As a valuable public service, we crack open spirits from B.C. to Bahrain and beyond, and then give you a highly opinionated, pocket-flask-sized review.
Today’s free pour
Smirnoff Pink Lemonade
“A delicious spirit with a balance of lemon, strawberry, and raspberry flavors.”
First off, Smirnoff either deserves major points for brevity, or needs to start asking some serious questions about how the marketing department spends its days. Normally, new products go over-the-top to position themselves as the next best thing to artisanal Blackthorn bitters hand-crafted by handlebar-moustached Swedish Vikings in the glacial Gullmar fjords on the outskirts of Lysekil.
One wonders, then, why Smirnoff isn’t billing Pink Lemonade as a mellifluous symphony of Pride of Russia raspberries, hand-picked Fragaria yezoensis strawberries, and organic Pavlovsky lemons. Which, when combined, brings to mind long, lazy, and hot summer afternoons on the porches of whatever the Soviet version of gorgeous Savannah, Georgia might be.
Instead, um: “A delicious spirit with a balance of lemon, strawberry, and raspberry flavors”?
Don’t try too hard.
Unscrew the top, and the lemons are the first thing that pop—think the smell of the Coca-Cola Company’s undeniably refreshing Simply Lemonade. That’s followed by a vaguely rubbing-alcohol like undertow if you’re going the neat route.
Almost no one but the hard-living oil-workers of Northern Siberia drink vodka straight from the bottle, so why should you? Poured over ice the berry notes become more pronounced, the lemon a tad more bitter and peppery, and the boozy edge comes off—no surprise considering you’re basically watering things down, albeit slowly. The smell on ice? That would be glorious, summery pink lemonade.
Given the weather the past four weeks, let’s admit that we could all use a glass of something that tastes like a hot August night. Mint juleps might be a little difficult to pull off, unless your condominium garden’s still hanging in there, so Smirnoff Pink Lemonade will take you back to happier times—even if more resigned folks are busy with the Dark ‘N Stormys.
Because it falls under the ever-widening umbrella of flavoured vodka, there’s no need to drive to the Fraser Valley and start foraging for stray Malahat raspberries or non-existent wild lemons. Instead keep things simple with the following just-add-mixer cocktail.
Smirnoff Pink Lemonade & Soda
1.5 oz Smirnoff Pink Lemonade vodka
4 oz soda water
Strawberry slices to garnish
Add all ingredients into a highball glass filled with ice. Stir and add garnish.