With the insurgence of flavored spirits penetrating
the grocery and convenient store shelves as
well as every restaurant, bar, resort and hotel's
back bars, everyone has come to realize that a
cocktail can be created by utilizing any fruit,
vegetable, herb, tea, coffee, cream and even
candy with Cognac, Gin, Rum, Tequila, Vodka
and Whiskey Bourbon.
Beverage suppliers are taking full-advantage and stroking the iron while it's hot by offering more flavored spirits
than ever before and there seems to be no end in sight. Instead of just an apple profile flavor, the category is now
being pushed to different styles of apple which include green, red, sour, Washington, and even apple-pie. The
same can be said for berry, cherry, tea, cake and the explosion of the whipped cream category. By pushing past
their own limits of creation at amazing speeds even Willy Wanka would be proud. Just when you think there couldn't be another flavored spirit possibly made, a beverage supplier is announcing yet another kickoff in the
marketplace. Who knows, maybe someone right now at this exact moment in time is hard at work in the laboratory
making the next exorbitant flavored spirit, called "The Everlasting Gob Stopper".
When looking at all the flavored spirits that are out in the marketplace today rather than 3 to 5 years ago, it's
important to realize the positive attributes that they
bring to both consumers and bartenders. While the
traditionalists behind the bar would prefer to keep it
simple and utilize fresh ingredients from Mother
Nature, it also offers a plethora of opportunities for
others who need to make cocktails on the fly. However,
some can find a true balance either way, like Morgan
Davis, bar manager at Cuchina Rustica in Sedona, who
has created the "Caprese-Tini". He can easily infuse
fresh basil with an ultra-premium vodka like "Purity"
or simply use a flavored basil vodka like "Square
One", either one would still be garnished with the
same Campari-tomato and ball of Mozzarella. Morgan
claims that the decisions come from the request of his
customers direct who are willing to drink top shelf and
clean or keep it simple and cost effective.
Some say that flavored spirits work best in vodkas than any other category with rum a close second, but Richie
Moe, owner and mixologist of Citizen Public House, claims that even though it's true that the majority of flavors
come from vodkas, the tequila and whiskey-bourbon flavored spirits are highly enjoyable on their own and offer an
amazing taste profile. As a former winner of many bartending contests, Richie states that beverage suppliers who
are concentrating on mixing flavors are doing it right. By not over saturating the flavors, yet still focusing to the
spirits true essences, suppliers are able to create unique flavored product lines that simply taste incredible. His
favorite flavored spirits are Mar Azul Almond, Banana, Chocolate
and Coffee flavored Tequilas, and Jim Beam's Red Stag Black
Cherry, Honey Tea and Spiced Cinnamon flavored Bourbons.
Just because there are a vast majority of flavored spirits available
this doesn't always make it worse or cheapen the cocktail.
Since the tongue has four major taste-buds, which include
sweet, salty, sour and bitter, customers are only now becoming
aware of their beverage palate style thus giving them plenty of
opportunity to change it whenever they feel the need to explore
a different flavor profile. No longer does one have to stay true
to one of these for the rest of their lives. They now have the
ability to perceive new taste ideas because the marketplace
gives them that choice. Whether it's in a martini, margarita, specialty cocktail or straight-up on the rocks, consumers
are willing to take the chance to find something new to enjoy with friends or family they are with, or even
"Tweet" about it on their cellphones instantaneously at first sip.
Once consumers get wind that there is a new flavor coming, they seem to be dashing to their nearest grocery
or beverage superstore to get it first hand and then immediately request it when they go out to party on the
weekends. It doesn't matter who you talk to, as you get the same answer from everyone who tries a new flavor.
They are astounded as to how each new flavored spirit tastes exactly like it's named. That's right, even the
Snozzberry, tastes like Snozzberry!