kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits & lifestyle writer / wine educator

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Playing with SKYY Infusions Pineapple Vodka

Flavored vodkas are an interesting breed. When done well, the flavors are true to life, and offer added dimension to cocktails with complimentary flavors. When done poorly, they can come off tasting as artificial as lollipop or Popsicle flavors.

Last week I got a bottle of SKYY Infusions Pineapple Vodka. I had already tasted it in several cocktails, and wanted to sample it naked and in my own creations. I was really impressed by its balanced flavor--both the sweet and tart notes found in real pineapple came through. And the spirit was blessedly without that harsh afterburn all too common in flavored vodkas (I think unfortunately producers sometimes use inferior spirits to start with, thinking that their flavorings will mask crappy quality vodka...not a good idea, and it doesn't work.)

I did also receive a bevy of cocktail ideas to use it in. One thing I noticed about most of them was that they called for pineapple juice, in addition to the pineapple vodka. Unless I'm missing something, I really question adding juice--I mean, if you are going to do that, why not just use good old regular vodka?? I wanted the spirit's fruit flavors to shine through, so I started thinking about what combo of ingredients might work with it, and started pulling bottles out of my liquor cabinet.

Though I'm still tweaking the amounts (and you can really vary this according to taste, though I wouldn't recommend using TOO much of the Domaine de Canton, because as delicious as it is, it can easily overwhelm a drink), here is a good starting point:

Kelly's Tropical Cure
1.5 oz. SKYY Infusions Pineapple
1/2 oz. Malibu Coconut Rum (or another coconut rum)
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/4 oz. Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
1/4 oz. simple syrup (or to taste)

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. Shake vigorously, and strain into a cocktail glass.

Of course, this vodka easily lends itself to other tropical flavors--check the Latino aisle of your favorite supermarket for Jumex brand nectars and juices. They come in flavors ranging from guava, to passion fruit, to mango, and would really mix well with the SKYY. (SKYY also comes in Passion Fruit, by the way, but I haven't yet tried it.)