While purists may scoff at the idea of any additional ingredients in their bottle, these innovative vodkas prove that a tasteful infusion can help elevate the spirit to its full potential. If you're getting flashbacks of college parties fueled by sweet, overly saccharine drinks, it may be time to revisit flavored vodka. Today's top varieties use fresh, whole fruits to create vibrant, complex flavor profiles that work well in cocktails or on the rocks. Check out our favorite fruit-infused vodkas and add a little bit of excitement to your liquor cabinet.
SKYY Pineapple vodka is part of the brand's 13-flavor infusion line. It's made from wheat and distilled in Pekin, Illinois, though the island-y pineapple flavors make it taste a world away. Sipping it, you get medium fruit on the nose -- so sweet it verges on overripe in the mouth, while the juiciness of the aroma draws you in.
Voli Raspberry Cocoa Fusion
Voli offers fruit fusion flavors such as mango-coconut, orange-vanilla and -- our favorite -- raspberry-cocoa. It's a well-balanced blend of fruit and chocolate that's ideal as the base for a sweet martini. Handcrafted by master blenders in Cognac, France, Voli vodkas are multi-distilled, filtered and made with 100-percent French wheat, Protea spring water and natural flavors.
Using wheat grown in Northern Holland, Effen produces five flavored vodkas, including their stellar cucumber offering. Pure and invigorating, Effen Cucumber is bottled at 75 proof and can add a delicate and intriguing twist to a vodka soda. On the nose, ripe cucumber notes are subtle but noticeable. The beverage blossoms on the palate with the cucumber displaying softly across the tongue, followed by a long, smooth finish.
Belvedere Orange owes its complexity and depth of flavor to its time-consuming maceration process. This involves soaking orange peels, flowers and whole oranges for up to one month. The vodka is distilled four times, producing the neutral base upon which the intense citrus essence will reside. On the nose, the process bares real fruit aromas of orange blossom and citrus. The palate delivers a mandarin orange sweetness layered with floral orange peels. It's delicious on the rocks.
44 Degrees North Mountain Huckleberry Flavored Vodka
Forget potatoes. The state fruit of Idaho is the huckleberry -- a much more flavorful addition to any spirit. The 44 Degrees North distillery produces their vodka using Burbank and Russet potatoes and Rocky Mountain water, then blends in fresh huckleberries for a burst of fruit. The tartness of the huckleberry is appealing on the nose, palate and the finish, while the authenticity of the fresh fruit is amplified by the slightly lower alcohol percentage.
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