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Marshmallow, PB&J, Bacon: The Extreme Vodka Taste Test
SF Weekly ^ | Fri., Apr. 27 2012 | Jonathan Kauffman

Posted on 04/28/2012 8:32:43 PM PDT by nickcarraway

It has been 25-odd years since Absolut Peppar and Citron entered the American market, and since then, the flavored-vodka business keeps growing, now representing a quarter of the vodka market. Lemon, cranberry, grapefruit, pear, dragonfruit -- the entire fruit aisle is now being turned into 'tinis. (Though SFoodie is a brown-spirits kind of guy, we will admit to a guilty liking for Absolut Ruby Red, and drink the Alameda-produced Hangar One lime and citron vodkas quite readily.)

As success grows, so does the temptation for distillers to indulge in risk-taking behaviors. Three years ago, vodka companies were still marketing the illusion that they were infusing natural essences into mega-filtered spirits. No more! Vodka has come to out-schnapps schnapps. Pinnacle -- just acquired by the makers of Jim Beam for hundreds of millions of dollars -- has flooded the aisles with vodkas that supposedly taste like cookie dough, gummi (bear), and cake. This past November, Smirnoff released whipped cream and fluffy marshmallow vodkas, and campaign billboards featuring Amber Rose are inescapable. And earlier this month, another daredevil infused-vodka producer, Van Gogh (yeah, the company's Dutch), released Peanut Butter & Jelly.

For SFoodie, news of the PB&J vodka was the last straw. We decided: These extreme vodkas needed to be tasted.*

We requested samples of the most un-naturally flavored vodkas from their producers, and conducted a taste test at the SFoodie International Test Kitchen, aka our desk. Each vodka was tasted within a few seconds of pouring it over over ice. Following are the notes from the tasting panel we convened:

Smirnoff Fluffed Marshmallow Vodka

Smells like: The first hit screams toasted-marshmallow Jelly Belly, followed by vanilla candle. After that comes the impression of sniffing packets of non-dairy creamer blended with cream cheese. In other words, not unpleasant for those of us raised on Peeps and Marshmallow Fluff sundaes.

Tastes like: Sweet. Really sweet. More of a liqueur than a vodka, really -- it has a heavy body, and doesn't need to be diluted or cut with mixers to cover up the spiritous bite. "I could sip this all day," one panel member comments. SFoodie doesn't necessarily agree, preferring to stay sober until lunch, but we can see his point.

Pinnacle Cake Vodka

Smells like: Grain alcohol that someone has stirred together with cheap vanilla icing from a Safeway cupcake. Actually, it doesn't smell like much else -- the cakiness of the cake vodka is faint, and we can't imagine that the flavor of vodka would stand up to mixers. No caketinis for SFoodie, even if the bride-to-be is forcing them on us.

Tastes like: Sweetness hits the tongue first, but it dissipates almost immediately, followed by a strident alcohol heat and bitterness. Within two seconds, all that is left is an acrid, chemical prickliness. Several gulps of ice water are required to flush away the sensation.

Pinnacle Cotton Candy Vodka

Smells like: Raspberry Kool-Aid. No, wait, cherry Kool-Aid, mixed with Nerds and Franken Berry cereal. After a few sniffs, SFoodie does get a whiff of cotton candy, which quickly morphs into mandarin-flavored diet "sparkling water."

Tastes like: The time we got drunk on plastic-bottle vodka and warm Kool-Aid in college, and watched our friends vomit technicolor liquids into the trashcan in the hall. Followed by more of that acrid, off-gassy cheap-vodka flavor. Mm...sippin' on butane and juice.


TOPICS: Food; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: kidflavors; littlewater; napl; vodka

1 posted on 04/28/2012 8:32:53 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

At last, they are making vodka in flavors kids can enjoy...

2 posted on 04/28/2012 8:33:51 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
Popular in Saudi Arabia, I have heard.


3 posted on 04/28/2012 8:35:38 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: Slings and Arrows; martin_fierro

Ping


4 posted on 04/28/2012 8:36:02 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Cake Vodka is awesome, others not so much.


5 posted on 04/28/2012 8:36:38 PM PDT by Dengar01 (Go Bulls!!! Go White Sox!!!)
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To: nickcarraway
Funny you post this. I am guzzling Pinnacle Grape vodka and seltzer. I picked the drink up from a local night club. They call it a grape soda.

That isn't gay is it? Not there is anything wrong with that.

6 posted on 04/28/2012 8:45:34 PM PDT by Lazlo in PA (Now living in a newly minted Red State.)
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To: nickcarraway; MeekOneGOP; Conspiracy Guy; DocRock; King Prout; Darksheare; OSHA; martin_fierro; ...
I've got your flavored booze right here.


7 posted on 04/28/2012 8:51:55 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

Ethyl Alcohol is not that difficult. What its’ mixed with seems to be troublesom.

It’s not that difficult ............................................................. FRegards


8 posted on 04/28/2012 9:14:40 PM PDT by gonzo ( Buy more ammo, dammit! You should already have the firearms ... FRegards)
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To: nickcarraway
Sounds like vicious, vicious vodka.
9 posted on 04/28/2012 9:22:14 PM PDT by Fiji Hill (Deo Vindice!)
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To: Dengar01

I have the Cake as well. The others I have not tasted. The marshmallow doesn’t interest me nor does the PB&J. I thought Cake was okay but I probably won’t buy it again. Instead of Diet Coke to cleanse the palate I would have preferred Powers Irish Whiskey.


10 posted on 04/28/2012 9:25:09 PM PDT by BipolarBob ("Oh no, I'm not sick, well I'm not physically sick anyway. Mentally I'm sick beyond any doctor's abi)
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To: Lazlo in PA

So do you like it? Or is this a one time trial? I tried the Cake and thought it was okay (Bought it as a gag item for a party) but probably won’t buy again but I may try some of the fruit flavors.


11 posted on 04/28/2012 9:30:02 PM PDT by BipolarBob ("Oh no, I'm not sick, well I'm not physically sick anyway. Mentally I'm sick beyond any doctor's abi)
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To: BipolarBob

I like the drink. I am on my 5th or 6th tonight. Looking like I will end up on 10th or 11th the way things are going. My peace offering for dinner parties is usually Thunderbird. I circulate with wine snobs and like to poke them in the eye. I am a single malt guy myself.


12 posted on 04/28/2012 9:38:25 PM PDT by Lazlo in PA (Now living in a newly minted Red State.)
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To: nickcarraway

Well, each to their own, but for myself...yuck. I don’t really like sweet drinks as a general rule. I’ve had a few rum drinks made with fresh fruit juices that I enjoy, and a glass of ruby port can be a real treat. That’s about as far as it goes, though. I’d rather have a gin and tonic or Wild Turkey on the rocks.

I remember a guy on my dorm floor back in college who would mix Mountain Dew with either Southern Comfort or Yukon Jack (can’t remember which). The resulting “drink” was so danged sweet it made my stomach turn.


13 posted on 04/28/2012 9:44:09 PM PDT by DemforBush (A Repo man is *always* intense!)
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To: nickcarraway

14 posted on 04/28/2012 9:51:05 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: nickcarraway

I have tried (and enjoy) 360 Double Chocolate Vodka. It’s smooth and flavorful. It makes an excellent addition to hot chocolate on those cold winter days.


15 posted on 04/28/2012 9:58:01 PM PDT by hoagy62 ("Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered..."-Thomas Paine. 1776)
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To: windcliff

Ping


16 posted on 04/28/2012 10:34:13 PM PDT by stylecouncilor (Some minds are like soup in a poor restaurant...better left unstirred.-PG Wodehouse)
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To: nickcarraway

bfl


17 posted on 04/28/2012 11:03:21 PM PDT by FreedomOfExpression
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To: Slings and Arrows

Hey...I grew up on that stuff!

Whatever will the Starbucks, microbrew kids drink now?


18 posted on 04/28/2012 11:39:05 PM PDT by dixiechick2000 (This hobbit is looking for her pitchfork...God help the GOP if I find it.)
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To: dixiechick2000
Whatever will the Starbucks, microbrew kids drink now?

They'll find some horrible cr*p and enjoy it "ironically."

19 posted on 04/28/2012 11:45:13 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

Hey...as long as they get a buzz, they will like it.


20 posted on 04/28/2012 11:49:55 PM PDT by dixiechick2000 (This hobbit is looking for her pitchfork...God help the GOP if I find it.)
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To: dixiechick2000

Too true.


21 posted on 04/28/2012 11:56:27 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: nickcarraway

Just did a vodka cake shot with “alcohol-infused” whipped cream on top of it. Yummy:)


22 posted on 04/28/2012 11:57:53 PM PDT by chae (I was anti-Obama before it was cool)
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To: Dengar01

White cake?


23 posted on 04/29/2012 12:05:12 AM PDT by onyx (SUPPORT FREE REPUBLIC, DONATE MONTHLY. If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, let me know.)
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To: onyx

Yellow cake vodka? That’ll put hair on your chest.


24 posted on 04/29/2012 12:07:54 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

ROTFL. Oh yes. Hair on my chest is exactly what I’ve always desired. NOT!


25 posted on 04/29/2012 12:09:03 AM PDT by onyx (SUPPORT FREE REPUBLIC, DONATE MONTHLY. If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, let me know.)
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To: martin_fierro

Found in the Map Room
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Absolut has chosen its market.

26 posted on 04/29/2012 12:20:59 AM PDT by cynwoody
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To: cynwoody

Of course, in the real world, you actually have to work in order to keep your country.


27 posted on 04/29/2012 12:30:30 AM PDT by american_ranger
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To: Anoreth

Didn’t you have some of this in Singapore?


28 posted on 04/29/2012 3:11:16 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Your bulk-rate supplier of colons and semicolons!)
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To: nickcarraway
For SFoodie, news of the PB&J vodka was the last straw. We decided: These extreme vodkas needed to be tasted.*

We requested samples of the most un-naturally flavored vodkas from their producers, and conducted a taste test at the SFoodie International Test Kitchen, aka our desk. Each vodka was tasted within a few seconds of pouring it over over ice. Following are the notes from the tasting panel we convened:

...

Tastes like: Sweet. Really sweet. More of a liqueur than a vodka, really -- it has a heavy body, and doesn't need to be diluted or cut with mixers to cover up the spiritous bite. "I could sip this all day," one panel member comments. SFoodie doesn't necessarily agree, preferring to stay sober until lunch, but we can see his point.

Now taking bets that SFoodie works at the DMV or other CA Gubbmint agency.

29 posted on 04/29/2012 4:32:06 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Dengar01

“Cake Vodka is awesome..”

May I ask if flavored vodka is suppose to be used in some sort of mixed drink or do you take a clean shot? (meaning that you enjoy both vodka taste and what is added?)


30 posted on 04/29/2012 5:30:08 AM PDT by momtothree
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To: Revolting cat!

Also Tel Aviv and Brooklyn


31 posted on 04/29/2012 5:33:43 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Present failure and impending death yield irrational action))
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To: onyx
White cake?

I would say like a mix of white cake and yellow cake. It is unbelievably good (I've only had the Pinnacle).

I've tried some of their other flavored vodkas and I wouldn't recommend them. The cake one is the only decent one.

The most horrendous vodka is the gummy bear flavored, leaves a horrible after taste.

32 posted on 04/29/2012 9:01:27 AM PDT by Dengar01 (Go Bulls!!! Go White Sox!!!)
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To: momtothree; onyx
May I ask if flavored vodka is suppose to be used in some sort of mixed drink or do you take a clean shot? (meaning that you enjoy both vodka taste and what is added?)

The answer is both. I prefer taking it straight because it is flavorful and not as strong as some other vodkas but it still is 70 proof so ya can't drink it like a beer.

Sometimes Pinnacle will put on drink recipes on the bottle but you can always google Pinnacle Cake Vodka recipes and I'm sure you will find a TON!!!

As far as other brands I've only had the various Absolut flavors but they aren't as goofy as Cake, Gummy Bear, Cookie Dough or Bacon. I can't even think what that would taste like!

33 posted on 04/29/2012 9:06:01 AM PDT by Dengar01 (Go Bulls!!! Go White Sox!!!)
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