My tamarind fandom is well documented, so naturally when Smirnoff released a tamarind-flavored vodka, I was ready to give it a try. This bottling was originally exclusive to Mexico, where the tamarind is king, but recently it arrived in the U.S., complete with a spooky glows-under-black-light label.
As cool as the label is, it’s the spirit — a clear vodka which features natural and artificial flavors — that I couldn’t get my mind around.
The nose is indistinct but somewhat evocative of tamarind, with a distinct medicinal character underneath and a strong note of linens hanging on the line. On the palate, things take a sharp turn: A surprising punch of sweet and sour sauce hits right away, quickly followed by a hot cayenne note. The sharp tanginess is overwhelming, as is the fieriness — but the combination of the two makes for an experience that is just plain weird. Both mouth-puckering and pungent, I could only manage a few sips before I had to call it a night.
D / $13 / smirnoff.com