It seems like just yesterday people were ordering vodka sodas and buying up bottles like they were going out of style. But now vodka has casually fallen off our drink menus and disappeared from our shelves. So when did vodka lose its cool?
Vodka used to be the base for our martinis or the easy cocktail we ordered at a bar. But in the past decade, it’s become a mess of laughable flavors. Cotton candy, cookie dough, glazed doughnut, cake and Swedish fish – somehow all of these foods have found their way into our vodka bottles. We know that some of you out there enjoy these sugary sweet concoctions but we’re suffering from a serious case of flavor fatigue. We miss the days when the only choices were original or citrus. And we’re not the only ones. Sales of flavored vodkas in bars and restaurants fell almost 12% at the beginning of 2013, a number we’re sure is only going to get more dramatic. Despite this drop the flavored vodkas just keep on coming. Over 50 new flavored vodkas were released this year alone. But we’re willing to bet you won’t see them on your cocktail menu.
Since the craft cocktail revolution, bartenders and mixologists are favoring spirits like whiskey, gin, tequila and bourbon. Take a look at any craft cocktail menu today and you’ll see a whiskey long before you’ll see a vodka. It’s not the bottle every bartender gets excited about anymore; it just sits on the shelf begging for a blonde college girl to stumble in and order a vodka cranberry. Maybe our palettes are more sophisticated or maybe vodka really is losing its mojo. Whatever is going on, the bottom line is that vodka just isn’t cool anymore.
What are your thoughts? Are you still ordering vodka when you go out to bars or are you turning to other spirits for your cocktails? If and when you’re buying vodka – are you reaching for the flavored bottles?