I have done it once again, friends. In the final moments before the buzzer, as time wound down, from the depths of my amateur mixologist skill set and limited amount of mixers I, your “humble” beer and liquor critic have once again created something that is rather tasty and best of all, more or less on time. I think I’m getting rather good at this.
So for a primer, Effen Vodka was kind enough to send along three bottles of their flavored vodkas, coming to me in Green Apple, Raspberry and Blood Orange. Having sampled each by way of straight shots, then little baby mixers in shot glasses, I decided to begin my reviews of this, not by making the cocktails they suggested (due only to missing ingredients honestly) but with one of my own. In this, my first attempt, I believe I’ve concocted a winner.
Now, this isn’t any sort of fancy cocktail that requires layering, the use of any spectacular or exotic ingredients or the setting of the beast on fire at the end of it, but rather a simple trio of raspberry vodka, grenadine, orange juice and ice.
Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, it is. And it goes as follows…
- 1.5 oz Effen Raspberry Vodka
- 0.5 oz Rose’s Grenadine
- 1 oz Orange Juice
In a Boston shaker, combine the three ingredients over ice and shake lightly. As the weightiest portion of this cocktail is itself the grenadine, it does not require any significant jarring or shaking to properly mix. From there, simply strain over ice and enjoy.
See, told you it was simple.
Now as I don’t pretend to be any cocktail expert and often defer to the judgment and skill of others, when I manage in one single experimental go to combine flavors in an enjoyable way, I’m naturally rather pleased. With this, I believe I’ve done just that.
Within this drink we find three primary flavor components. Firstly, there is the tartness of the raspberry vodka. This being Effen, it is of the sort that in a straight shot the biting nature of the vodka really only shows up at the end, enhanced by the raspberry flavoring. However in this mixer, it is all but gone entirely as the citrusy luster of the orange juice and the rich, heavy sweetness of the Rose’s Grenadine almost seem to use that tartness as a pivot upon which the two flavors balance each other out.
Thinking initially of the simple sound of an Orange-Raspberry cocktail with a vodka base, it wasn’t until smelling both the vodka and then grenadine that I opted to add it in. Glad that I did, I made sure – as you ought to – to limit the portion of the thick red mixer as it quite often can dominate a cocktail if one is not careful. Thankfully though due to the acidic nature of the other two flavors, what came out was a balanced, refreshing and somewhat fruity sip that I believe you and your party may just enjoy.
And of course, there’s not need to speak of how simple it is, should some guests find it to their liking. After all, what is the fun of impressing fellow drinkers with your own creations if you can’t leave a bit of mystery to the whole affair.
So to Effen, to…well, I suppose myself and of course to you, I say as always…
While the brand may have provided the product mentioned above for free, I was not required to write a positive review, I did not receive any monetary compensation, and the honest opinions I have expressed are my own.
Nicholas Goroff is an actor, writer and craft beer reviewer at EveryJoe.com. Certified as a Cicerone beer server, he is working towards obtaining certification as a beer judge while employed at Bert’s Better Beers in Hooksett, NH. When not reviewing beer, wine and spirits, he is typically writing political essays, screenplays and short fiction. Follow him on Twitter @wizardofcause.
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