When it comes to liquor sales, there is no competing with vodka. Last year, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), it out-sold gin, rum, tequila, Irish whiskey and scotch—combined. And what’s helping drive this growth is a bewildering selection of flavored vodkas.
While flavored vodkas have been around for decades (Stolichnaya introduced the first ones in the l960s), over the last several years we’ve moved well past familiar varieties such as citrus, raspberry and mango into uncharted territory. We’re talking about vodka that tastes like cake, popcorn and even salmon.
It’s not uncommon for a brand to have dozens of different flavors. Now, just like fashion designers, these companies debut ever-more-exotic varieties each season.
So whether or not you’re eager to try these vodkas, we know you’re at least a bit curious to see our list of some of the most unexpected vodka flavors on the market. Cheers?
Chefs and bartenders love few foods more than pork, so it’s no surprise that there is a bacon vodka. Bakon's base is distilled from Idaho Russet Burbank potatoes. While we can’t picture this in a classic Martini, it might work well in the Canadian favorite the Bloody Caesar.
This “dynamic fusion of classic fruit flavors” hit the market in 2009 and is now one of Three Olives’ older expressions. As with a real stick of bubblegum, it’s hard to imagine actually pairing this vodka with anything, but the brand recommends mixing it with cranberry juice and ginger ale, or lemon-lime soda.
Even if your parents wouldn’t let you eat Froot Loops as a kid, you can now drink this sugary, fruity vodka, which is of course absolutely not named after that trademarked Kellogg’s product. (Well done, lawyers!)
In case you haven’t gotten your fill of sweet childhood nostalgia yet, pick up Van Gogh’s PB&J. The flavor is a combination of smooth (not chunky) peanut butter and raspberry jelly. The brand has more than 20 different flavored vodkas in its portfolio, including Banana (which you can combine with PB&J for an even better sandwich cocktail), Dutch Caramel and Rich Dark Chocolate.
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This spiked soda-fountain classic from Smirnoff combines the syrupy flavor of root beer and the rich, milky taste of ice cream. It probably tastes best when added to an actual root beer float.
Whipped cream vodka is a giant hit, and many major brands now offer one—Pinnacle, for example, has not only Whipped but also Chocolate Whipped, Cherry Whipped and Orange Whipped. (A company called Whipped Lightning is even selling boozy whipped cream in a can.)