The October 2010 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine is out today, and it includes (among other things) my review column on citrus-flavored vodkas. You can pick up a copy at the newsstand, or view it in digital format on Zinio.
Here’s what I learned in the course of researching the column:
1. Scent counts for a lot in citrus vodkas (and flavored vodkas in general).
2. For some reason, vodka bottles are taller and thinner than those used for Bourbon. I couldn’t get them to fit in the storage unit I bought for my office!
3. It must be really hard to duplicate the flavors of lime, because most lime-flavored vodkas suck.
4. It’s amazing how many riffs on “orange” and “lemon” exist: tangerine, mandarin, Clementine; citron, Meyer lemon, etc. I went to the gourmet supermarket and bought a fruit bowl’s worth of citrus to learn the different nuances and flavors.
5. I think lemon-flavored vodkas are versatile and useful. But I still have trouble figuring out where to use orange-flavored vodkas, since triple sec does a great job adding orange flavor to cocktails, and most recipes are jiggered to include that liqueur sweetness.