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Ethanol: Not Just For Gas Tanks--Vodka Anyone?

Friday, 29 Dec 2006 | 3:31 PM ET

We told you earlier today about how Ethanol is a growing alternative fuel source. Well--here's an update of sorts. Did you know--it’s also a commodity that's popping up at the local bar as well? Bill Lee is general manager of Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company. He was on “Street Signs” to talk about a new ethanol venture: making vodka.

Shakers Vodka is the result of a 4-year joint venture between Chippewa and Infinite Spirits. It is produced using an advanced distillation process that turns ethanol waste into a drinkable liquor. Lee says it’s all about adding value to an already valuable commodity – and creating a new brand in the process.

Shakers sells for upwards of $33 per bottle in limited distribution across 26 states – and is a big seller in Minnesota, Lee says, where his firm is based. He says Shakers has “tremendous potential for growth” as the ethanol market continues to expand. So next time you’re filling up on ethanol-based gas, you can grab a bottle of ethanol-based vodka. Just don’t drink and drive.

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  • Brian Sullivan is co-anchor of CNBC's "Street Signs."

  • Co-anchor of CNBC's "Street Signs," Amanda Drury is based at the network's global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.