Flavoured vodka has seen exponential growth in popularity over the past few years. Purists will disprove, but the rise is popularity is perhaps unsurprising given the spirit’s typically neutral character.
Launched in 2003, CÎROC has become renowned as a kingpin of the flavoured vodka market, with a profile of numerous expressions. Distilled in south-west France, using grapes as opposed to grain, potatoes or corn, CÎROC is an ‘ultra-premium’ vodka distributed by British-based Diageo, while Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs has acted as Brand Ambassador, in charge of marketing and promotion, since 2007.
Produced with Mauzac Blanc and Ugni Blanc “snap frost” grapes, CÎROC is thus naturally gluten-free, using grapes from the Cognac region, distilled five times by Master Distiller Jean-Sébastien Robicquet at the historic Distillerie de Chevanceaux near Bordeaux. The Ugni Blanc’s first four distillations take place in stainless steel column stills, while the Mauzac Blanc grapes are distilled in copper stills. These distillations are then blended (95 per cent Ugni Blanc: 5 per cent Mauzac Blanc) and distilled once more in a traditional Armagnac style copper pot still.
Joining the likes of CÎROC Red Berry, CÎROC Pineapple and CÎROC Apple, CÎROC Summer Watermelon is the brand’s latest flavour. After distillation, the limited-release is imbued with fresh watermelon and a blend of additional, unspecified natural flavourings, bottled at 37.5 per cent ABV. The spirit’s red and white bottle can be personalised with a name or message if ordered from Inkd.
Sipped neat, fresh watermelon flavours dominate, joined by some complementary notes of strawberry, cantaloupe and a whisper of sweet vanilla, joined by CÎROC’s typical vinous quality and exceptional smoothness. Refreshing and enjoyable when sipped neat or over ice, CÎROC Summer Watermelon is also suited to a number of cocktails, including a summer spritz with lemonade, soda and cranberry juice.
CÎROC Summer Watermelon is available from getitinkd.com, where shoppers have also the opportunity to personalise the bottle with a name or a message of choice, and from Amazon, Harvey Nichols, The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt. RSP £39, 70cl.
CÎROC Watermelon Spritz recipe
40ml CÎROC Summer Watermelon Vodka
10ml Cranberry Juice
Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice.
Shake well and serve over ice in a tall glass.
Garnish with a lime wheel, fresh watermelon wheel and a sprig of fresh mint.
N.B. This can also be made as a group serve in a half watermelon bowl.