What is up with dessert vodkas? This is the question I've been asking myself lately. At first I thought it was just a passing fancy that one or two vodka makers were testing out on the market, but then they began to multiply and though there are still only a handful of vodkas offered, it seems to be a big hit.
So, then I ask why, how, and what? The last part of that is simple astonishment that someone would conceive of making a vodka flavored to taste like cake, cupcakes, marshmallow, or whipped cream. Yet, if we think about those drinkers - many of which read this blog - who enjoy the sweeter side of cocktails, this trend is really a natural progression in the distilled spirits market. Many people enjoy drinks that replicate the flavor of their favorite desserts and baked goods (i.e. Chocolate Martini, Caramel Apple, Pumpkin Pie, Wedding Cake) and these vodkas make these drinks even easier to obtain.
A little open-minded exploration and a conversation with Dean Phillips of Phillips Distilling, makers of UV Vodka, and I get it... these vodkas are simply fun and an answer by the vodka industry to consumer demand. Also, I've learned that, while at first these vodkas seem limited in their use in cocktails, they're actually quite versatile. Phillips pointed out that you could mix UV Cake with almost anything from root beer to pineapple juice. The recipes I scoured included the indulgent (Dark 'n Fluffy) to the more savory with a sweetened twist (Carrot Cake) and I think that, whether the flavor is cake, marshmallow, or whipped cream, these flavors are almost interchangeable with one another in cocktails. One thing I noticed is that all of them are excellent with coffee similar to Irish Coffee, whipped cream included of course!
I know, I know... purists find these (and most) flavored spirits detestable, for lack of a better word, but no one says that you have to drink them. There are just as many people who adore these new vodkas and I say go for it! Explore the flavor possibilities and share your discoveries with friends. We don't know what is up next in the vodka category but I have a feeling this trend is not going to end soon, so go with it and have fun with whatever drink you choose.
On a side note, if cake vodka blows your mind, check out Rumskey. Yeah, it's exactly what it sounds like (rum and whiskey in one).