Flavored spirits continue to line the shelves of liquor stores and have even found their way into cocktail bar menus. From the more mainstream cinnamon whiskeys and botanical vodkas of the world, to the flavors that are nauseating to think about — like whipped cream and donut vodkas — these spirits are gaining traction nationwide. What makes these spirits such popular sellers, and how did they get their bad rap along the way?
In today’s episode of the “VinePair Podcast,” co-hosts Adam Teeter, Joanna Sciarrino, and Zach Geballe explore these questions and discuss how they see flavored spirits fitting into the modern beverage alcohol landscape. Then, Joanna speaks with VinePair senior writer and “Cocktail College” host Tim McKirdy about flavored spirits’ rise in the marketplace and how they can be used in cocktails. They also discuss a story recently reported by McKirdy, in which he declared that it’s time to take flavored spirits seriously.
For this Friday’s tasting, the co-hosts try a flavored spirit that’s been generating buzz as of late: Skrewball peanut butter-flavored whiskey. Plus, VinePair’s tastings director and peanut butter enthusiast Keith Beavers weighs in on how Skrewball stacks up to the real deal.
Tune in for an episode featuring all things flavored spirits.
Or Check Out the Conversation Here
Adam Teeter: From VinePair’s New York City headquarters, I’m Adam Teeter.
Joanna Sciarrino: I’m Joanna Sciarrino.
Zach Geballe: And in Seattle, Washington, I’m Zach Geballe.
A: This is the “VinePair Podcast.” Joanna, how was Canada?
J: It was great. It was a really nice time. I got to see some family. Happy to be back.
Z: No frostbite? No hypothermia?
J: No. It’s actually pretty warm. Very similar climate to New York.
A: Every single Canadian city is basically right up on the border. It’s not like you’re going that far north. God, I kind of want to go to Canada. I’ve got to get out of here, man. So, we’re talking about flavored spirits today. They’ve been the rage for a while, but they seem to have really exploded as of late. It’s a style of spirit that is continuing to find massive appeal among consumers but is not taken all that seriously by members of the trade. First of all, are either of you flavored spirits drinkers?
J: I can’t remember the last time I had a flavored spirit.
A: Yeah. Zach, I feel like you’re a 99 Bananas guy.
Z: My drink of choice in college was Captain Morgan’s Parrot Bay Pineapple Rum. That was delicious. I kept a bottle in the freezer.
J: I did go through a Bacardi Razz phase. It’s very embarrassing for me.
A: Interesting. I never drank flavored spirits.
J: Good for you.
A: I have a very advanced palate.
Z: That’s what we’ve always said about you, Adam.
Z: I think a funny thing about flavored spirits is the question of, what exactly do we mean when we say this? If you want to go there, isn’t amaro just a flavored spirit? Gin is a flavored spirit. I think when we talk about flavored spirits, we talk about the idea of making alcohol more palatable for people who don’t like to drink alcohol. That’s what’s assumed. There’s someone who doesn’t want to drink “real alcohol,” but if you give them a Crown Royal Apple or cinnamon flavored whiskey, then they will drink it. I think there’s some truth to that, but it’s unclear to me why those things are unacceptable to the trade broadly and other things that are functionally not that different are thought to be gross. That includes if someone in a fancy cocktail bar makes their own cinnamon whiskey, people think that’s really cool, but Fireball is gross. That always struck me as a weird distinction to make.
J: Do you remember how I just recently made some banana rum? I totally forgot about that.
Z: Yeah. You could have just used 99 Bananas, as it turns out.
A: That’s a good point. I think flavor got out of control for a while with certain spirits. I hate to blame one spirit specifically, but if we are to blame one, it’s vodka. It’s interesting that vodka has completely done a 180 and now the only flavored vodkas you’re seeing from the premium brands are with botanicals. You have Grey Goose Essences and a bunch of others. Those are using florals, herbs, citrus, and things like that.
J: Natural things.
A: Yeah, exactly. What you had in the ’90s was cotton candy-flavored vodka. There was bubble gum and donut.
Z: There was whipped cream vodka, the bane of my existence.
A: That stuff was not good.
Z: Now they just put all that stuff in seltzer.
A: Totally. On top of that, you had the Fireball craze and things like that. I think that’s where the strong bias against flavored spirits comes from. There are people that love flavored spirits, too. For a lot of people, flavored spirits allow them to make a better-tasting cocktail more easily. They may not be someone who wants to take the time to layer flavors and figure out all the different bitters or simple syrups to use in their cocktails. They can still make a really delicious drink that they want to drink at home. That’s where I think flavored spirits do have a place. They also have a place in another conversation we’re going to have down the road, which is in shots. A lot of the flavored spirits have exploded because of shots. What I think has been really interesting over the past few years is that we’ve moved away from flavored vodkas into all sorts of flavored spirits. There’s whiskeys, rums, et cetera. That’s what’s been crazy to watch. They’ve exploded in popularity.
Z: It makes sense in some ways. Especially with whiskey and tequila, we’re talking about two of the fastest-growing categories in spirits generally, so it makes sense that any trend happening in spirits would be happening in particular in those categories. Part of that has to be similar to the way that vodka as a category was super trendy in the ’90s and into the 2000s. People thought the sophisticated, cool thing to do is to drink vodka, but a lot of times, people didn’t want to just drink vodka because they didn’t like the taste of a Martini or a vodka soda. They could still drink vodka, but it was grapefruit vodka or whipped cream vodka. Now, the cool thing to be drinking is tequila or whiskey. If you don’t enjoy the taste of unflavored tequila or whiskey but you want to be a part of the category, then it makes total sense that all these things are emerging. To go back to my earlier point, whiskey that comes off the still does not taste like the whiskey you drink in the first place. It’s flavored with oak. You lose me a bit with the argument that that’s a natural way to flavor whiskey and other things are not. Obviously there are more or less natural ingredients. In general, whiskey does not just emerge fully formed from a still. Another thing I’ve never understood is this notion that flavored spirits are unserious. OK, but drinking isn’t serious a lot of the time. People drink to have fun. If what makes it easier for more people to enjoy it and have a good time is a flavored spirit, where you can buy one bottle and make one cocktail and share it, I think those are unquestionably good things. Some people who start out by drinking flavored whiskey or flavored tequila might eventually say, “I’m actually kind of curious what just bourbon tastes or rye tastes like.” There’s no law that says that if you start out by drinking Fireball, that’s all you’ll ever drink in the whiskey category for the rest of your life.
A: I agree. Flavored spirits are also an entry point. It’s the same way we talk about certain kinds of beer and wines. They are an entry point to the world of spirits. I am serious about this. I think that flavored spirits do, for a lot of people, aid them in making better cocktails at home. Another one that’s great is Ketel One Botanicals. It’s a vodka that has natural flavors in it and allows people to make more interesting spritzes. Maybe they graduate from that and decide to go to that brand’s traditional vodka and make a Moscow Mule and then graduate to maybe a whiskey. Those things are all really beneficial. I don’t know what you’re making with a donut-flavored vodka. I’m sure there are clubs in Vegas that make cocktails out of donut vodka. For the most part, everyone knows those aren’t the serious spirits. I think to label all flavored spirits as unserious is a real disservice. Are we then saying that Mr Black, the coffee- flavored liqueur, is not serious? Every hipster bartender uses that.
Z: I think you make a really good point, too, Adam, about the utility of these at home. It makes sense to the data point you mentioned, Joanna. In a pandemic year, when people were doing more home bartending than ever before, it makes total sense that these spirits that have an additional flavor component would be in even more demand. You could make something that tasted better, or at least different, from the traditional cocktail that you did know how to make. If you knew how to make an Old Fashioned or Manhattan, you could spice that up with a cinnamon whiskey more easily than you could if you were an enterprising home mixologist. It’s a lot easier to buy that bottle of flavored whiskey or whatever than it is to infuse your own, even though you can, of course, also do that.
J: I also think these types of spirits appeal to a younger generation of drinkers. When you have the different levels of it, too, you can graduate to something like botanical vodka. If you’ve moved past the bubblegum vodka, there’s something else waiting for you.
A: You go from botanical vodka to gin. For a lot of people, it’s a lot easier to go from botanical vodka to gin than to start at gin in the first place. Joanna, we’re going to let you run off and talk with senior staff writer Tim McKirdy, who wrote the article you mentioned earlier about flavored spirits. We’ll get his take on all this and then we’ll come right back here and taste one of the most popular flavored spirits on the market right now.
A FLAVORED SPIRITS CONVERSATION WITH VINEPAIR SENIOR STAFF WRITER TIM MCKIRDY
J: Today, I’m joined by senior staff writer and host of our newest podcast, “Cocktail College,” Tim McKirdy. Tim, what’s up? How’s it going?
Tim McKirdy: It’s going fantastic. Thank you.
J: Good. Well, as everyone knows, I’m a big fan of “Cocktail College.”
T: I appreciate the plugs.
J: There’s deep dives into the histories and creations of classic cocktails with some of the most distinguished bartenders who make them. Tim, what’s that experience been like for you?
T: In a word, it’s been great. Every conversation is very fun. When you sit at a bar, if you’re interested in mixed drinks, you will ask questions and you want to chat about things, but you’re very wary of the fact that the bartender has a job to do at that time. Oftentimes, there’s a lot of questions I want to ask that I don’t get the chance to when I’m there. It’s been fun having that opportunity and getting to the meat and bones of what cocktail culture is really all about. It’s not just recipes, but it’s everything that goes behind it and the things that prop up those recipes. It’s been really fun.
J: I think people could probably assume that there’s a lot of thought that goes into creating cocktails, but hearing you talk to some of these bartenders, it’s very fascinating to me. From the ice, everything that goes into it, the preparation, and the mise en place as you like to say, it’s been such a wonderful thing to listen to. Today, we’re talking about flavored spirits, their popularity over the past few years, and their role in modern mixology and cocktail making, which I want to get into in a little bit. First, Tim, you recently wrote an article on flavored spirits that claims it’s time to take them seriously. For our listeners who haven’t read the piece yet, why do we have to take them seriously?
T: I think that it’s twofold. It’s a very normal part of culture that we like to put things in boxes. Something is good or something is bad. We like to do that with booze, too. We want to have the definitive say. Oftentimes, over the years, I think we’ve arrived at this point where we decided “flavored spirits are really bad.” I believe people should take them seriously for two reasons. One is, if I am a major drinks brand and have a distillery, these things are very popular. People are buying them. People are spending a lot of money on them. Why would you not want to go out there and have a profitable business? Things can’t just be a hobby.
J: What’s surprising to me is that a lot of people love them. Maybe we’re not talking about whipped cream vodka, right? Or maybe we are.
T: In some instances, we are.
J: Those can be quite popular. It really does behoove these brands to create top-quality flavored spirits.
T: Something that sells. It’s the vodka soda on your cocktail menu. This is the thing that keeps the lights on. When I worked in the kitchen, it was the French fries. The chef didn’t want to have them on the menu. He thought, “We’re above this.” But, two portions of fries would pay for the whole bag, and the rest was profit. Why are you going to turn that down? You should do that. That’s on the one hand. On the other hand, there’s actually a lot of great quality out there. We can dive into some examples, but one that springs to mind is well-made spicy tequila, jalapeño tequila. That is something that bars are making because a spicy Margarita sells and also can be a fantastic drink. With a flavored spirit, you take one step out of the preparation. If you know that it’s quality, and quality exists out there, buy it.
J: Instead of infusing your own or muddling a ton of jalapeños.
T: Every time, it comes out different. It’s just not consistent. Oftentimes, there’s quality out there, but there’s also money to be had. It’s a win-win situation.
J: I know you spoke to a number of people for the article, and what I thought was really interesting was the major distillers who were very interested in either expanding their flavored offerings or cracking into the flavored market.
T: There’s one thing that really pops into my mind. For a different article that I was writing recently, I was chatting with the Noes of the legendary Jim Beam family. This is a heritage brand. They’re the largest producer of bourbon in the world, because we can only make it in America. They pioneered some of these flavored whiskeys. I’ve spoken to other producers for that series of articles who are dead against that. The Noes thought that there’s a certain consumer out there where this might be the way to get them into bourbon. The way I see it as well, and this is a bit of a tangent, who cares if this is getting someone into bourbon? If all you want to drink for the rest of your life is cherry-flavored bourbon, amazing. It shouldn’t be seen as, “OK, you’ve taken the first step and now you’re moving on to something else.” If that’s what you like, amazing. You found the drink that you like. There are significant distillers out there that are offering these products, and they’re making a lot of money.
J: Why do you think these spirits have become so popular?
T: In terms of the twofold thing that we were talking about before, it’s probably more on the flavor side of things. Maybe it’s not always the higher-quality ones that are most popular, that are best-selling. Oftentimes, I will interview folks within the industry, whether they are producers or market analysts. So often, I hear the response that flavor is this macro trend. I think there’s a huge argument for that being behind the rise of hard seltzer, but we have flavored products that have also become better in other areas of our lives. We have these flavors, and we’ve come to expect them in different parts of our lives.
J: You mean, they’ve become more sophisticated, with the chemistry behind it?
T: Yeah. 100 percent. They’ve become more refined, and we don’t just see cherry as being cough syrup. Like I said, I’ve been told many times that flavor is this macro trend, and it’s always going to seep into beverage alcohol. It’s just natural that that would happen. I think that’s what’s given rise to it. We’ve definitely gone past some of those more cringe-worthy bubblegum vodkas and whatnot. They’re still out there. To sum it up, flavor is the macro trend, but the flavors themselves that are trending will evolve. It’ll go from something that’s crazy to something more simple, like citrus, jalepeño, or lime.
J: There’s a different level of quality in flavored spirits that we’ve talked about here already. What do you think the real utility is in flavored spirits, at home or behind the bar?
T: I think it’s about finding those use case scenarios when something can alleviate work labor. You guys have spoken about it on the pod, but there’s just this labor shortage that exists in the hospitality industry. If someone can make something better than you, cheaper than you, or more consistent than yourself, why would you not be buying that? There’s a chef from London called Marco Pierre White. He was the youngest British chef to receive three Michelin stars. There’s a part in his book where he’s talking about how he was at two stars. He asked the Michelin Guide, “How should I get to three?” It feels inherently weird. They shouldn’t be telling him this. They said to him, “Your bread could be better.” He went to his mentor and said, “What do I do about this? My bread is holding me back. He said, “Why don’t you buy it in? I buy it in.” That was Pierre Koffmann, and he had a three-star restaurant at the time. He said, “If someone’s doing it better, why would you not buy it in? Marco got his three stars. To bring it back to spirits, there’s that example of the jalepeño tequila. It’s going to be more consistent if you buy it in. I think that’s the reason why you would. Then, there’s the use cases for them. The Margarita is a classic example. I’ve also played around with some weird stuff.
J: What kind of weird stuff, Tim?
T: I’ve come up with some weird concoctions in my time. But, if you want a bona fide Espresso Martini that actually tastes like a Martini and not an Espresso Martini, use Skyy Coffee Vodka. It looks pretty cheap, but the flavor is exceptional. It is cheap to buy. You stir that with some Carpano Bianco vermouth for a little bit of sweetness. You express some lemon over there. I have made a bona fide Espresso Martini with that before. I enjoyed it. It was good.
J: I love that. When we’re talking about bars and bartenders using these spirits in their bar programs, it’s been easy for people over the past two years to experiment with those things at home. If you love a drink at a bar and they use a ghost pepper tequila or something, you can buy that and make it at home.
T: Exactly. You can recreate it. I cannot believe I didn’t think about this before, but a perfect example just popped into my mind. There’s Toby Cecchini, the inventor of the Cosmopolitan. Now, the Cosmopolitan would not exist without Absolut Citron lemon-flavored vodka. The guy was, as often happens, in bars. A rep would have come in and said, “Here’s this new product. Take it for a spin. See what you can come up with.” He was playing around with that cocktail, and eventually the drink that he came up with was the Cosmo. If you are drinking a Cosmopolitan these days, that’s thanks to lemon-flavored vodka.
J: What other classic cocktails or modern classic cocktails actually call for flavored spirits?
T: None that spring to my mind. Certainly, I can’t think of any other use for Absolut Citron. Sometimes, all you need is that one use. You’re probably slinging a lot of Cosmos if you have it on the menu. Get that bottle. Enjoy it. I think there is this real reluctance by some people to accept flavored spirits as being quality. One of the brands I mentioned in the article, Gracias a Dios, is making fruity mezcal, like pineapple and mango. Now, the agave aficionados in this world will be out there saying, “That’s sacrilege. How can you do that to this incredible raw spirit?” But, it’s really good. Chances are, you’re adding fresh citrus somewhere down the line or juice to to make it a cocktail. So, what’s wrong with that? If it tastes good, enjoy it.
J: What’s the harm? You mentioned this Espresso Martini that you make. But, if you had to make another cocktail with a flavored spirit, what would you make?
T: Shall I share my secret weapon?
T: This is an article that one of our writers, Aaron Goldfarb, suggested I should write one day. I’ll share it here on the pod.
J: Thank you.
T: Deep Eddy Lime. That’s my secret weapon. We were doing a flavored vodka roundup, and I was tasting this. First of all, I did not have high hopes. This was around $15 or $20 per bottle. I’d heard before that the Deep Eddy flavored stuff was pretty good, so I was excited to try it for the first time. I just could not believe the authenticity of the lime character in that vodka. I believe it might be 35 percent ABV. This is not a liqueur or anything. This is tart, bracing, and acidic. It captures the complexity of lime without just being these natural lime flavors. I was really blown away by it, so I said, “OK, how am I going to use this in a cocktail?” Probably like a lot of folks out there, I thought, “I like Margaritas, but they’re just not boozy enough, are they? This lime vodka tastes so good. Could I replace the lime juice in a classic Margarita with Deep Eddy Lime, which would become known as my secret weapon?” I’ll tell you here, you can’t replace it fully. But, I tell you what, you can get pretty close. If you’re making this in a Tommy’s Margarita, with two parts tequila, one part Deep Eddy Lime, and I’m blanking on the ratios here. It holds up there, because there’s less place for it to hide in the classic Margarita. Do the Deep Eddy Tommy’s Marg. Leave the fresh lime out, and see if it works. It’s a weird one, but it’s good.
J: I feel like it makes sense to me if you’re swapping in that for Cointreau, which is pretty busy. I love it.
T: And completely getting rid of the fresh lime, too. You don’t need it anymore. That’s good. Who has time for a fresh ingredient? That’s a lie. That’s what “Cocktail College” is all about. But, in a pinch…
J: Yeah. While you’re camping and you don’t have access to fresh limes. Deep Eddy. You also mentioned on a “Cocktail College” episode where you were talking to Lucinda Sterling about the Ramos Gin Fizz. You guys brought up the Tanqueray Orange gin. I think that’s also a really interesting place to to swap in flavored spirits. I guess it’s a flavored spirit, right?
T: It is. Let’s be honest, all gin is a flavored spirit.
J: Right. They’ve got their own botanical bills. I thought that was interesting because you wouldn’t necessarily swap it in for your gin there, but if it’s citrus-forward and it goes with the cocktail, why not try it out?
T: 100 percent. I think I first came across that duty-free somewhere. That Rangpur gin is wonderful. Sometimes, yeah, the cocktail really lends itself to having something that has a bit more flavor, fruitiness, or whatever. That’s how you can get it.
J: I think it’s smart. We’ve definitely evolved past the raspberry vodkas and coconut rums of yesteryear. I think flavored spirits seem like they have a place on the shelf.
T: In the fridge, if it’s lime vodka, keep that chilled.
J: Well, Tim, thank you so much for joining me. I look forward to listening to the next episode of “Cocktail College” and all the episodes to come.
T: Thank you very much for having me. As a regular listener, second-time caller here on the “VinePair Podcast,” it’s been great.
J: Great. Thanks so much.
The VinePair Team Tries Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey
A: Let’s just get straight to this. We have in front of us a very, very popular flavored spirit. One might say it’s one of the most popular on the market right now. It’s growing very quickly. It’s not from where I thought it was going to be from. I’m curious, when both of you heard of the spirit, did you think it was made in California?
A: Where did you think it was made?
J: I would go with somewhere in the South, maybe Virginia.
A: I just assumed Indiana, because that’s where all the whiskey in this country is made.
A: True. I kind of thought Alabama, mostly just because of peanuts. If that gives it away, we are drinking Skrewball, which is made in California. I was so surprised by that.
J: Peanut butter whiskey.
A: I have never had Skrewball before, but as everyone knows, Keith is on the ones and twos at all of VinePair’s podcasts and also the host of “Wine 101.” We’re going to bring him in. If you listen to “Wine 101,” you know that Keith has a peanut butter problem. He’s really obsessed with peanut butter. I need him to taste this with us because I need to know if a real peanut butter gourmand believes this is as delicious as a lot of people do. I apologize in advance to those listening who will say we’re drinking it wrong because we’re not doing a peanut butter and jelly shot. That’s Skrewball and Chambord. As I walked through the office with the bottle, some of our staff members shouted at me that we could only be drinking this as a peanut butter and jelly shot. I don’t have Chambord, so we’re just going to drink it straight. I don’t have any ice for mine. Do either of you?
Z: Nope. Just pure, uncut.
A: What do either of you think this is going to taste like?
J: I think it’s going to taste delicious.
Z: I’m definitely most excited for this out of any of the things we have tried. I bought a bottle. Unlike the rest of the things that we’ve tried on this podcast so far, where I have not finished the container, I imagine I will eventually finish this, although not in one sitting I should hope so.
A: I get an immediate smell on this, but I’m curious what memories this brings back. Keith, we’ll let you talk last, since you’re our peanut butter guru. Zach, what are you getting on this when you first smell it?
Z: It’s interesting. It smells to me less like pure peanut butter and more like a Reese’s cup.
A: Yes, that’s a good one. I’m not getting Reese’s cup, but I am getting a similar candy.
J: I was going to say a Nutter Butter or do-si-dos.
A: That’s pretty good. I’m getting Snickers peanut butter.
Z: Oh, interesting. I think there’s definitely a peanut and chocolate combo going on, which makes sense with whiskey.
A: Keith, what do you smell?
Keith Beavers: I smell Reese’s peanut butter cup peanut butter. Or, just confectionery peanut butter.
Z: A little Jif.
A: Are you a pure peanut butter man, Keith, or are you an all peanut butter person?
K: I don’t discriminate. I do enjoy a pure peanut butter.
A: Like a natural peanut butter.
K: Yeah, but I won’t hate on some sugar. Jif is all sugar and Skippy is all sugar. Sometimes, you’re in the mood for that stuff.
Z: Chunky or smooth?
K: Again, what’s my day like? What kind of work do I want to do when I get that peanut butter open? Do I want to dive in? Do I want to do some work? It’s all about my day.
A: Have you always been obsessed with peanut butter?
K: I think so. I think I get it from my dad. I don’t know what it is, but I have an unhealthy relationship with it.
A: He loves it so much.
K: Everyone’s like, “Dude, it’s OK. It’s the healthy fat.” But you don’t get how much I eat. You cannot have a jar of peanut butter in the house for 24 hours. It’s gone.
Z: I have one important question to ask you about this, Keith. Does this extend to other nut butters or is it just a peanut butter thing?
K: Just peanut butter. Almond butter is weird and chalky. Cashew is just too much fat. Peanut butter is just right there in the middle. It’s a Goldilocks legume.
A: I enjoy a good peanut butter, but not like this. I will say, when we first reopened the office, there was a two-year- old expired peanut butter here, and Keith tried to eat it. I told him to please throw it away.
Z: OK. This has gone on long enough. Let’s taste it. Joanna, thoughts?
J: You could definitely smell the sweetness, but I didn’t know how sweet it would be. It’s pretty sweet.
A: It’s sweet. I don’t know how to put this, but there’s an actual peanut quality to it. I was at the baseball game. I opened up a freshly roasted salted peanut. I threw it in my mouth and ate it. That aftertaste is very much there.
Z: There’s an oiliness to it. The weight of the fat in the peanut that Keith is so concerned about is definitely present in the whiskey. I think it’s delicious. Yeah, it’s a little sweet. I don’t think I’d want to drink a ton of it. I probably would regret it. But, yeah, I will finish for sure.
K: It’s excellent.
A: You like it?
K: I love it. It tastes like Gina’s peanut butter pie. Gina makes a mean peanut butter pie.
J: What do you think, Adam?
A: It’s too sweet for me. It’s like Fireball. It’s a whiskey liqueur. It’s 35 percent alcohol as opposed to, at the lowest end with the bourbon you get 45, but most are pushing that now. I know if I could drink a lot of it, but it’s good.
K: It’s deceptively smooth.
A: It’s very easy-drinking.
Z: It kind of reminds me of Drambuie, which is a Scotch-based liqueur that’s got honey and stuff in it. There’s something about that mix where you can taste the base spirit and the characteristic, but there’s this sweet thing layered on top of it that’s complementary. I like Drambuie. I don’t drink a ton of it, but it’s a tasty thing.
A: Not at the craft cocktail bars we write about, but you could see it at a certain kind of bar where they’d make a peanut butter Old Fashioned. You’re taking a classic, but you’re messing with it a little with this. I could see this being played around with a lot. Obviously, it makes a lot of sense in that shot. I’m actually really curious now what this peanut butter and jelly shot tastes like. I bet it’s freaking delicious.
Z: I’ve got some Chambord upstairs, so I’m going to have to try that after we’re done recording.
A: I’ve got to know if that shot is as amazing as members of the staff have told me that it is. Apparently, that’s their go-to shot when out with friends. Everyone orders peanut butter and jelly shots. What do you think, Joanna?
J: I think I agree with both of you. I don’t know that I would have too much of this or have it too often, but I think it’s good. I get the appeal.
A: Yeah. They did a great job. It tastes the way it’s supposed to taste. It does taste like peanut butter whiskey. Obviously, to do that, they added sugar, too. That’s the only thing for me that’s giving me pause. But, as Keith reminded us, a lot of commercial peanut butter has sugar, so that’s what you’re dealing with. The marketing is really good. I’m just shocked that there hasn’t been a peanut butter whiskey before. It’s the same way that we were shocked when we interviewed like the Firefly people that there hadn’t been another sweet tea vodka before. It just feels like this is a natural option. That’s why I thought this is from the South. In the South, one of the No. 1 desserts is peanut butter pie. There’s a lot of peanut butter consumed in a lot of different dishes. Whiskey is very prevalent. If you bring this to Thanksgiving and put it out with dessert, people will love this.
J: I’m going to do that. It’s a great idea.
A: This, next to all the pies and stuff? For that, I would drink it. Overall, I think this now becomes the best liquid that I’ve tasted on our Friday episodes.
J: Oh, yeah.
Z: Sorry, Snoop. 100 percent. Don’t worry, we’ll be back with something disgusting next week, I’m sure.
A: I hope so. Until then, I’ll talk to you both Monday.
J: Thanks, guys.
Z: Sounds great.
Thanks so much for listening to the “VinePair Podcast.” If you love this show as much as we love making it, please leave us a rating or review on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever it is you get your podcasts. It really helps everyone else discover the show.
Now, for the credits, VinePair is produced and recorded in New York City and Seattle, Washington, by myself and Zach Geballe, who does all the editing and loves to get the credit. Also, I would love to give a special shout-out to my VinePair co-founder, Josh Malin, for helping make all this possible and also to Keith Beavers, VinePair’s tastings director, who is additionally a producer on the show. I also want to, of course, thank every other member of the VinePair team who are instrumental in all of the ideas that go into making the show every week. Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll see you again.
Ed. note: This episode has been edited for length and clarity.