Club drinks are a mixed bag, but in a canon that includes some awfully weak entries, X-Rated is possibly the best thing going. At 34 proof, it’s light enough to go down easy on its own. Almost too easy, really. It’s sweet, light, full of fruit, and so hot pink you’ll think you were drinking the freshly drawn blood of Strawberry Shortcake herself.
What’s in the bottle? Vodka, mixed with juice of blood orange, mango, and passion fruit. And probably a healthy dose of FD&C Red No. 40. The liqueur originates in France but is bottled by San Francisco-based Skyy.
On ice it’s very pleasant and almost refreshing. A touch too sweet perhaps but balanced by some bracing tartness in which the three fruit flavors all come through. It also works with vodka or as a mixer to other higher-proof alcohol. If nothing else it makes for a fantastic alternative to the much-reviled Appletini. I can see it working well instead of Creme de Cassis with Champagne in a pseudo-Kir Royale. (X-Rated calls this a “Tickled Pink.”) It is also quite yummy with lemonade.
The marketing message is a little unfortunate (and X-Rated is really playing it up; for Mother’s Day the company sponsored a “who’s your favorite cougar?” competition: Mrs. Robinson, from The Graduate, won), but try not to judge the book too harshly by its cover.
It’s hard, really, when it tastes this good. To hell with it: Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson.
A- / $24 / xratedfusion.com