A vodka tasting a few months ago had profound repercussions at Motor. To be fair, I will call the vodka in question "Brand X" and the liquor rep "Liquor Rep."
Liquor Rep walked into Motor lauding praise upon Brand X's line of infused vodkas. I reluctantly decided to taste/spit the vodka. Sampling wine and beer is one thing, but tasting liquor is a more complicated affair. Without care, a liquor tasting can destroy an otherwise productive afternoon. Liquor Rep produced six shiny bottles of Brand X and poured them neat into cocktail glasses. (Sounds kind of rough, but if you want to taste imperfections, drink liquor or wine lukewarm to get maximum flavor. If you're trying to cover up flaws, you serve them ice cold.)
After the tasting was over I thanked Liquor Rep for taking time to let me taste his line. (Seriously, who wants to schlep six sticky bottles of liquor around in 90 degree weather?) What I was really thinking about was how to scrape the taste of artificial flavoring and corn syrup off my tongue.
The next day I ordered a case of vodka and a steep learning curve ensued. A few months later, we have concocted twelve (and counting) flavors, from local strawberry to bacon. Fresh ingredients pay big dividends in the final product, whether you're dealing with food or vodka. (House infused bacon vodka + house-made Bloody Mary mix + 1 spear pickled okra = very good time)
The next time you are thinking about buying a bottle of flavored vodka, consider making it yourself. The process could not be simpler and you will save money. I promise you will feel very cool. Here's how you do it:
1 Large glass jar (I've seen some at World Market for less than $10)
Bottle Smirnoff (you can use others but this is one of the best for the money) $14
1 pint chopped fresh fruit (Pineapple, raspberry, ect.)
1 cup sugar (optional)
Strain through cheesecloth and drink.
PS: Let me know if you try any weird flavors and they turn out tasty.
Box of raisins in a beer mug covered in half Southern Comfort and half vodka...let sit for the two weeks covered with plastic wrap, strain and add to a bottle of vodka...eat raisins and get all messed up :)but so incredibly good.