I have been seeing a lot of commercials for Skyy vodka’s new grape infusion and for all the new flavors that Smirnoff has–including iced cake, of all things!–and it strikes me that the trend for flavored vodka, which I think Absolut started back in the ’90s, just keeps burgeoning. Up until just a couple of decades ago, vodka was known for being colorless, odorless and tasteless (although that’s not entirely true), which made it pretty much the perfect liquor to mix with anything. These days, you have to be aware what flavor of vodka you have, to make sure your mixers don’t clash and make a bad-tasting drink.
So, if anything, these flavored vodkas are inconvenient, are they not? Or are they? Maybe they are more convenient, saving people from buying mixers at all–they just buy the flavor of vodka they like and forget the rest. Problem with that is, mixers are usually non-alcoholic, tempering the strength of the drink and making it last longer. A flavored vodka with no mixer could be tossed back like a shot, leading to getting very drunk, very sick, and possibly very dead in one night of binge drinking. Just in case you think I’m kidding about the death, part, here’s a sobering statistic: the CDC reports that an average of 80,000 deaths every single year result from overconsumption of alcohol.
With sophisticated flavors like lemon yielding ground to sweeter stuff like “whipped cream” (Smirnoff, Burnett’s), “Cinnabon” (Pinnacle) and “meringue pie” (Lucky Player) , it’s pretty obvious this product is being marketed to younger and less-experienced drinkers, who are also the most likely to binge-drink in a party atmosphere. So please be aware of the danger posed by flavored alcohol. Limit yourself to one shot per glass, balance with mixer, and enjoy your drink sloooowwwwwly. That will spare you from embarrassment and possibly injury, not to mention a wicked hangover. Stay safe!