There’s a new movement in mixology. Vodka producers have been playing with infusions and flavours and artisanal distillation techniques to create spirits that not only taste great near, but also simplify the making of your cocktail creations.
Let’s be honest, infusing your own spirits and making cocktails with fresh ingredients is lovely. But the recent trend toward premium flavoured vodkas offers a tasty, less time-consuming option.
Vodka is a great flavour carrier. But just because luxe spirits offer a short cut, you should never cut corners. What makes a good flavoured vodka? First, there’s the vodka itself. Always opt for a brand with quality and discernible character. Here are three amazing mixers.
Berry Good Vodka
For example, the ultra-premium Cîroc vodka has recently released a new limited edition flavour – Cîroc Black Raspberry.
Cîroc Black Raspberry is made with vodka that has been distilled five times (for an ultra-clean taste) from French grapes and blended with black raspberries and other natural flavours.
Alas it is only available in “very limited quantities” across the US this autumn. But if you can get your hands on this premium vodka, Cîroc and Puff Daddy collaborated on this refreshing eyeopener.
Black Raspberry Royale
- 1.5 oz Cîroc Black Raspberry
- 0.5 oz Lemon juice
- 0.5 oz Simple syrup
- 0.5 oz Raspberry liqueur
- Top up with Champagne
Add all ingredients in a shaker except the champagne. Add ice, shake well. Strain into a flute glass and add the champagne and garnish with a twist.
Cherry on Top
Another favourite is Luksusowa — a brand that’s been in business since the 1920s. Made with potatoes in Poland, this vodka adds a bit of creaminess to the body to a classic cocktails like a Moscow mule. It has a bit of a minerality in the palate, but Luksusowa is a generally superbly clean vodka and leaves little after taste, letting the ginger beer take over.
In its cherry flavoured version, the extra infusion gives the traditional mule an extra kick.
Luksusowa Cherry Mule
- 2 oz Luksusowa Cherry Vodka
- 0.5 oz Lime Juice
- 4 oz Ginger Beer
- Lime wedge
Squeeze lime juice into mule glass and fill with ice cubes. Add Luksusowa Cherry Vodka and top with ginger beer. Garnish with lime wedge.
We’re also big fans of Hounds, a new, artisanal vodka company based out of Waterloo. Since they started distributing their distinctive black vodka in 2017, mixologists have been singing the praises of its mineral-infused, premium vodka.
Distilled in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Hounds is only black vodka on the market. It gets it colour when it is infused with fulvic and humic acids. The process also lends a taste of wheat, vanilla and citrus with a slightly sweet, velvety texture and a soft, sweet finish.
It also plays well herbal ingredients. Here’s a great cocktail called Black Basil that will liven up any happy hour.
- 1.5 oz Hounds Vodka
- 1 oz Fresh lime
- 1.5 oz Simple syrup
- 4 Leaves fresh basil
- 6 Cucumber slices
Combine ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain over fresh ice into a Collins glass. Garnish with a basil leaf.