The flavored vodka trend has arrived! In part because of the rise in imaginative multi-ingredient cocktails, but also from the sybaritic searching for new taste sensations. Many imported and domestic brands have responded by pushing the envelope with exotic flavors and infusions in vodka, the most popular white spirit in the U.S.
28 aficionados tasted 35 flavored vodkas in five separate categories: Citrus, Fruit, Citrus Fruit, Coffee/Candy, and Spice/Misc. The judges were informed of the categories and flavors, but the products were served "blindly", without distractions of brand names. The order of service was randomly selected through a lottery system. Each of the flavored vodkas were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. Ice water on the side and plain crackers were available to cleanse the palate. Food was served during a break.
The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the best. The totals for each of the flavor categories were added up separately. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were awarded based on the scores received. The flavored vodka with the most points per category was awarded a Double-Gold Medal.