On a broiling spring day in San Francisco we turn our attention to these two new flavors from Smirnoff (which now brings the number of flavored Smirnoff bottlings to a whopping 15), both of which are excellent choices for warm-weather cocktails, which usually involve lots of ice, fruit, and/or a refreshing mixer like lemonade. Both are 70 proof and uncolored/clear.
Smirnoff Melon Vodka – Really quite striking, a combination of cantaloupe and honeydew infused into Smirnoff vodka with amazing results. It’s really like biting into a fresh, ripe melon, sweet and full of the characteristic flavor of honeydew/cantaloupe (who can really tell the difference?). I tried this against the only other melon-flavored vodka I had on hand — Skyy Melon (a surprising number are on the market; though Skyy Melon is no longer in production) — and the Smirnoff was the clear winner here. The Skyy came across as bitter and dull, a pale imitation of a real melon, whereas the Smirnoff was a recreation of the fruit almost too good to be true. Now if only I liked the taste of melons more than I do… A / $15
Smirnoff Pomegranate Vodka – Not nearly the achievement that Smirnoff Melon is, but still drinkable, with some of that ubiquitous bitterness that comes along with so many fruit-flavored vodkas — though not too much. Unblended pomegranate is notoriously tart, and Smirnoff makes the right move with this blend, adding to the mix “citrus, apples and honey, with a hint of the delicate Chinese Osmanthus flower.” Osmanthus flower? Hey, whatever works! The result is more akin to a cherry vodka than I’d prefer, but there are touches of pomegranate here — and lots of orange, too. Not bad. Not bad. B+ / $15