Peanut butter vodka? You can keep it

By Richard Ehrlich, August 26, 2014
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Generally speaking, my attitude towards flavoured vodka oscillates between indifference and loathing. There are two honourable exceptions: Zubrowka (Polish) and Chase Marmalade (English).

But flavoured vodka grows in popularity, especially in the USA. Most recent abomination: UV Sugar Crush Vodka, whose name and pink bottle are clearly aimed at the very young. As the excellent website www.drinkspirits.com points out, UK laws wouldn't allow the stuff to be sold over here.

If Sugar Crush is faintly insidious, most flavoured vodkas make the simpler mistake of merely being unpalatable. Or disgusting. Marshmallow vodka, anyone? Peanut butter?

During a recent weekend at a hotel in Mistley, Essex, something made me soften my anti-flavouring stance slightly. Their house Bloody Mary, based on a home-made horseradish-infused vodka, is a thing of beauty (and definitely for grown-ups). So maybe there's something to be said for this flavouring lark after all.

If you've been in a French supermarket in the past few years, you may have noticed the increasing prominence of flavoured wines. They have a devoted following, especially among the young.

While I've never tried any, the category doesn't frighten me. After all, Kir and Sangria are both flavoured wine. And if they gently ease younger drinkers into loving wine, that's great. (No one needs to be gently eased into loving vodka.)

I'm hoping to try the flavoured stuff when I head to the Languedoc on summer holiday. In the meantime, I will be enjoying this week's unflavoured troika of summery whites. First: Casillero del Diablo Devil's Collection White 2012, an unorthodox blend from this fine Chilean producer: exuberant and exotic fragrantly mixed fruit flavours. Tesco, £8.99. Asda, £9.

Two: entirely orthodox, Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Pouilly Fumé 2013, a rich, intense version at the relatively low price of £12. A fine partner for that goat's cheese salad you'll be eating on the terrace.

And finally: The Co-Operative Truly Irresistible Godello 2013, from one of this grape variety's natural homes in north west Spain. Lively fruit, dominated by citrus; £8.49; lovely stuff. Don't add vodka.

    Last updated: 1:45pm, August 26 2014