When a press release landed in everyone’s inbox at Imbibe towers about Vita, a flavoured vodka that’s ‘designed to be mixed with water’ and to ‘attract health and lifestyle-conscious drinkers’, our gimmick antennae began to twitch like Donald Trump’s tweeting finger.
‘Our secret formula means that Vita needs only still or carbonated water to bring out its natural citrus flavours,’ gushes Victor Ruiz Lafita, founder and CEO in the press release. In a lively game of buzz-word bingo, the vodka drink is further described as ‘low-calorie’, ‘refreshing’, ‘offsetting dehydration’ and ‘eliminating the need for sugary mixers’.
This stream of calorie-hating feel good-peddling psychobabble probably gives you some idea of who it’s aimed at. Yes: millennials.
So we requested a sample, to see what all the bluster was about.
Pouring it out, the first thing you notice is the hue, a bag-in-box Chardonnay yellowish tinge that’s a little disconcerting, suggesting that it might have been tasted once already.
‘To develop this formula, we searched the Mediterranean region for the key ingredients… to create a unique vodka that releases a burst of natural scents, flavours and freshness when it comes into contact with water,’ says the company happily.
It also releases a burst of natural scents when it comes into contact with your nasal canal. The aroma is intense, as if you’ve been smacked in the face with lemon-scented cleaner, lime cordial, PVA glue and wet cardboard.
‘It reminds me of toilet air freshener,’ said one office guinea pig, who we strapped down and forced to drink it at gunpoint.
This might not have been the exact profile Mister Lafita and co were going for. But because we’re Imbibe and this is what we do, we grasped the bullshit by the horns and actually drank the stuff.
It’s like someone has slit our tongue with a thousand paper cuts and then liberally doused it in Jif lemon juice. Tears spring to our eyes, and our salivary glands go into overdrive. Emergency surgery required!
We add some soda water and it certainly does the trick: that mental citrus whack is dialled right back. Though frankly, you could just be drinking soda water with some lemon slices floating in it – there’s no real hint of booze at all.
And therein lies the real modus operandi of this vodka – it’s a means of getting wasted for little to no calories, for people who don’t actually like booze.
The millennials will love it. And there can be no greater criticism than that.