Grey Goose is fancy French Vodka made from French wheat and water that is naturally filtered though champagne limestone. It’s one of the most successful luxury/premium vodkas in the world. In high school it was that baller shit. Since entering adulthood I’m not much of a vodka drinker, but when I find myself in a club in Tijuana, surrounded by my friends, dancing on the banquet to top 100 jams and table service costs $100, I’m definitely poppin’ bottles of Goose. Go’head and hate, haters.
Cherry Noir, a black cherry flavored Vodka, and the newest mark from Grey Goose, is fairly decent given the fact that flavored Vodka as a category, although widely popular with the general consumer (and often scoffed at by the “Mixology” set) errs on the side of artificiality. Its difficult to find a flavored Vodka that genuinely represents the natural incarnation of the flavoring itself, such as berries, stone fruit, citrus, and recently even marshmallow and whipped cream (Smirnoff does not condone pedophilia, underage drinking or date rape. They just happen to make vodkas that appeal to very, very young woman).
To quote a friend of mine, “I’m going to make a Vodka for Men that’s pussy flavored”. Not a bad idea.
More often than not, the smell and taste of flavored Vodka is evocative of the sensory “idea” of the flavor, not unlike candy. For the more ambitious and culinary minded, muddling fresh fruit in Vodka may give the best result.
That being said, there are still some fatal flaws that can’t be overlooked. Cherry Noir smells like you just opened a packaged Hostess cherry fruit pie, along with layers of Sour Patch Kids, Lemon Heads, Skittles and Jelly Beans. The nose is downright obnoxious. If you really dig deep you’ll find hints of maraschino cherry pit and a scant reminiscence of that bready, wheaty, frenchy Vodka base.
Cherry Noir crosses into the realm of fruit obscurity. If someone were to blindly nose it, they may guess the fruit is strawberry, blueberry or any ripe berry. However it tastes a lot better than it smells; not too sweet, wheaty with a burst of pink peppercorn and a resemblance of ripe cherry, which could be confused with strawberry, creeping in at the end. Noir is not cloying, like many flavored Vodkas, but rather dry and balanced. When I added water the nose relaxed and the black cherry became more robust.
Cherry Noir is not half bad in cocktails and is available in stores nationwide April 1st 2012.
Here are a few drink recipes:
2 oz Grey Goose Cherry Noir
3/4 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 oz 1:1 simple syrup
4 whole fresh cherries
Hand press cherries/ build/ shake/ fine strain up to avoid the pits coming through/ garnish whole cherry with stem on the rim of the cocktail glass.
1 1/2 oz Grey Goose Cherry Noir
1/2 oz Smith & Cross rum
1 oz freshly press pineapple juice
1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz ginger syrup
Bar spoon of agave nectar
2 dashes ango
1 oz Soda water
Build/ shake w/ 3 Kold draft cubes/ add soda/ strain over ice/ garnish with a maraschino cherry picked through a pineapple leaf
2 oz Grey Goose Cherry Noir
3/4 oz Freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 oz house made orgeat
Build/ shake/ strain up/ garnish maraschino cherry bar spooned & dropped in a cocktail glass.