5 Things I’ve Learned About…Citrus Vodkas

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.

3 thoughts on “5 Things I’ve Learned About…Citrus Vodkas

  1. Last night, we were talking vodkas with our bartender and he took out F. Paul Pacult’s book to show us how much FPP hates Smirnoff (it came up how people actually prefer Smirnoff in blind taste tests over perceived top grade vodka). FPP gave Smirnoff a single star and told people to avoid it. However, he gave their lime vodka 4 stars! I mean, it’s the same base spirit (although flavor vodkas can be sugared or otherwise adulterated, I think).

  2. Hi Fred -too funny, timing is everything!

    I guess it just goes to show how subjective the review process can be, whether you’re talking about spirits, movies, or whatever. It all comes down to a matter of taste.

    So which one do you like best?

  3. Not a big vodka drinker, but the best I’ve had was U’Luvka from Poland. And Karrlson’s also scores high (but it’s more of a potato eau de vie).

    I think the worst was Ruble which is produced (not distilled, but diluted to 80 proof and packaged) a mile or two from where I live. Ow, it burns.

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