Get 1 Year of Cigar Aficionado for Just $24.95 + A Free Gift!

The Good Life

Flavored Vodkas

By Jack Bettridge | From Jay-Z, May/June 2009

Whoever defined vodka as tasteless, odorless and colorless apparently forgot a widening mélange of the flavored kind. We've picked a selection of unusual tastes that take you beyond the usual limes and oranges you're likely to have on hand in your kitchen already.

Perhaps most remarkable is Belvedere IX. The bottle (midnight blue with bold pink lettering) sets the iconoclastic tone, and then you get into a spicy drink that melds nine very unusual flavors, including guarana, ginger, ginseng, açai, eucalyptus, cinnamon and black cherry. It mixes particularly well with grapefruit and a recipe called Vice (mixed with hard snuff candy) that is inspired by a cigar. Belvedere also debuts Black Raspberry, which blends macerated black currants and raspberry.

Grey Goose La Poire (pear) has become a favorite of ours as its flavor is so familiar yet not something you're likely to have around as an extract. The light meaty fruit is natural, neither cloying nor overpowering. Mixed as a Peartini it's a winner, but it also adds a subtle fruit boost to a range of drinks.

Stolichnaya was one of the early proponents of flavored vodkas and is still going strong, especially with its Razberi, which manages to be creamy and light, but with some spicy, citrus notes. The company's suggested Tisana cocktail is a mind scrambler with peach and ginger as well as white wine.

Absolut's new Mango vodka gets this tropic flavor right by refusing to go the sweet-candy route, instead achieving a structured fruit flavor with exotic charms. It sips well and brings interesting complexity to a Mojito, although we liked it less sweet than the suggested recipe.

Smirnoff has become the leader in the number of flavors it supports with a spectrum that now includes 15 in its signature swirled bottles. The company has recently added pomegranate, melon, passion fruit and white grape vodkas. Twist of Blueberry is a natural for summertime, especially when the fruit is in season and you use it as a garnish.

If summertime drinking means tropical flavors to you, Skyy Vodka with its Infusions line has a winner with its Passion Fruit that instantly bespeaks a coastal sunset. Also included in the Skyy portfolio are a pineapple flavor and a cherry smack that bring it all back home.

Crop Harvest Earth touts itself as organic, but we drink it for its greatflavored expressions: cucumber and tomato. The first is a natural for a Pimm's Cup cocktail and the second makes for a tangy Martini. Both, of course, are friendly in a Bloody Mary.

The artist Vincent van Gogh may have been fueled by absinthe, but the vodka of the same name has chosen to add coffee flavor, not anise, to its Espresso and Double Espresso spirits. Because this spirit doesn't have caffeine, you can use it to add the flavor without the accompanying boost.

Good Life Guide Drink

More in The Good Life

See all
Milwaukee Bucks Celebrate NBA Finals Victory With Cigars

Milwaukee Bucks Celebrate NBA Finals Victory With Cigars

The team smoked up some Cuban Romeo y Julietas while spraying champagne in the locker room.

Jul 22, 2021
Driving The McLaren 620R

Driving The McLaren 620R

The new McLaren 620R is the first car in its class to offer true motorsports credentials in a fully …

Jun 4, 2021
Cigar Aficionado’s 2021 Father’s Day Gift Guide

Cigar Aficionado’s 2021 Father’s Day Gift Guide

Say “Happy Father’s Day” with one of these gifts.

Jun 3, 2021
S.T. Dupont Line D Fire-head Guilloche Pens

S.T. Dupont Line D Fire-head Guilloche Pens

Firing up S.T. Dupont’s new luxe pens.

May 11, 2021
On Sale Now: Tickets To Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest

On Sale Now: Tickets To Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest

The day has come to get your tickets to the inaugural Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest.

Apr 13, 2021
Macanudo Sponsoring Barstool Sports Golf Tournament

Macanudo Sponsoring Barstool Sports Golf Tournament

General Cigar Co. is sponsoring all 26 Barstool Sports events across the country.

Mar 30, 2021