By Kimberly Poff
In honor of the beginning of Olympic season, this week’s libation-centered review features the classic Russian liquor: vodka.
As fate would have it, vodka is very similar to Olympic sports: not to be imbibed alone.
Typically, most people do not watch Olympic sports (such as swimming or skiing) outside of the actual Olympics. At the same time, most people do not consume vodka straight from the bottle—especially the college crowd.
This is probably for the best, as the vodka college students can afford should not be had without a good deal of mixer to mask the pungent odor and terrible flavor.
In the spirit of the noble Olympics, we did not rank the eight sampled vodkas, but instead likened them to the athletic events that will grace our televisions throughout February.
1. New Amsterdam Citron
Drinking this vodka is exactly like smelling citrus-laced hand sanitizer. It tastes like rubbing alcohol, and the citrus flavor comes only as a bitter aftertaste. Like Nordic Combined, the marriage of cross-country skiing and ski jumping, this mixture of two decent flavors results in something ultimately silly and undesirable.
2. New Amsterdam Red Berry
This vodka is exactly like watered-down, alcoholic cough syrup and hockey—both are over-aggressive. This vodka punches you in the face with the berry flavor, while it slapshots you in the throat with the alcoholic burn.
3. New Amsterdam Peach
Much like figure skating, this vodka is pretty much what you would expect. It tastes like peach vodka. Figure skating has jumps, spins and shiny costumes. It is fun to watch, just like this vodka is fun to drink. The New Amsterdam Peach Vodka pairs well with orange juice.
4. Smirnoff Triple Distilled
This “Russian” vodka (which is actually owned by a British company) is much like the Sochi Olympics: a little bit of a failure. It smells like rubbing alcohol—enough to cause one to cough—and is very watery. Drinking this vodka is like watching curling; it’s not that great, but it is better than those non-Olympic sports, or Burnett’s, and everyone still knows what it is.
5. Smirnoff Wild Honey
Drama is the essence of this vodka. Like Ice Dancing, its flavors are over-the-top and in-your-face. It smells like a Bath and Body Works candle, and tastes as if it were nothing other than honey.
Again, the vodka is anything but smooth, however, the excess of sugar overwhelms the flavor. Seriously, this could be put in tea or lemonade. And, like Ice Dancing, the Smirnoff Wild Honey is overdramatic, yet fun.
The snowboarding of vodkas. It is fun and, more importantly, it actually tastes good. You could party pretty hard with Skyy. Unfortunately, it still has a little bit of the rubbing alcohol smell; however, it does not linger after a few drinks.
7. Crystal Head
Bottled in a glass skull, this vodka is Skeleton, for obvious reasons. Crystal Head is smooth, tastes good and does not smell like rubbing alcohol—a great selling point for a vodka. You might not even want to mix it, but instead drink it in a vodka martini.
8. Grey Goose
This was the most disappointing vodka of the lot—like the Biathlon. Anything involving guns should be exciting, but Grey Goose lacks flavor and has a harsh burn. However, it still tastes better than the Smirnoff Triple Distilled, but not by much.