Unfortunately, the sweet (sometimes creepy) flavored vodka category is the #1 seller at the liquor store nowadays. Aside from the philosophy attached to this, let me remind you that vodka is still a legitimate cocktail ingredient, and occasionally, vodka flavors are great additions to the liquor shelf.
Exhibit A: Sub Rosa Saffron Vodka. Distilled and infused at a small Oregon distillery along with a tarragon vodka, it escapes all the trappings of modern “flavored” vodkas, aligning itself more with gourmet cooking than with Katy Perry’s bra.
Sub Rosa has designed a beautiful and simple bottle to showcase the electric-yellow saffron vodka within. Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice at $500-5,000 per pound, and this vodka is rich, aromatic, and savory. Intense flavor like this is usually found in gins, not vodkas. On first taste, I thought about potential cocktail partners for such a unique flavor, and both lemon and olive came to mind. A martini variation is a good start:
Saffron Martini (by Greg Mays)
- 2 oz Sub Rosa Saffron Vodka
- 1/4 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz olive juice
- shake with lots of ice, double-strain into a chilled cocktail glass
- olive garnish