This cherry, citrus, and blue raspberry vodka tastes artificial—but what else would you expect from a bottle that looks like a Firecracker Popsicle? The spirit is best served ice cold to tamp down the concentration of flavors for what you’ll almost certainly be using it for: shots.
Classification flavored vodka
Location Plainfield, Illinois
Still Type column
Proof 60 (30% ABV)
Low price point
The lower 30% ABV is a smart choice for Smirnoff’s first suggested use of the spirit: shots.
Artificial, dense candy-like aromas and flavors
Nose: Extremely concentrated, candied, artificial cherry aroma
Palate: It has a distinctively oily texture, with flavors of concentrated cherry and lime cordial. When chilled with ice, the strong cherry-cough-drop taste is wrestled under control, and a little bit of lime zest makes itself known.
Finish: A residual aftertaste of sweet, concentrated artificial berry that leads into a faintly bitter, almost metallic finish
Smirnoff first launched its Red, White & Berry flavor to coincide with the 2016 presidential election, when alcohol was indeed in order. The company makes no bones about the flavored vodka’s intended use, and it has become popular enough on college campuses—and in shot glasses—to warrant a regular spot on Smirnoff’s seasonal lineup.
The spirit inside is clear, but it tastes distinctly of summer. As you might expect from a bottle that looks like an ice-cream-truck treat, it has concentrated-yet-artificial flavors of cherry, citrus, and blue raspberry. (Fun fact: Blue raspberry, also called whitebark raspberry, is a real thing, although the flavor here is almost certainly not found in nature.)
The flavored vodka has a lower proof than most vodkas—60 compared to the typical 80—making it easy fodder for shots. But you should chill it before tossing it back to mute the artificial flavors.
Perhaps knowing the flavored vodka would be thrown back in large quantities on hot summer days, Smirnoff dropped the ABV considerably, making it 60 proof compared to 80 proof for Smirnoff’s original vodka and 70 proof for most of its flavored expressions.
The Bottom Line
This summery bottle provides easy fodder for shots, but the spirit needs chilling to tamp down the artificial flavors.