The Many Flavors of Vodka
Smirnoff, the world’s best selling vodka, had humble beginnings. The tiny distillery, PA Smirnoff, was founded in Moscow, in the mid-nineteenth century, by Pyotr Arsenievich Smirnov (1831–1898), the son of illiterate Russian peasants. He was the first to pioneer charcoal filtration in the production of vodka and reportedly PA Smirnoff was the Tsar's favorite brand. History— including the Russian nationalization of the vodka industry in 1904, revolutions, etc.—forced the family to flee Russian and settle elsewhere. Smirnnov's family re-established the company and over the years it underwent several changes in ownership.
The Smirnoff brand of vodka is owned by Diageo, formed in 1997, and is the world's leading premium drinks business. Diageo, headquartered in London, distributes a vast collection of alcohol brands including spirits and beer, many of which are kosher certified. Today, Smirnoff is distributed in 130 countries and is one of the world’s best–oved brands.
We are delighted to report that Smirnoff unflavored vodkas – Blue–57, Red–21, Silver–27 – are all kosher certified in the U.S., even without certification on the label. And, adding to the excitement for us is that most Smirnoff flavored vodkas, America’s number one selling brand, are kosher certified by the KSA.
In the past few weeks, we have faced the difficult, arduous and challenging job of tasting and sampling some of the Smirnoff flavored vodkas in various recipes, drinks and cocktails. We are pleased to share our findings with you! Let us know which are your favorites. We are still sampling!
We invite you, our readers, to the KosherEye/Smirnoff cocktail party and hope that you enjoy these recipes as much as we enjoyed sampling them. We thank Smirnoff for developing and sharing these wonderful cocktails with us.
Drink up, L’Chaim! Grab a pitcher, a shaker, a muddler, a straw, a lemon, a lime, some ice and perhaps a beautiful tumbler, and raise a glass to life, to family, and to friends!
The following five flavors are 70 proof, dairy free (parve), triple distilled, ranging in price from approximately $13 to $15 for a 750 ml bottle. To assist you in your flavored vodka selection, we have included a snapshot description of each from Smirnoff.
• Smirnoff Pomegranate vodka: Filtered and infused with pomegranate, citrus, apples and honey with a hint of Chinese Osmanthus flower, has a crisp bright contemporary taste and a smooth finish. Paradise Martini.
• Smirnoff Black Cherry vodka: Exceptional smoothness with rich cherry notes and delicate rose aromas, along with notes of blackcurrants; ten times filtered for clarity, The True School.
• Smirnoff Coconut vodka: Winner of a silver medal at the 2011 San Francisco World Spirits Competition; Smooth, creamy coconut flavor with an aroma of sweet toasted coconut; ten times filtered for clarity. It is suggested it can be mixed with pineapple juice to make a tropical drink. Tropical Storm.
• Smirnoff Citrus vodka: Blended with a hybrid of citrus fruits, bright and airy, “dances on the tongue and warms the taste buds”. Lively, refreshing, crispy tang of citrus with a lingering smooth finish; ten times filtered. Smirnoff Citrus Greyhound.
• Smirnoff Vanilla vodka: A freezer staple for KosherEye – for baking and martini making; Rich, soothing flavors of vanilla bean, exceptional smoothness, Chocolate Martini.
The exception to parve and 70-proof:
• Smirnoff Blue Flavors: Dark Roasted Espresso vodka This is one of the first 100-proof flavored vodkas from Smirnoff. It is triple distilled, and kosher certified KSA Dairy; Soft creamy caramel notes, bold flavor enhanced by the robust flavor of espresso, fresh coffee bean aroma; Enjoy straight or on the rocks or add to coffee, milk or soda. $17. Espresso Martini.
We are providing a list of Smirnoff kosher flavored vodkas, but of course, check with your rabbinical advisor:
Black cherry, blueberry, cherry, citrus, coconut, cranberry, green apple, lime, mango. Melon, orange, passion fruit, peach, pear, pineapple, pomegranate, raspberry, root beer (dairy), strawberry, vanilla, watermelon twist, white grape
For an updated list of kosher Smirnoff flavored vodkas and other liquor certification information visit, CRC.org.
Enjoy the following Smirnoff video – How to Make a Green Apple Martini.
October 10, 2011