One of the things I can marvel at coming off of my thirteen-year self-imposed health-prescribed alcohol moratorium–apart from the eager proclivity of people to think I’m going to become a lush at the drop of a hat–is the advances in what we can only call “alcohol technology.” When I stopped drinking, an advanced level of alcohol progress was Godschlager (I know it’s actually Goldschlager but shooting back the stuff is like being punched in the face by God, so I’ve always just called it Godschlager). Granted, there might have been amazing bits of alcohol tech back then but…let’s just say I didn’t have a very sophisticated palate. Not that I’m hot shit now, I just can fake it better.
Anyway, thanks to our friend Leigh, enter this jewel into my life: Van Gogh Vodka’s coffee flavored vodka promising Double Espresso and Double Caffeine. I have before wondered about the point of having an alcoholic energy drink–but again, we didn’t have those when I had quit before. I still don’t quite know the point–beyond taste–and the taste is why this drink works for me. It’s got a strong saying-hello-to-your-nostril-hairs vibe to it when you take a sizable sip and yet a sweet caramel coffee-ish taste that comes in after. It’s fine just on its own, even before you start mixing it with other things. I wouldn’t shoot it, frankly, just because it’s fine to sip it. That way you get to enjoy the flavor rather than have it hammer you in the face all at once.
[ad#longpost]In fact, I thought that it would be the perfect vodka for a white russian. So I made one–and I was dead right. The bottle says to use it in lattes or cappuccinos or such and I must say it’s a damn fine idea. As for the caffeine–I can’t tell that it’s there, but then again my caffeine tolerance is about twenty times my alcohol tolerance, so I’m never a yardstick for such things.
If there’s something that I realized while sipping some more in order to better write this review (it’s all for SCIENCE!) it’s that I keep saying coffee this and coffee that when talking about this. I’m not saying espresso. In fact, while it purports to be espresso-infused it tastes more like a coffee vodka rather than an espresso vodka. And considering the number of espresso shots I take over the course of a week, I should recognize what espresso tastes like. Does that make it a bad drink? Not in the least…it just needs a bit more espresso oomph to it to help separate it from a coffee liqueur or something. Note to self: make a double shot: half this, half espresso, just to see how it works.
Apart from the fact that it’s more coffee than espresso–and bearing in mind this is my first vodka since I “came back”–I was rather pleased with the drink as a whole. And it just lends itself to be used (note to self: drizzle on vanilla ice cream). Coffee and vodka lovers will enjoy it, but I would be interested to try a full-on espresso-tasting vodka.