The case for flavored vodka

World Best Bar

Sep 09, 2020

The case for flavored vodka
Thanks to its pure, “clean” taste and its ability to combine with a great number of ingredients, vodka has always been a huge favorite on the mixology scene. But while some purists might only swear by it neat, a good flavored vodka can really bring a cocktail to a whole new level.

No disrespect to those who love the “neutral” character of vodka and its ability to combine with other elements, but vodka does have a taste. A good vodka exudes a rich, aromatic and dynamic aroma. Its flavor can be smooth, complex, clean or full-bodied, all depending on its base: rye, wheat, potato, fruits, or even quinoa. A great vodka-based cocktail is the result of carefully mixing the right vodka in the right amount with the right ingredients, ones whose crisp, fruity, herbal, or spicy tastes will perfectly complement the flavor profiles of your spirit. 

Choosing a good aromatized vodka will only amplify this experience, offering an extra smack of flavor to your customers’ curious palates. In a time where locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients have become the norm, flavored vodkas are also a great way to incorporate flavors that are out of season into your cocktails: the freshness of the fruits or herbs stays perfectly encapsulated in the bottle, ready to be fused with your other ingredients at any time. Like a skilled perfume-maker, it’s up to you to mix, tweak, invent and reinvent until finding the perfect combinations. The possibilities are endless.

Wanna get started with a few simple cocktail ideas? Give your Bloody Mary a twist with vodka infused with a mix of fresh peppers. Or put the tea in a Long island Iced Tea with tea-infused vodka for an added herbal expression. And why not offer a revamped version of the ubiquitous Moscow Mule with pear vodka, for a juicy take on the zingy classic?

Most flavored vodkas on the market today are high quality, made using all natural ingredients and without added sugar – but it’s even better if you make your own:

  • Choose a good quality vodka
  • Select your flavoring(s). Here are a few ideas, to use alone or in combinations: 
    • Fruits: mango, passionfruit, pineapple, pomegranate, grapefruit, redcurrant, apple, pear, orange or lemon peel…
    • Veggies: pepper, cucumber, horseradish, celery, beet…
    • Herbs: basil, thyme, tarragon, coriander, lavender, rosemary, mint, lemongrass…
    • Spices: vanilla, cinnamon, coffee, tea…
  • Place your ingredients into a clean, hermetically-sealable jar and allow the flavors to infuse for 1 week in a cool place away from sunlight.
  • Filter in a bottle and store in the refrigerator.
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