Flavored Vodka Isn't Just for College Kids Anymore

Set aside your preconceived notions, and appreciate the flavored spirit renaissance.

Flavored Spirits Are Better Than Ever

Courtesy of 21Seeds

Up until recently, my thoughts of flavored spirits triggered nightmarish memories of garishly colored vodka, plastic bottles, and very, very sticky floors. I went to school just outside of Boston where Rubinoff vodka sold in half-gallon plastic reigned supreme — through trial and error, I can say the brand’s mysteriously flavored wheat vodka is far less offensive than the Blue Raspberry, Pink Lemonade, or even the elusive Whipped Cream flavor. Maybe your Rubinoff was Burnetts, or even flavored Smirnoff, but the goal of the bottles was more or less the same: mask the flavor of the cheap spirit with sweet, fruit-adjacent flavors to make the drinking experience as easy as possible. 

Nowadays, I’m happy to report we are in a flavored spirits renaissance, where liquor brands are reimagining the category with high-quality bottles that infuse real ingredients into well-crafted spirits. Spirit brands are looking toward professional bartending to thoughtfully pair aromatic ingredients with spirits resulting in sophisticated flavored liquors that jumpstart the complexity of a cocktail. Read on for our favorite flavored spirits and how to use them. 


These delicious infused tequilas start with whole fruits and vegetables. Founded by three women who wanted  a fresh, ingredient-driven spirit to use in a range of cocktail combinations, 21Seeds pairs high-quality tequila made at a female-led distillery in Jalisco, Mexico with citrus, cucumber, and jalapeño. If you’re a lover of a Spicy Margarita, their Cucumber Jalapeño tequila is fresh with just enough spice to leave you wanting another sip. Pair their Valencia Orange tequila club soda and even a bit of sweet Aperol – it has true orange flavor with juicy roundness and a touch of bitterness. 

Buchanan’s Pineapple 

House of Buchanan’s has been distilling delicious Scotch whisky since the 1880s. Their newest release is a balanced blend of what they do best along with juicy and tropical pineapple. A whisky pineapple is a go-to order at dive bars and high-end cocktail bars alike ,and Buchanan’s Pineapple captures the essence of that perfect pairing in a ready-to-drink (or mix) spirit. It’s freshy, zesty, and bright, with soft notes of caramel, vanilla, and spice. Swap this in for rum in a Piña Colada, or use it as a tropical twist on a Whiskey Sour

Ketel One Botanical 

In the world of flavored spirits, vodka has the most work to do in reclaiming the category. Thankfully, Ketel One is leading the charge with their Botanical line. Their Grapefruit & Rose vodka is infused with essences derived from whole fruits and flowers; at 30% ABV, it's slightly less alcoholic than typical vodka, and has a smooth finish that pairs well with club soda and a slice of grapefruit in an easy spritz.  

Deep Eddy

This flavored vodka is made to be enjoyed outside somewhere with a bunch of friends in the sun. Handmade in Austin, Texas, Deep Eddy vodka is inspired by Austin’s oldest swimming hole, a place where people gather and enjoy time together, and often a very good drink. Distilled not just once but ten times, this vodka is ultra-smooth, and their fruit flavors are made with real juice, resulting in a spirit that truly reflects the ingredient it is inspired by. We love their Ruby Red Grapefruit in a spritz with club soda and often top their cranberry flavor with some tonic water and a squeeze of lime.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles