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Review: Smirnoff Spicy Tamarind Vodka

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.

70 proof.

D / $13 / smirnoff.com

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Smirnoff Spicy Tamarind Vodka



Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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