When food blog Table to Grave ran an April 1 item that The Kellogg Co. (K) planned to launch a line of Pop Tart-flavored vodkas, the Internet lit up with tweets and commentary from detractors and proponents alike. Turns out the posting was an April Fool’s joke, but one can’t blame consumers for getting taken in: In recent years the spirit favored by czars and James Bond has undergone a makeover that would make Willy Wonka beam. Here’s a look at some of the newer (and more unusual) flavored vodkas on the market. Consider us shaken, not stirred.
Smirnoff Sorbet Light Mango Passion Fruit
Launched in March as part of Smirnoff’s push into low-calorie spirits, Mango Passion Fruit is targeted at women, with a recommended tropical martini recipe. Smirnoff says the flavored vodka stimulates the nose with “subtly sweet aroma” and finishes off with a “cool and refreshing hint of tartness.”
Smirnoff Root Beer Float
Smirnoff debuted this flavor in February, playing off the success of earlier releases such as Iced Cake and Marshmallow. The flavor combines the “sassafras taste of root beer and creamy vanilla ice cream.” The company recommends mixing it with cherry cola.
Pinnacle Strawberry Shortcake
Pinnacle, a subsidiary of Beam Global, introduced this flavor on June 14, just in time for National Strawberry Shortcake Day (of course). It recommends the vodka in a cocktail called “Summer Berries and Cream” but Pinnacle also says this flavor can be enjoyed straight up, on the rocks, or mixed.
Three Olives Tartz
The latest flavored vodka from Three Olives, launched in May, combines the “sweet fruit flavors of grape and mandarin orange, with the tart flavors of fruits such as cherry, citrus and apple.” Three Olives recommends the “Sweet and Tarty” as its summer cocktail: Tartz vodka with lime soda on ice, garnished with a lime.
The latest flavor from the Diageo brand, made from grapes and fronted by Sean Combs, hit bars and liquor stores in May.
UV Salty Watermelon
Phillips Distilling calls this the first “salted fruit flavored vodka.” A signature drink, the “Salty Melonade,” features Salt Watermelon vodka and limeade. Best served over ice in a highball glass.
Stoli unveiled this jalapeno-flavored spirit last year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company’s first flavored vodkas. Stoli says “Hot” is the only vodka on the market with “significant mouth heat.”
Red Eye Cinnamon Bun
Wave Vodka, a brand produced by the New Orleans-based Sazerac Company, launched its Frosted Cinnamon Bun flavor in April. The company’s “Red Eye Cinnamon Bun” recipe calls for a cup of cold coffee, vanilla ice cream, and a blender.
Van Gogh Peanut Butter and Jelly
You have to wonder what the painter whose name is on the bottle, famously a fan of absinthe, would think of this variety, which came out last year. We’ll let the vodka maker speak for itself: “The fragrance of our PB&J vodka is predominantly of peanuts complemented by the fresh fruit aroma of raspberry. In the mouth, the roles are reversed with the raspberry taking center stage supported by the toasty flavor of peanut butter and a hint of vanilla on the side.”
Alaska Distillery Smoked Salmon
This vodka, produced in Sarah Palin’s hometown of Wasilla, has been around since 2010 and was designed for Bloody Marys. As far as we know, it’s the only vodka flavor inspired by a fish.