Available in three flavors (including chocolate and “silk”), Lovoka (la-vah-cah) is an incredibly popular South African “vodka liqueur” that recently expanded distribution internationally. It’s now also being made under license in Fairfield, California (noteworthy as the home of the closest Chick-fil-A to San Francisco), the base for its U.S. distribution. While the dessert theme may throw you, be advised these are not cream-based liqueurs. The caramel (the first to be sold in the U.S. and the only one we tasted) is the color of light whiskey. Which is to say, caramel colored.
Expectations weren’t exactly sky high, but Lovoka Caramel is a bit surprising. The nose is overwhelming in its sweetness, a big Sugar Babies bomb that quickly fills the surrounding area. Tucking into a sip, you’ll find plenty more where that came from, but it’s surprisingly restrained. Yes, it’s sweet. Yes, it’s got a burnt sugar aftertaste to it. Yes, it comes on strong but not too harshly. Lowering the alcohol to 30% isn’t a bad move on this.
Overall: Not bad. South Africa may be on to something. Welcome to America.
B / $28 / luvlovoka.com