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Archive for the ‘flavored vodka’ Category

Is that a Pickle in Your Vodka?

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Here we have a bit of a condiment theme. Above is horseradish flavored vodka. And here is pickle flavored vodka. Probably not what your grandfather drank, back when vodka was vodka and pickles had little to do with it.

At this point, we would guess that there are well over 75 flavors of vodka, above and beyond the common citrus and pepper flavored vodkas.

Michel Roux correctly forecast this trend way back in 1996. The article is entitled “The future, according to the marketer of Stolichnaya, will be filled with flavored vodka.” Roux is frequently cited as the marketing force behind the rise of Absolut, Stolichnaya, Absente and many other brands.

Garant Pickle Flavored Vodka is made in Russia and imported by Interbalt of Maryland. Natsionalnaya Horseradish Flavored Vodka is also made in Russia and is imported by Devo Enterprises of Horsham, Pennsylvania. How much longer until we have ketchup, mustard and wasabi flavored vodka?

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Bacon Flavored Vodka

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Wait no longer; bacon flavored vodka is here. The company says:  “Yes, Bacon Vodka. Bakon Vodka is a superior quality potato vodka with a savory bacon flavor. It’s clean, crisp, and delicious. This is the only vodka you’ll ever want to use to make a Bloody Mary, and it’s a complementary element of both sweet and savory drinks. ”

Dozens of blogs chronicle the public’s fascination with bacon, from the bacon suitcase, to the bacon bra, to . . . bacon flavored vodka. Salon attempts to explain why bacon is such a huge phenomenon:

Americans have a guilty relationship with food, and perhaps no food is more guilt-inducing than bacon — forbidden by religions, disdained by dietitians and doctors. Loving bacon is like shoving a middle finger in the face of all that is healthy and holy while an unfiltered cigarette smolders between your lips.

“Bacon has the perfect balance of sweet, salty, smoky flavor, and the perfect balance of meaty and crispy texture,” says James Villa, the author of “The Bacon Cookbook.” “It’s the most perfect food ever created by the gods.”

John T. Edge, author and director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, says, “Bacon is a sort of 21st century tattoo, a marker that declares the wearer to be a badass, unbeholden to convention.”

The bacon-beverage connection may be stronger than previously assumed. Aside from Bakon, we have seen many other alcohol beverages featuring various meats. This blog covers bacon and beer, and Dan Philips founded both a great wine company and a premium bacon company. He has said:  “Bacon is sex in a skillet. … It’s the ultimate aphrodisiac for all living things. Except pigs, of course.”

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Very Modern Spirits

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Modern Spirits makes about nine “artisan vodkas.” They are based in Monrovia, California.

We wanted to feature them because they tend to gravitate away from ordinary flavors and toward the unusual. Above is Vodka Infused with Oregon Black Truffle. And here is Celery Peppercorn. We don’t see any ordinary flavors in Modern’s portfolio of “sipping vodkas” which also includes these flavored vodkas:  Candied Ginger, Rose Petal, Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Orange, Grapefruit Honey, Pear Lavender, Three Tea.

But wait, there’s more. They also make “custom vodka” to your individual specifications, as part of their “Haute Custom Vodka” program. It works like this:

Haute is a new line of one-of-a-kind flavored spirits created by Modern Spirits for individual clients to match their unique passions, personalities and palates. Like custom perfume and couture clothing, Haute creations are designed exclusively for each client and are available for their sole purchase. … Upon receiving a commission, we follow a strict five-step process to produce each Haute creation … a personal interview to help us identify [the client's] passions, personalities and palates. … We create up to three Haute samples that combine different base spirits and ingredients from around the world to fit each client’s flavor profile. … Submit the formula and labeling for government approval. … Create, bottle and package Haute at our atelier. … Haute is delivered to clients through our partner retailers.

Just imagine what you could concoct for your friends, your enemies, your frenemies.

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China Silk Cabernet, Vintage 4707

China is of course coming on strong in many fields, such as athletics and car production. And now it looks like China’s alcohol beverages, too, are modernizing. China Silk (as above) has a somewhat more modern label, compared to most Chinese wines we have seen over the years. Imperial Jade is also made in China and is a lychee flavored vodka. The front label claims it’s filtered eight times through jade and charcoal. The back label helpfully explains that jade “symbolizes strength, nobility, perfection and immortality.” It must be powerful stuff because it also embodies “wisdom, compassion, modesty, justice and courage.”

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Cucumber Flavored Vodka

All of a sudden there are at least four cucumber flavored vodkas. All seem to be first approved during 2008.

Why all of a sudden? Is cucumber especially refreshing or versatile? If so, why didn’t somebody do this decades ago, inasmuch as the venerable cuke has been around for quite some time? Maybe it’s an advance in flavor technology, finding a way to capture what would appear to be a rather delicate flavor. In an attempt to understand the rise of cucumber flavored vodka, we looked to Morgenthaler and The Intoxicologist and Alcademics but still we don’t understand why cucumber and why now. If we had to guess, we’d say it’s a tribute to Hendrick’s gin. It came out in 1999 and refers to an “‘unexpected’ infusion of cucumber and rose petals” on the back label. The producer’s chief chemist explains:

we didn’t know exactly how to introduce the cucumber into the blend. No one had ever put cucumbers in gin. We did a lot of experiments macerating and steam-distilling cucumbers before we came up with the right formula. And it was the same with the rose petals. … Hendrick’s is made in small batches using a 550-liter pot still from the 1880s. The cucumber and roses are added at the very end so that their flavors and aromas don’t disappear.

Square One (above) is made in Idaho from rye by master distiller Bill Scott. Crop is made in Minnesota from grain more generally. Two others are Rain and Pearl.

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