Two Big Names in Vodka, Two Very Different Releases

All images belong to their respective brands.

Two of the biggest names in vodka—and in spirits in general—have announced brand-new products. And both brands have taken a different approach to these releases.

A few years back, several vodka producers committed to dialing back their flavored vodka offerings. The interest in multiple categories of whiskey had threatened vodka’s dominance. Some vodka brands chose to reevaluate the number of expressions they had on the market.

Absolut is one of those brands. They didn’t retire droves of vodka flavors, they simply responded to the winds of change. Bar operators were adding whiskeys to respond to consumer demand, replacing many of the flavored vodkas to make room behind their bars. Absolut adapted.

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The big Swedish brand has never stopped innovating, however. They’ve crafted several intriguing limited-edition expressions and released FOMO-inducing wraps on their bottles. The big news this summer, though, is the latest edition to Absolut’s citrus range: Grapefruit.

Fresh, fruity and well balanced, Absolut Grapefruit is characterized by notes of pink grapefruit. The two main ingredients in this expression are natural grapefruit flavor and Absolut Vodka, so your guests can feel good about drinking it. Offer them a Highball like the Paloma with Absolut Grapefruit this summer and make their day (and evening).

The other big flavored vodka announcement is a limited-edition expression. It’s also a response to the growing trend of home bartenders and pre-gaming. Smirnoff Moscow Mule is an infusion of iconic 30-percent ABV No. 21 infused with ginger and lime.

It isn’t like it’s difficult to build a Moscow Mule but when the originator of the classic cocktail wants to change things up, they’re more than permitted to do so. After all, who knows the original better than the one who made it first and made it famous?

Not content to simply throw a 750ml RTD onto the market, Smirnoff decided to accompany their newest expression by reinventing the classic Moscow Mule. You’ll find the recipe below. Should you see a spike in orders from guests for Moscow Mules, you’ll have Smirnoff to thank (at least partially).

Smirnoff Moscow Mule is intended for retail but would work incredibly well in high-volume bars, at pop-ups and other special events, and in bars with limited well and back bar space. If you really want to get creative, Smirnoff Moscow Mule also comes in 50ml minis, meaning you can try inverting them in beers and other cocktails.

Two big releases. Two very different approaches. Two vodka expressions your guests are eager to try.

Absolut Grapefruit Swedish Paloma

Absolut Grapefruit Swedish Paloma

Recipe and image courtesy of Absolut Vodka

  • 2 parts Absolut Grapefruit
  • 2 parts Grapefruit juice
  • ½ part Lime juice
  • 1 part Soda water
  • Grapefruit wedge to garnish

Shake all ingredients, except soda water. Pour shaker contents into Highball glass with salted rim. Top-up with soda water. Garnish with grapefruit wedge.

The Reinvented Moscow Mule cocktail

The Reinvented Moscow Mule

Recipe and image courtesy of Smirnoff Vodka

  • 2 oz. Smirnoff Moscow Mule
  • 3.5 oz. Ginger ale or ginger beer
  • Lime slices or wedge, candied ginger and/or mint sprig to garnish (optional)

Pour Smirnoff Moscow Mule over ice in a copper mug. Top with ginger ale or ginger beer. Garnish.

Smirnoff Moscow Mule, $14.99/750ml. Absolut Grapefruit, $19.99/750ml.