Flavored spirits have seen a serious transformation over the past couple of years. It wasn’t all that long ago that the most innovative flavors were vanilla and raspberry, stepping out of the lemon and orange comfort zone. Today, however, there are some pretty incredible expressions making their way into the market, and while some of them may come off a bit intimidating and out of the ordinary (Peanut Butter and Jelly Vodka, anyone?) they still get people to try new things, and for that I can be nothing but grateful.
Today I’m tasting through some pretty fantastic flavored spirits that are perfect for the spring season (which I hear is eventually going to show itself). While I am, more often than not, opposed to the thought of drinking overly sweet drinks anytime of year, I found that these spirits don’t fall into the typical mold of flavors. They’re new, innovative, and damn are they tasty!
Our offerings on For the Tasting cover a boozy variety. We have a vodka flavored with Old Bay, a vodka flavored with moscato grapes and a boozy ginger beer for good measure. We also have a rum, and while it isn’t flavored, it is the ultimate springtime spirit, making it a perfect fit.
Get your hands on one or all of these bottles, and get to tasting! As always, let us know what you think about them in the Comments section. Cheers, and happy tasting!
SKYY Infusions Moscato Grape: On the nose this is pretty alcoholic, with notes of grapes and green apples. It’s subtly sweet but not overly so, with the vodka taming some of moscato’s characteristic sweetness. Slightly acidic on entry, without too much of a kick, the flavor is definitely a mixture of crisp apples, pears, and grapes. Slightly peachy on the back end with a lingering flavor that is warming. Enjoyable on its own over a few ice cubes, or topped with a splash of club soda and garnished with a slice of green apple.
"The Bay" Seasoned Vodka: Wow, hello Old Bay! The aroma of this wildly flavorful and hot spice mixture is very present on the nose, but in a pleasant way. This reminds me of summer crab boils growing up in Maryland. The cayenne and black pepper are there, but don’t stab at the nostrils too much. On entry, this is savory and spicy, with notes of grilled smoke and a real kick on the back end, but I absolutely love it. Fairly dry, with the heat hanging around for several seconds. It’s briny and delicious. This would be a perfect vodka for a bloody mary, garnished with some pickled vegetables and lump crabmeat.
Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer: I’ve had my fair share of ginger beers, but this may be the best one yet! The ginger is incredibly fresh and bright on the nose, with a slightly nutty aroma. Very smooth and clean on entry, with notes of ginger and clove heavy on the mid palate. Very crispy and refreshing, this would be great served over ice with a slice of lemon or lime, or in a kicked-up Moscow Mule. A perfect outdoor drink for spring and summer.
Caliche Rum: This is sweet, with aromas of apricots and pears on the nose and little to no alcoholic burn in the nostrils. Creamy and acidic on entry, this has a decent amount of burn to it going down, with a little bit of spice on the back end. It has some slight nuttiness and oakiness to it as well. A citrusy-spicy flavor lingers for several minutes afterward, but that isn’t a deterrent for me. This would be really nice in a rum punch.
— Sara Kay, The Spir.it