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Smirnoff Peppermint Twist

Review: Smirnoff Peppermint Twist (Flavoured Vodka)  (88/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on November 25, 2018

Pyotr Arsenievich Smirnov founded a Vodka Distillery in Moscow in the latter half of the 19th century. Pyotr’s Vodka was quite a success and was apparently the best-selling Vodka in Moscow by 1886. Early in the next century, when the company was under the control of Pyotr’s son Vladimir, political upheaval shook the foundations of Russia. In 1904, the Tsar forced nationalization upon the Vodka industry, and Vladimir was forced to sell his distillery and the Vodka brand to the state. Later, during the Russian Revolution, the situation declined further for Vladimir, and he (and many others) fled Russia.

Vladimir then did what he had always done, he began to make Vodka, first in Constantinople where he opened a new distillery, and then a few years later, he moved production to Lwow, Poland (which would later become part of the Ukraine, Lviv). He re-established his Vodka brand, but now used the french spelling of his name, Smirnoff. The Vodka he produced must have been good, because over time Smirnoff Vodka has become more and more popular such that now (according to brand owner Diageo), it is the number 1 selling Vodka in the entire world being sold and distributed in over 130 countries. It is not only sold in many countries, it is also produced in many countries.

Smirnoff Peppermint Twist was described to me as deliciously cool with a sweet candied peppermint aroma. It can apparently be served as a chilled shot or mixed into holiday-themed cocktails. It is a limited seasonal offering from Smirnoff Co. bottled at 30% alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

To the left is the bottle shot that I was provided by the folks who represent Smirnoff. The bottle not only looks festive, if you give the candy cane striped surface a light scratch a scent of peppermint can be found in the air.

The festive bottle stands out on my vodka shelf making it easy to pick out. It also brings a holiday mood to the gathering when you have a few friends over. My only quibble is with the metallic screw cap on the top which is rather flimsy. I would prefer a plastic screw cap which would provide a better seal.

In the Glass 8.5/10

When I poured a small dram into my shot glass, I noticed that the spirit was lightly thickened which is probably a function of the added sweetness associated with candy canes and peppermint. In fact the scent of candied peppermint grabs you as soon as you pour a dram into your shot glass.

I am also quite pleased that I do not detect any trace of vegetal aromas or metallic scents often associated with vodka although with such a forceful peppermint scent it is not surprising that no trace of the underlying vodka can be found.

In the Mouth 53/60

The peppermint flavoured vodka is perhaps a touch on the sweet side, then again it is the flavours of peppermint and candy cane which are featured and the spirit would not be a true holiday spirit if it did not accurately reflect this sweetness. I tried a small amount chilled and found the flavour quite enjoyable. It reminded very strongly of the King’s Peppermint Candies I used to enjoy in my younger years. I believe there is a light ribbon of orange curacao present as well although I would nt be surprised if this is a figment of my subconscious mind. Since the theme of the spirit is holiday cocktails I decided to mix a couple.

The first such recipe is called Holiday Bliss and it mixes Smirnoff Peppermint Twist with Chocolate Milk and Don Julio Anejo Tequila (see recipe below). The recipe is a winner and I might just have found a way to allow my wife to enjoy tequila as much as I do. The second recipe I tried was a serving called Boozy Peppermint Eggnog Latte (see recipe below) which uses the Peppermint Twist to spice up a traditional Eggnog. Again I quite liked the serving although my preference (based upon my love of tequila) would be for the first recipe.

In the Throat 13/15

The finish is smooth, sweet and minty. The peppermint lasts a long time on the palate, so this should be the final indulgence of the evening rather than a first indulgence.

The Afterburn 9/10

Smirnoff’s Peppermint Twist is a dandy holiday spirit. It might be limited in that they will only be certain times where that blast of peppermint will be desired. But when those occasions arise, the flavoured vodka from Smirnoff delivers.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Flavoured Vodka Reviews.

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Suggested Servings

Holiday Bliss

1 oz. Smirnoff Peppermint Twist
1/2 oz. Don Julio Añejo Tequila
3 oz.  Chocolate Milk
Ice
Grated Cinnamon and Nutmeg

Add the first three ingredients into a Metal Shaker with Ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a rocks glass and top with grated nutmeg cinnamon

Enjoy Responsibly!

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Boozy Peppermint Eggnog Latte
(Courtesy of Karly Gomez from A Simple Pantry)

1 1/2 oz  Smirnoff Peppermint Twist Vodka
1 1/2 oz  Cold Brew Strong Coffee or Espresso
3 oz  Golden Eggnog
Whipped Cream (for topping)
Ground Cinnamon (for topping)
Fresh Mint (garnish)
Cinnamon Sticks (garnish)

In a rocks glass, combine the Smirnoff Peppermint Twist Vodka, coffee, and eggnog
Stir gently to combine
Top with whipped cream, then sprinkle with a little cinnamon
Garnish with fresh mint and cinnamon stick

Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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As usual you may (loosely) interpret my score as follows.

0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing Vodka. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again for cocktails only.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this Vodka in shots, although cocktails are preferable.
85-89 Excellent! Shots or cocktails!
90-94 You may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:

70 – 80 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
81 – 89 Silver Medal (Recommended for shots and mixing)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly Recommended for Vodka Shots and Sublime Cocktails)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

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