Ideas

Brainiac

Innovation of the Week: Twinkie vodka

samantha stamas/globe staff illustration/ap

What is it? Vodka distilled from discarded Twinkies

Innovator: Misadventure & Co.

What were they thinking? Each week, the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank got rid of more than 1,000 pounds of baked goods, contributing to the country’s enormous food waste problem. Enter Misadventure & Co., which now picks up the leftover bread, Twinkies, and Ho Hos. The startup distiller spins them into a sweet porridge, adds yeast, and creates vodka, which is sold in a tall, dark, and handsome bottle.

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Did it work? It’s not clear yet if consumers will take to the Twinkie tonic in big numbers. “When we first came up with this idea, no one thought it was a good one,” Misadventure co-owner Sam Chereskin acknowledged in a recent interview with NBC 7 San Diego. Indeed, truly eco-friendly food-and-drink innovation can require us to check our queasiness at the door. But this iteration may be easier to swallow than most: vodka, after all, is odorless and flavorless, even when it’s derived from a bright yellow cake with a cream-filled center.