Hawkeye Vodka, the main staple of your early college drinking years, can be found at almost any liquor store in Iowa City. This exquisite beverage (if you can call it that) has its ups and downs, but our college experience just wouldn’t be the same without it.

The Love:



I am a sucker for cheap and Hawkeye is about as cheap as it gets. When nearly all of your spending money is devoted to food and alcohol and you have little money to begin with, it is important to spend wisely. In my early days of drinking, this meant getting the most alcohol possible in order to sustain being drunk as long as possible, for the littlest money. That is the unofficial slogan of Hawkeye Vodka. You can pick up a handle for well under $15 across the state.



Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

While anyone who has tried a sip of Hawkeye knows that it is about as close to drinking rubbing alcohol as it gets, Hawkeye is still a vodka. Vodka is the most versatile of all hard alcohols. You can and, unless you’re still a freshmen, should be making a mixed drink. Hawkeye can be served up with all pop and juices to make a tolerable, cheap, and effective drink.  If you are having a party and need to make jungle juice, look no further. Hawkeye is a tradition and a key ingredient to that house party jungle juice recipe you and your roommates spent way too long debating about.



Photo courtesy of hercampus.com

Hawkeye Vodka. University of Iowa Hawkeyes. Although the school is in no way affiliated with the brand, we all see the connection here. School pride is shown in many ways and drinking Hawkeye Vodka is just one of our great traditions. It is an experience that will never be forgotten. We have our own dedicated brand of alcohol for a top party school.

The Hate:

The Stigma


GIF courtesy of giphy.com

Drinking Hawkeye is for freshmen and jungle juice, that is at least if you want to be a respected member of the community. The taste of rubbing alcohol is reserved for the younger members of our community. As you age, it is expected that you develop a finer sense of taste. I was slow to accept that, as many are, but eventually you have to leave the days of pretending to enjoy Hawkeye behind you. You will either realize on your own that there are far better ways to drink or you will be socially shunned into finding another go to.

A Tradition Questioned


GIF courtesy of giphy.com

I started off on this endeavor excited to write about Hawkeye Vodka as it has been a part of my life since day one of my time here at Iowa, but I found some shocking news along the way. Hawkeye Vodka is not even produced in the state of Iowa. That’s right, Hawkeye Vodka is not from the Hawkeye state. It is actually distilled down in St. Louis, Missouri by these guys: Luxco. I felt disappointed and lied to. Turns out it’s just one of many hard alcohols produced and then they throw on the name to suck us into thinking it’s special.

Interesting fact of the day:

Turns out these Luxco guys are the same people that create Everclear. So that at least provides some light on the age old habit of comparing the two.

The Final Decision:

Taste and location are not enough to take away from the power that is Hawkeye Vodka. According to the Des Moines Register, Hawkeye Vodka is the 2nd most sold brand in the state for consecutive years across the state of Iowa. All in all, Iowa wouldn’t be Iowa without it.