, as opposed to the corn used in their Original variety or the wheat used in their Aurora.

This agave-based vodka adds new flavor

Distillers describe Onyx as featuring "...notes of fresh green grass, nuanced white pepper and hints of citrus. The taste profile is soft and smooth with a touch of spice and sweetness, developing into the subtle, yet unmistakable earthy grip of agave to finish." Tasters say the flavor is everything it was advertised to be, noting, "Just as Dan Aykroyd said agave peppery vodka flavour. One of a kind!" (via Flaviar). You can find Onyx in available in 750 milliliter skull bottles at a suggested retail price of $55 each.

But most importantly, how should you drink it?

"Creativity is at the heart of everything we do," says Aykroyd. "Onyx is unlike anything you have tasted before — it drinks like vodka but has the nuances of Blue Weber agave." In the spirit of Aykroyd's advice, get your bartending creativity on by trying a "One Night in Jalisco," which combines vodka with simple syrup, lime juice, jalapeño, and cilantro (via Man Tripping). For something a little sweeter try a "Viva La Piña," which blends agave vodka with Giffard Caribbean Pineapple, lime juice, caster sugar, salt, egg white, and orange zest. 

However you choose to (responsibly) enjoy your drink, take a moment to also soak in the deeper meaning of the onyx itself, traits that are described as combining "...all spectrum colors and is said to absorb negativity; the darker the stone, the more energy it holds." So release the negative, and embrace the craft cocktail experience.