Jun 29, 2010
Being introduced to the vodka market is a whole slew of new types of vodkas - with various flavors. No longer just vanilla or chocolate chip mint, but meat flavored vodkas. Flavors like Smoked Salmon Vodka and Bakon Vodka are first, with more to come along the way if this type of flavoring is deemed a success..
''I think there was some madness and some drunkenness involved, honestly,'' said Toby Foster, an Alaska Distillery partner and the one charged with coming up with new flavors with Alaska themes.
Foster's intent was to market a local vodka which would stand out among the numerous other bottles on the liquor store shelves.
''I was trying to think of something Alaskan. What's more Alaskan than smoked salmon? It was one of those epiphanies, I suppose,'' he said.
The idea turned out to be the easy part. Finding the right formula was a little more challenging.
Foster and Scotti MacDonald, another partner, said the current formula took 48 tries, and some of the first 47 attempts were downright disgusting.
''Definitely the first few times we had our heave bucket close by,'' MacDonald said. ''It was pretty bad, and you know, greasy.''
''But once we got it down and honed in on where the real secret was in making this, it was fun and games after that,'' she said.
Vodka is the highest selling spirits category in the country, and in the last five or six years, flavored vodkas have been taking off, said Danielle Eddy, spokeswoman for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
Fruit flavors were first, followed by vegetables and herbs -- even a Russian garlic vodka.
''In the past few months, Bakon Vodka came out on the market. However, smoked salmon vodka is the most unique that we've heard of,'' Eddy said by cell phone from Scotland, where she was attending an industry event.
''Bacon does lend a nice umami flavor, it's that richness,'' she said. ''Smoked salmon is going to add that same type of richness, but from a lighter perspective.''