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The 13 Best Flavored Vodkas, Ranked From Good to Crazy Delicious

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Trying a new flavored vodka is always risky. While there’s a chance it will deliver on the flavor it promises, more often than not it disappoints—dramatically. Often excessively sweet and artificial tasting, flavored vodka is extremely popular in the U.S. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Americans purchased more 180,000 bottles (750 ml) of the stuff in 2016—that’s almost as much as the total amount of tequila sold in the same year.

To capitalize on this trend, many companies go for shock value when creating new vodka flavors, tapping into the most unexpected foods and things they possibly can, from smoked salmon to whipped cream to PB&J to fresh cut grass (seriously). And while those gimmicks may inspire chatter and garner attention, they certainly don’t guarantee a good product. Other distillers, though, are going full craft, sourcing the freshest ingredients they can find and infusing them into a quality spirit. From the hot and spicy to the fruity and herbal, we tracked down brands producing truly impressive flavored vodkas. Here are our 13 favorite flavored vodkas, ranked from pretty darn good to ridiculously delicious.

St. George California Citrus Vodka ($29)

Combining Valencia oranges, Seville oranges and bergamot—all grown in California—this citrusy vodka has a lot going on. It smells fruity and floral. Instead of leaning on the fruits’ sweeter flavors, it comes out with a slightly bitter touch of citrus rind, as well as twinges of tart and herbaceous notes—all while remaining plenty juicy.

Grey Goose/Facebook

Grey Goose Le Poire ($30)

There’s nothing quite like biting into a ripe, juicy pear. And while this vodka may not be a perfect recreation of the scrumptious fruit, it’s certainly not a bad substitute. In keeping with Grey Goose’s French heritage, the leading flavoring in the vodka is D’Anjou pear. Try it in a mild take on an Apple Martini (topped with a sprinkling of fresh-cracked pepper), or simply pair it with some soda and a slice of lemon.

Crop Organic Meyer Lemon ($25)

While many citrus vodkas have an astringent quality and can come off smelling like cleaning products, this Meyer lemon-infused elixir manages to avoid that unfortunate fate. Crop Organic doesn’t filter its vodkas, so none of the sweet and tart flavors of the lemon are stripped away. It has a slightly oily mouthfeel, and would make a great addition to any vodka cocktail that could use a touch of lemony goodness.

Northern Latitudes Distillery/Facebook

Northern Latitudes Horseradish Vodka ($30)

Don’t be taken aback by this vodka’s opaque color; it’s really just an indication of how much funky horseradish flavor is packed into the bottle. Made by Northern Latitudes Distillery in Michigan, it starts out with a smack of spice and then dissipates into a slightly sweeter flavor more akin to a salad radish. This horseradish vodka lends itself almost too well to a Bloody Mary.

360 Double Chocolate Vodka ($14)

If this ultra-chocolaty vodka is wrong, we don’t want to be right. The least expensive bottle on our list, this decadent sipper from 360 Vodka might seem like just another way to lure in an unsuspecting drinker with a sweet tooth—but it’s so much more. Upon first sip, you’ll have the sensation of biting into a fudgy brownie—one that’s not too sweet. It may not be not an everyday flavored vodka, but it will add a nice dessert-y touch to a White Russian or give your cup of Joe a mocha twist.

Durham Cold Distilled Cucumber Vodka ($28)

Simple and crisp—those are the hallmarks of a good cucumber vodka, and the bottling from North Carolina’s Durham Distillery has them spades. There is a freshness in Durham’s work, which, if you could somehow forget for a moment that you’re drinking an 80 proof alcohol for a moment, would transport you to a high end spa. We think it makes a Vodka Gimlet that much better.

Square One Organic Spirits/Facebook

Square One Bergamot ($35)

Like we’ve mentioned before, citrus is not an easy flavor to master in vodka. But if you’re going to have a citrus vodka on your bar cart, this is the one to buy. Though $35 might seem like a hefty price tag for a flavored vodka, this bergamot orange-infused spirit delivers on flavor and also includes complementary infusions of ginger, coriander and juniper. It not only tastes like there’s fresh juice in this organic vodka, but it also retains some of the tannic and slightly bitter flavors you’d get while eating a fresh orange.

Dr. Stoner’s Fresh Herb Vodka ($30)

Yes, we admit that this vodka does look and sound a little bit like something they sell in nips at the checkout aisle of one of the West Coast’s many new legal weed dispensaries. But this psychedelic little bottle might be one of the most welcome surprises to hit the flavored vodka market in quite some time. It tastes sweet, but still woodsy, with flavors of pine, basil and coriander. It makes a simple Vodka Soda explode with flavor. (And, no, there’s no actual marijuana in it.)

 

Courtesy of Boardroom Spirits

Boardroom Spirits Fresh Ginger ($27)

If Moscow Mules are your jam, you’ll want to add a bottle of this brand spankin’ new vodka to your collection. Infused with fresh ginger root without any artificial sweeteners, it tastes remarkably like candied ginger. It also leaves a nice bit of heat on the palate, thanks to a touch of ginger spice and a hefty 50-percent ABV.

Hanson of Sonoma Habanero ($40)

Ever tried infusing your own liquor with hot peppers? You know how quickly the experiment can turn deadly for your taste buds. Thankfully, this limited-edition habanero vodka—which is infused with organic habanero peppers—doesn’t overdo it on the spice. The sweet, savory flavor of the habanero pepper shines through. While it would naturally be delicious in a Bloody Mary, it would also give your Gimlet or Vodka Tonic a bit of excitement.

St. George Spirits/Facebook

St. George Green Chile Vodka ($29)

The first thing you might notice about this peppery vodka is its color is a little...different. And—we promise—that’s how it’s supposed to look. It’s slightly green, thanks to all of the spicy goodness that goes into it, including jalapeño, Serrano and habanero hot peppers, as well as sweeter red and yellow bell peppers. St. George also infuses the vodka with cilantro and lime to round out the flavor. It has a spicy aroma that tickles the inside of your nose without overwhelming. The same is true of the flavor, which is piquant but has plenty of acidity and herbal freshness from the cilantro. Some may call it blasphemy, but we suspect this would be a welcome addition to a Margarita or Paloma.

Square One Basil ($35)

There aren’t many herb-flavored vodkas on the market, and that may be because the plants—and their flavors—are so delicate. But if Square One Basil is any indication of how darn good herbal vodka can be, we can only hope this turns into a trend. It’s infused with Genovese, Thai, lemon and sweet basils, as well as coriander, honeysuckle and lemongrass. The result tastes just like a fresh basil leaf smells, with a mild licorice tang. We’re ready for a summer full of Basil Martinis.

Heritage D’s Seasoned Vodka ($28)

This pungent and potent vodka puts the “crazy” in “crazy delicious.” It’s infused with rosemary, thyme and roasted garlic, but it’s the sun dried tomatoes along with a smoky, salty backbone that take over your mouth upon sipping. It’s not the most versatile bottle on this list, but a better base of a Bloody Mary we may never find.

 

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