I’ve never given much thought to the caloric content of the alcoholic beverages I consume. The way I see it, any notable expansion in my waistline is the result of late-night junk food binges, not beer, wine, and liquor. But I’ve been fascinated recently with the growing popularity of Voli Light Original Vodka, a multi-distilled wheat vodka from the Cognac region of France. Could it stand up against a traditional vodka?
For several years now, I’ve kept a well-stocked candy dish on my desk at work in an attempt to get people to like me. It’s been a moderately successful strategy. My candy-loving coworkers drop by for their afternoon fix, and some feel obliged to say hi and make with the chitchat. But now that the generous people at Voli Spirits have sent me a case of 120 mini bottles of their reduced-calorie vodka, I think my likability factor just increased exponentially.
Bear in mind that I really don’t give a rat’s ass about its low-calorie status. I’ve never seen vodka as a culprit in my expanding waistline. But it seems Voli achieves its calorie reduction through lowering the alcohol content to 30% from vodka’s traditional 40%, and I’m fine with that. Dry martinis, which are my main vodka delivery vehicle, tend to get me housed so quickly that I welcome the additional hour or so of partying the weaker potion will allow me.
I tried the unflavored Voli first, at room temperature, in a pretty champagne flute. It has a nice bite, muted astringency, soft mouthfeel, mild sweetness, and faintest notes of grain. As for the reduced alcohol content, it’s noticeable, but not much different than any vodka tastes after your ice cube has melted. I’d compare it to Smirnoff, and I mean that as a compliment, since Smirnoff won the New York Times vodka taste test back in 2005. It’s a fine pour, and would make a totally respectable martini.
What I’m drinking now is the raspberry cocoa fusion, (there’s also espresso vanilla, lemon, and orange vanilla) and it’s yummy too. I’m not much of a flavored vodka guy – I like my drinks dry and bitter like my soul – but I think this one is pretty well executed, with natural flavors that actually taste like raspberry and cocoa. It would be good with club soda, or even cola or ginger ale. Can I just come out and say that I bet women would be fond of this? Because that seems a safe bet, and a likely reason for its very existence.
And as for the vodka bowl, which now sits proudly next to the Kit Kats and Lifesavers, it has already attracted plenty of attention, with people snapping Twitpics and stuffing their pockets for later. Yes, just because I share my intoxicating goodies with people doesn’t mean their affection for me is sincere or enduring. I get that. But it makes them act that much nicer to me, and in this life, that’s good enough.