Bakon Vodka is so last year. The coolest meat vodka among adventurous drinkers these days has a decidedly fishy taste. Enter Smoked Salmon Vodka, produced by Alaska Distillery. The distillery is no stranger to offbeat offerings: they also sell a “birch syrup” vodka and a “fireweed” vodka, which has a taste similar to honeysuckle. But the smoked salmon variety is by far their most notorious creation.
The Alaska Distillery has been open for about seven years now, and sources many of the ingredients from Alaska when it can. Smoked Salmon vodka includes grain from Delta Junction, potatoes from the Matanuska-Susitna valley, glacier ice from Prince William Sound, and salmon caught in the Gulf of Alaska.
Specifically created to be mixed into your Bloody Mary, we tasted this vodka neat first. After all, how often do you get a chance to sample a fish-based vodka?
Out of the bottle, the vodka has a pinkish hue, which it owes to the pink flesh of the fish. It’s almost like the color of a rose wine, but the aroma is anything but. The smell coming off a glass of this stuff is not unlike a shot of Bakon vodka, in that it has a scent that’s predominantly smoke and salt, with an undercurrent of that strong alcohol smell that vodka sometimes has. In fact, there’s hardly any fish smell at all, though there is a certain amount of oily-ness on the tongue.
That all changes, however, once the drink hits your tongue. The smoke and salt hits your tongue first, but then the umami flavor of the salmon comes through in a very long finish that lingers on your tongue long after the other flavors have receded into the background.
In short, the Smoked Salmon Vodka tastes exactly like smoked salmon, even if the smokiness is a bit overwhelming. So if you like smoked salmon, chances are you’ll really dig this. Maybe on the rocks, with a breakfast of bagels and cream cheese to mimic the whole “lox and schmear” experience?
But as you know by now, this offbeat liquor isn’t made to be drunk neat. It belongs in a Bloody Mary: for smoked salmon junkies, it’s a welcome change of pace from the standard vodka in your brunch cocktail. Of course, if you hate seafood, you’ll probably hate this Alaskan novelty.
But beyond doing shots or making a Bloody Mary, you can also mix up a mean dirty salmon martini with the stuff. Want more carnivorous cocktails? Try mixing up a batch of oyster shooters, or a perhaps a savory vodka cream sauce for your pasta.
Want to try it for yourself? Expect to pay around $35.99, depending on your location. This handy map shows where Smoked Salmon Vodka is currently available.
So, what’s next for Alaska Distillery? If they’re smart, we’re hoping for Codka, the only vodka made from cod. But regardless of the next step in the evolution of protein-derived vodka, one thing is clear: this stuff is way better than Bakon vodka.