No matter how you feel about vodka, there is one thing that cannot be denied right now — vodka is having a serious moment.
A new, edgy batch of flavors ranging from floral to fruit-forward are showing sippers that there is more to vodka than a clear, flavorless spirit. Add to it the desire for more mindful drinking and healthier ways to cocktail, and you have yourself the perfect storm for a market disruptor. In fact, this latest twist is poised for continued growth.
“Flavored vodka’s share of the vodka category has grown over the past two years, with natural flavors like fruits and botanicals leading growth, driven by the ‘better-for-you’ drinks trend we have seen take hold across categories,” says Liz Paquette, head of consumer insights at Drizly.
And, notes Paquette, that while vodka does usually see an uptick in the warmer months as it can be mixed with a variety of juices, bubbles, wines and sodas and infused with seasonal flavors, this latest batch of spirits is here to stay beyond the
“Though vodka, flavored vodka in particular, typically see a seasonal boost during the summer months, we expect this growth to persist throughout the year as brands continue to innovate and offer new flavors to appeal to this consumer trend,” she says.
Looking get in on vodka’s latest trend? We picked some incredible bottles that hit all the high notes, both for solo sipping and cocktail creations.
Finlandia Botanical: Finlandia Vodka is bringing its new botanical line out to play! The range combines the versatility and mixability of vodka with the craftsmanship of botanical infusions in a lower ABV format, meeting the growing demand for mindful sipping in casual get-togethers. Available in cucumber and mint as well as wildberry and rose, these spirits are perfect for a spritz or just thrown over ice.
Frankly Organic: Strawberry, grapefruit, pomegranate and apple vodka made from real, organic ingredients? We’ll take it. Frankly Organic uses no refined sugars, no gluten, no GMO’s, no synthetic pesticides and no artificial colors to make its vodka and the results show it. Perfect over ice or in one of the brand’s 21 recipes, your drink is only limited by your own mind.
Grey Goose: Grey Goose introduced its Essences collection earlier this year, which is full of the fruit and herbal notes everyone is demanding now. Essences comes in three vibrant flavors — citrusy strawberry and lemongrass, savory white peach and rosemary, and dewy watermelon and basil — and all you need is some soda water and a garnish to make it into something special. Designed for mindful sippers, Essences also features an ABV of 30%, is made with all-natural ingredients and without carbs, sugar or gluten.
Prairie Organic Spirits: Proudly stating, “from seed to shelf,” Prairie Organic Spirits is joining this trend with the release of its line of “sustainable seasons.” The brand is touting three flavors — Grapefruit, hibiscus and chamomile; watermelon, cucumber and lime; and apple, pear and ginger. These vodkas can be used to create cocktails throughout the year, as each has playful seasonal flavor notes. Even better? Prairie uses single vintage, 100% USDA certified organic yellow corn that’s non-GMO and grown on Midwestern family farms.
Smirnoff: Four spins on the classic spirit make up Smirnoff’s Zero Sugar Infusions line, including cucumber and lime; strawberry and rose; watermelon and mint; and lemon and elderflower. Gluten free, these vodkas are all designed to be balanced and bright, not overly-sweet and manufactured.
SVEDKA: The brand’s Pure Infusions line has been catching fire lately, especially its dragonfruit melon flavored vodka. Other flavors include ginger lime and strawberry guava, all made with natural flavors and zero sugar for those looking for a healthier alternative to cocktailing.