There are lots of citrus-flavored vodkas, but most are flavored with highly purified extracts, which means they have only a single note. They make Hangar One with whole fresh fruit, which of course includes seeds, skin, pits, and juice, and all the fresh citrus oils. That’s why Hangar One vodkas have far more complex flavors. They hit the palate in more spots. They just taste richer. When you taste the Buddha’s Hand, it doesn’t have only the focused intensity of, say, a standard lemon. It also has wonderful jasmine overtones, as well as hints of fruitcake spices.
The Buddha’s Hand citron is one of the oldest citrus fruits. What’s really great about distilling Buddha’s Hands is that when you cut one open, they don’t have any juice inside; they’re entirely pith (that’s the white stuff inside the peel). And unlike most citrus, the pith of the Buddha’s Hand citron is sweet, not bitter. This allows them to get incredible depth of flavor without having to deal with high-acid citrus juice, which is really hard to stabilize in a bottle and has less complexity.
Rumor has it that Buddha’s Hand citrons got their name because they look like the upturned fingers of Buddha statues; the mutation that gave them the fingers started around 200 ad. Buddha’s Hands are highly aromatic and are hung to perfume rooms and closets. They also make great candied lemon peel and marmalade.