“Well, that was one of the more unnecessarily sweet vomits I’ve ever had.”
~Novelty-flavored vodka drinkers
We’ve discussed the nuanced philosophy behind flavored vodkas in the past, but here it is again. Vodka exists as a neutral spirit, which is both a blessing and a curse. Vodka earns its keep for American drunks by finding a way to let orange juice get you drunk, but its ability to meld with various flavors means that, more than any other type of alcohol, liquor companies will churn it out in dozens, if not hundreds, of different and often unnecessary varieties. And we get it, we really do. Some people don’t like the taste of alcohol and want to get drunk fast by putting four shots of raspberry vodka into a cup of fruit punch. We remember being nine years old too.
As much as you might assume that fruity-tasting alcohol is somehow less American than whiskey, well, you’d be right, but flavored vodkas are still perfectly acceptable in polite society, and in the case of downing shots might even be preferable to the unflavored variety (every drinker over the age of 18 has long ago lost their ability to down a shot of straight, unflavored vodka without their stomach reminding them of the time they did vodka shots until they puked).
But just because we drink black cherry vodka like it’s water, or can add cucumber vodka to a Bloody Mary with delicious results, doesn’t mean that all vodka flavors are created equal. That’s why we’re returning after a long vodka-article hiatus to present our third article about the strangest, most unnecessary vodka flavors in America. Because why drink alcohol that makes you seem like you’ve retained some semblance of your sanity when you can get drunk on something that tastes like a freshly mown lawn. That’s not a joke flavor, by the way.
America’s Strangest Vodka Flavors (Part 3)
We’ve written twice before about absurd, often disgusting-sounding vodkas. Some are strange and sweet, like cotton candy or the Mountain Dew-flavored “Dude” flavor. Others are savory and vaguely unsettling, such as smoked salmon flavored vodka. This trend of novelty vodkas shows no sign of slowing down, and it likely never will. This is America, our primary exports are culture and taking unhealthy foods and beverages and mixing them with even more unhealthy foods and beverages. We invented bacon flavored vodka, for Christ’s sake. In that tradition, America has decided to dream up the following vodkas which range from “a crime against to humanity” to “sure it’s weird but we would totally drink that right now if you set a glass of it in front of us.” Which is why, right now, there are Americans nursing a fifth of…
When we said there were vodkas that we totally would drink earlier, we were pretty much just talking about this entry. Some people might disagree, bemoaning the growing trend of taking every food product imaginable and mixing it with the popular chili paste, but these people are wrongheaded and foolish, since it has been scientifically proven that Sriarcha is the natural endpoint in humanity’s quest for spicy foods. Everything tastes better with Sriracha, and if you can’t embrace finding a way to take the flavor of Sriracha and using it to get yourself drunk, we don’t like you as a person. This vodka, unlike just about every other entry on this list, actually has practical mixing applications. Sure, a screwdriver with Sriracha vodka would probably be one of the most disgusting things you’d ever drink, but imagine how much this would up your Bloody Mary game. This is some next level shit here, people. Embrace the Sriracha vodka. Love the Sriracha vodka. Drink the Sriracha vodka before trying any of the following vodkas because honestly it’s all going to be downhill from here.
Glazed Donut Vodka
The good folks at 360 Vodka looked over the landscape of their competition and thought to themselves, “You know, there are a lot of sweet vodkas out there, but there really isn’t one that tastes like pure sugar and the constant threat of lapsing into a diabetic coma.” So, they gathered the finest scientists in the land and said, “We’d like to make a vodka taste like a glazed donut, please,” and the scientists replied by pointing out that they weren’t scientists, but rather were just homeless alcoholics that representatives from the company brought in from the streets. “You said it was a focus group,” the disheveled group insisted. “You promised to give us free vodka and twenty dollars for our time.” At this point, the research department of 360 Vodka realized they had gone an hour or so without any alcohol and started getting the shakes, so they just decided to dump obscene amounts of powdered sugar to bottles of plain vodka and call it a day.
To answer the three questions you’re about to ask, yes, no, and of course. Yes, a glazed donut flavored vodka exists, and is an actual thing that has been created for this world that we live on. No, you don’t want to try it. And of course, if you added this to any mixed drink it would be awful. Even the 360 Vodka website seems to struggle with ideas of what to use this for, since it’s not exactly a good marketing tactic to tell the truth (“just take a shot of it and wait for your body to stop convulsing at the sudden influx of a day’s worth of sugar”). The only real recipe they can come up with is a “jelly donut” drink, where they mix glazed donut vodka with strawberry vodka which, hey, if that sounds good to you, go for it, we won’t stop you. Though you might have a hard time purchasing the vodka at that point since you’re probably a 7 years old looking for a sugar fix, and we can’t vouch for the fakes we make for anyone under the age of 13.
Less unnecessarily sweet, though equally pointless, was Georgi’s waffle flavored vodka, released in 2012. The vodka was introduced at a Holiday Inn Express in Stony Brook, New York as a way to honor National Waffle Day, which we just now discovered apparently is a thing, while also subtly implying that if you find yourself at a Holiday Inn Express in Stony Brook, it’s probably best to start drinking as soon as you wake up. They also offered waffle-inspired cocktails which pretty much boiled down to the “waffle-tini” which, if we had to guess, was waffle vodka with a waffle stuck in it, because originality is dead. Thankfully, this particular vodka didn’t go into mass production, saving millions from being presented with a bottle of stale-sugared-bread-flavored alcohol as a gag gift from their office’s Secret Santa. We don’t know if they added “syrup” flavor to it, but we’re honestly not even sure if that would make it even more disgusting or somehow slightly more palatable. And we don’t want to know. We’re just desperate to see another vodka that isn’t artificially flavored to taste like the grossest, sweetest, drunkest breakfast we’ve ever had.
Fruit Loops Vodka
Dammit all! For those of you keeping track, that’s three entries in a row consisting of vodkas that taste like breakfast items, and while we salute the American alcohol industry’s attempt to try to make morning drinking socially acceptable, there’s got to be a better way to do that other than making weird gross and sickly sweet vodka flavors. “Loopy” vodka (it’s totally fine to make poison that tastes like Fruit Loops, but God forbid you shell out the money necessary to name it after the actual cereal) comes to us from Three Olives, which you might recognize as that cheap, low quality vodka that comes in fruity flavors that are best drunk when chased with Red Bull.
Three Olives makes more flavors of vodka than the Duggar family makes babies, though most of them seem like they were invented as a dare. While you’ve no doubt had their orange vodka if you’ve ever been to a bar where the DJ starts speaking heavily into the microphone like the emcee of a strip club to inform you that for the next hour there will be “Two-for-one OHHHH BOMBSSSS” most of their flavors range from “strange” to “that’s a joke, right? No, has to be a joke. They didn’t actually make a vodka flavor just called ‘purple.’ No, of course they didn’t. That’d be ridiculous.” While Three Olives knows to embrace their mediocrity by masking their low quality vodka with sweet flavors, we have to think there must be a better way to do this apart from bastardizing one of our childhood’s favorite cereals. Then again, Loopy is more than five times as popular as any of their other flavors, so maybe we’re on the losing end of history on this one. Looks like it’s time for Plan B—we have no choice but to go into direct competition with Three Olives by making Lucky Charms vodka. Begun, the cereal vodka wars have.
King Cake Vodka
America loves Mardi Gras because it combines two of our favorite things—reckless drinking and mindless nudity. Naturally, we had to find a way to monetize the holiday on a national level. Less naturally, we decided to do that by trying to find a booze that “tastes” like Mardi Gras apart from the obvious “regular booze, all booze tastes like Mardi Gras.” This left them with a few options—they could try to make a vodka that tastes like plastic beads, they could develop a vodka that tastes like vodka that you drink to wash down that last vomit spell, or they could flavor it after a religious-themed cake that’s baked with a plastic Baby Jesus inside of it.
While king cake is probably the best tasting of those three options, it’s still a baffling vodka choice, especially because numerous vodka companies have decided to get in on that sweet king cake-flavored vodka action. This seems like overkill to us—is there really so much demand for vodka that’s flavored like an approximation of “Mardi Gras sweet cake” that there has to be competition in the market? Who is out there comparison-shopping for the king cake vodka that best represents their personality? If you’re in New Orleans and are planning on getting wasted for Mardi Gras, you’re probably going to forgo the “disgustingly sweet novelty vodka” product and fill your flask with whatever liquor is the cheapest with the highest ABV. That’s just rookie.
Pinnacle vodka made their name with their whipped cream and cake flavored vodkas, which you might have had and might not have completely minded because it was all of fifteen bucks a bottle and you were drunk enough that it went down smoothly enough as a shot. Honestly, both of those vodka flavors are fine, in the sense that they’re just two different names for sucrose-flavored vodka, but apparently Pinnacle’s success has gone to their heads, as they recently introduced Cinnabon vodka in their quest to destroy vodka as well as our desire to buy pastries at the airport. Claiming to combine the “decadent flavors of cinnamon, brown sugar and rich cream cheese frosting with hints of caramel” it sounds like alcohol that’s sweet enough to make us want to reevaluate the Wilford Brimley’s autopsy results [note to editor: don’t put this in the article right away. Please edit the article and add this line back in there when he actually dies. Note- joke does not work if he actually dies of diabetes].
A general rule for alcohol flavors is that you should only make your booze taste like something that wouldn’t make you gag if you ate it while drinking. Apple vodka makes sense because if you took a shot of vodka and bit into an apple, it’d actually work very well. Same story with grape vodka, raspberry vodka, and, hell, we’d even consider it for some of the weirder ones out there, like root beer vodka or cola vodka. But take a moment to imagine taking a shot of vodka and then immediately following it up by taking a huge chunk out of a cinnamon bun. Kind of ruins both, doesn’t it? We get the impulse to take every sweet food on the planet and turn it into a vodka flavor, but you have to establish boundaries first. We just can’t deal with any more sugary vodka flavors, we need something with substance, we need something savory, we need something that won’t lead to the doctors having to cut off our leg fifteen years down the line. Can’t we just talk about anything that’s not laden with more sugar than a quart of Pixy Stix dust?
Fresh Cut Grass Vodka
No. This…this can’t be real, right? This is a joke? Oh ha ha internet, very funny, nice job, you crazy bunch of Photoshoppers.
What? It’s…this is a real thing? That’s it, we’re out. We can’t even. No. Bad. Bad vodka makers. Go sit in a corner and think about what you did. Jesus.