Holland’s Effen expands its line of flavored vodkas — the black cherry version is insanely popular — with this unlikely extension: Cucumber Vodka.
Effen isn’t the first cucumber flavored vodka on the market — Square One makes a good one — but this isn’t half bad. Read the fine print and you’ll see that Effen Cucumber is actually “cucumber and vanilla flavored vodka,” a smart move considering how sharply flavored cucumber can be.
That vanilla gives Effen Cucumber a temperament that it may not otherwise achieve: The cucumber nose and flavor — authentic and crisp — is cut with dessert-like sweetness: The vanilla is distinct but really quite mild, and it’s surprisingly complementary with the cucumber notes.
The finish needs work. It is earthy and bark-like, more evocative of the produce section than I’d like. Certainly worth a try as a mixer — maybe in a Bloody Mary? — as there’s on the whole something worthwhile and charming here.