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Smirnoff Red White and Berry

Review: Smirnoff Red White and Berry (Flavoured Vodka)  (80.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on November 4, 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 (according to brand owner Diageo), it is the number 1 selling Vodka in the entire world being sold and distributed in over 130 countries.

Smirnoff Red White and Berry was described to me as having the cooling taste of Cherry, Citrus and Sweet Blue Raspberry flavors all combined for a refreshingly delicious taste of freedom. It is recommended to be served as a chilled shot or mixed in your favorite summer cocktail​s.

This is a Limited Edition 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 has a patriotic colour scheme which invites the consumer to creates cocktails for the celebrations of summer including Fourth of July.

The red white and blue colour scheme is also intended to highlight the triumvirate of flavours, red cherry, white citrus and blue raspberry. The bottle stands out on my vodka shelf making it easy for me to pick out when a menagerie of fruit flavours is wanted. 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 sample of the Red White and Berry into my Glencairn I was surprised at the punch of fruity flavours which greeted me. I was expecting the citrus and raspberry to dominate, but (at least by my reckoning) the first aromas to greet my nostrils were sweet red cherries the scent of which reminded me of Turkish Delight. The light citrus aroma seems to bend heavily in the direction of orange and orange peel, although I believe I notice hints of lime as well. The raspberry is surprisingly coy. This is probably a good thing as raspberry can easily dominate a fruit mixture.

The only drawback here is that the sweetness of the spirit is maybe just a little too apparent. I say maybe though, because despite the apparent sweetness the spirit remains pleasing. A spirit with this much fruit and sweetness could easily seem medicinal in the manner of cough syrup, but I’m not getting the impression.

In the Mouth 48/60

The spirit is recommended as a chilled shot, so began my examination with the spirit chilled in my freezer for a few hours. When I took a taste, I wasn’t enthused as even well chilled the spirit seemed just a touch on the sweet side. Flavours of cherry and orange seem to dominate the spirit although I taste a firmer impression of raspberry on the palate than I noted when I was nosing the spirit. Because of the apparent sweetness, I think perhaps cocktails will a better destination than my shot glass for the remaining contents of my bottle.

I really didn’t have much to go on to make my first cocktail. The recipes sent to my by the Smirnoff media team seamed overly complicated with ingredients I just don’t keep in my home bar. So my impulse was to simplify everything by mixing a sour cocktail with fresh Lemon Juice and Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka.  The result was a tasty mixed drink but one which hardly qualified as a summertime cocktail. This was easily remedied however, and I simply mixed another and this time I added sparkling water to lengthen it into a tall back yard deck drink. The trick with both servings was to get the ratio of Lemon Juice to Red White and Berry just right (see both recipes below).

In The Throat 11.5/15

The added sweetness brings length to the finish, but also has the effect of causing the spirit to become just a little cloying. I found I liked the spirit better when it was mixed 50-50 with Smirnoff No. 21 (red label) Vodka.

The Afterburn 8/10

Smirnoff’s Red White and Berry flavoured Vodka almost hits the mark. I found the flavours worked well especially as the raspberry was held in check; however, it was just a touch too sweet to be enjoyed on its own as a chilled shot. On the positive side the spirit does work well in both short and tall cocktails, and although I have shared only two suggestions I am sure that mixologists much more capable than I will be able to craft many more recipes than I.

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

Red White and Berry Sidecar

3/4 oz  Smirnoff Red White and Berry
3/4 oz  Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
1/2 oz  Lemon Juice
1 tsp Triple Sec
Ice
Lemon Peel

Add the ingredients into a metal shaker with Ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a twist of lemon peel

Enjoy Responsibly!

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Red White and Berry Fresher

3/4 oz  Smirnoff Red White and Berry
3/4 oz  Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
1/2 oz  Lemon Juice
1 tsp Sugar Sryup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Club Soda
Lemon Peel

Add the ingredients into a Metal Shaker with Ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Pour into a tall serving glass filled with ice
Complete with Club soda and stir
Garnish with a slice of Lemon

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.

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