Filed under: Spirits
A recent launch party in Manhattan's Meat Packing District included a blending session, food pairings, giant photos of hipster queen Leigh Lezark (the model and Misshapes DJ) and enough pink lighting to rival a "Sex and the City" premiere. It was here that Claire Smith, Belvedere's Head of Spirit Creation & Mixology, led us through a blending tutorial whose purpose was to illustrate the various notes found in Pink Grapefruit, including ginger and lemon, and to dissuade us from thinking that a bottle of vodka and grapefruit is all it takes to replicate. Afterward, we were presented several sweet and savory food pairings with Pink Grapefruit-based cocktails, most of which were so chockablock with mixers as to obscure the spirit itself.
Which brings up a good point: if you're going to choose a vodka for its flavor, a typically ironic proposition, let that flavor express itself. For this Belvedere release those flavors came from Argentinian grapefruit, ginger and Spanish spring lemons. The Polish spirit maker is quick to point out that these are arrived at by means of a maceration process, which removes essences from natural ingredients and blends them back into the vodka, rather than via an injection of sugar or glycerin. The raw ingredients spend four to six weeks soaking in vodka baths before being distilled again to avoid oxidation when put into bottle.
Thankfully the result is a balanced spirit, ideal for sipping or (restrained) mixing, with nary a candy aisle flavor present. Pink Grapefruit is light and citrusy to the nose with hints of vanilla; ginger is noticeable mainly on the finish, and is present on the palate to push the notes of lemon and grapefruit forward. There's even a bit of a creamy texture going down.