Flavored Vodkas Roll Out
Vodka makers are launching innovative infusions just in time for the spring season.
Several vodka makers are launching innovative new infusions this spring, paving the way for fresh new cocktails. On the lighter side, look for Absolut Wild Tea or EFFEN Cucumber. Meanwhile, fans of bolder flavors may enjoy Dragon Fruit and Blood Orange from SKYY Infusions, or Belvedere Bloody Mary.
Here’s a look at the newest infused vodkas on the shelf, and spirited cocktail suggestions for each:
Absolut Wild Tea, released in January 2011, capitalizes on the burgeoning tea trend within the cocktail community. The vodka is infused with rich Oolong tea and delicate white elderflower, as well as red apple and citrus notes.
Absolut Wild Tea Mojito
1½ ounces Absolut Wild Tea vodka
¾ ounces fresh lime juice
½ ounce simple syrup
4 mint leaves
Muddle mint leaves with simple syrup and lime juice in a shaker. Add vodka. Shake and pour into a highball glass. Top with soda water.
Belevedere Bloody Mary, launching nationwide this month, is a clear (not tomato-red!) spirit that combines seven flavors: fresh tomato, black pepper, horseradish, red bell pepper, chile pepper, lemon and vinegar. The end result is a sweet yet tangy profile, rather than spicy.
Belvedere BM Very Mary
2 ounces Belvedere Bloody Mary
1 ounce tomato juice (preferably freshly pressed)
1 bar spoon Merlot
3 dashes Worcestershire
2 dashes Tabasco
1 dash simple syrup (depending on sweetness of tomato juice, this may need to be adjusted)
Small pinch salt
Garnish with a celery stalk
In a tall glass, stir together all ingredients except celery stalk. Add ice and stir again to chill. Garnish with celery stick.
EFFEN Cucumber is designed to showcase the crisp and refreshing essence of fresh, ripe cucumbers. At 75 proof, it’s lighter on the alcohol than many vodkas.
EFFEN Cucumber Bitter Sweet
Created by Dushan Zaric, Employees Only
1½ ounces EFFEN Cucumber Vodka
4 watermelon pieces, cut in 4 2-inch chunks
½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
¾ ounce Simple Syrup
½ ounce Campari
1 watermelon wedge with rind, for garnish
Muddle the watermelon and simple syrup in the bottom of a mixing glass until all of
the fruit has turned into juice. Add the rest of the ingredients to the glass and fill it
up with 5 large, cold ice cubes. Shake briefly, and double strain the cocktail into a
rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a piece of watermelon.
SKYY Infusions, Dragon Fruit and Blood Orange is what consumers are looking for when it comes to new and exotic flavors. SKYY rolled out Blood Orange and “superfruit” Dragon Fruit flavors in February, 2011.
Blood Orange Cosmo
2 ounces SKYY Infusions Blood Orange
½ ounce cranberry juice
½ ounce Triple Sec
½ ounce lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass.
Created by Patricia Richards, Wynn & Encore Las Vegas
¾ ounce SKYY Infusions Dragon Fruit
1/3 ounce Darbo Elderflower Syrup (or St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur)
½ ounce guava purée (or guava juice)
4 ounces Prosecco
1 maraschino cherry, for garnish
Combine SKYY Infusions Dragon Fruit, elderflower syrup and purée in Champagne flute, and stir gently to combine. Slowly pour chilled Prosecco into flute and stir. Garnish with maraschino cherry.