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Colleen Graham

The Weird: Salmon Vodka & More

By July 3, 2010

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Experiments in drink flavors are nothing new, it's what many of us do every day and what makes the cocktail world so fascinating. Sometimes, however, things go a little too far. One of those that I would describe as just plain weird has been making a few headlines in recent weeks: salmon-flavored vodka.

I was hoping that we may be beyond that carnivore cocktail craze that began with bacon in "tinis," vodka, and bourbon (which isn't half bad and I picked up from Lance Mayhew a couple years ago - do try his Bourbon Bacon Marmalade) and escalated into some truly odd concoctions. Pairing food and drink is one thing, combining the two into a drink is something you need to be very careful with. So, when I first saw the headline on Liquor Snob about this salmon vodka from (no shock) Alaska Distillery I was almost afraid to read the article. It took awhile for me to decide whether or not to add to its attention by writing about it, but hey, it's a holiday weekend and we need something fun to discuss.

Fish-flavored cocktails? I honestly cannot imagine it and don't think I want to try. It's funny that in the New York Daily News article one of the taste testers is quoted saying:

"Definitely the first few times, we had our heave bucket close-by," Scotti MacDonald, another partner, told the AP. "It was pretty bad and, you know, greasy..."

Rule of thumb here: if you need a "heave bucket" while testing a beverage it may be a flavor you want to give up on. Maybe that's just me, though.

How could you mix a salmon vodka? It seems that it was created for a Bloody Mary - the label actually says that - yet, even in that instance I don't think there's enough tomato juice and Tabasco available that can get me to try it. What do you think?

In thinking about weird drinks I did a little searching and came across some other oddities that may be great grill talk over the weekend...

  • Terrible, Terrible (Hopefully Fictional) Drinks on Cocktailians.com - This collection of drinks is hilarious and I have to agree that if you're drinking one of these there is something seriously wrong with you.
  • Weird Drink: Bacon Rum Milkshake Cocktail on SoFakingDrunk.com - Bacon again! This one you can reportedly get at Flash's Restaurant next time you're in Boston.
  • Review of Real Cobra Snake Whiskey on SpiritsReview.com - This is not new news, but it is definitely too weird to pass up. If a scorpion or worm in mezcal creeps you out do not click on this link for the ThailandUnique.com store where the cobra whiskey can be found. Other whiskies include a toad, various other snakes, spiders, and a giant centipede and the descriptions on each all claim them to be aphrodisiacs and for muscle pain relief. Surprisingly they are all sold out at the moment.
  • The Whiskeyburger Cocktail on Esquire.com - It's an old story but one I think of every time the oddities of cocktails come up so I thought I'd share this piece by David Wondrich. The "beefskey" gets me every time.

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July 6, 2010 at 10:49 am
(1) London Cocktail Guide says:

I recently tried a cocktail with nori seaweed served with a garnish of dried crab. It smelt and tasted fishy and was, frankly, the most revolting drink I’ve ever tasted. This was luckily not at a bar but at the recent UK finals of the World Class competition – clearly a case of trying too hard.

Rule #1 of making cocktails? Cocktails should not taste of fish.

July 10, 2010 at 7:50 am
(2) cocktails says:

You’re bold for giving it a try. I like to think I’d be open to a taste too but it’s not something I’m going to pursue.

Great rule! Who would have thought that we’d have to lay that out?

July 13, 2010 at 10:51 pm
(3) Stan says:

I’m already the anti-fan of flavored vodka, so it’s easy for me to say that salmon flavored vodka is going waaaay to far…

May 4, 2012 at 12:17 am
(4) Frank says:

If you cannot drink it…cook with it. I use the stuff in a pink vodka cream sauce with mushrooms and roasted peppers. Delicious. Many people ask where the salmon is. The trick is to use a little not a lot. As for drinking. I always sample before addin to a dish. I also add a dash to crab salad believe it or not and it’s not that bad.

As for a drink I drink it with what I call a rich russian. Basically just some mixed with mango and tomato juice a dash of the salmon vodka poured into a shot thats got some caviar in it.

May 4, 2012 at 9:33 am
(5) cocktails says:

Thank you for the tips, Frank.

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