Vodka “infused” with everything from raspberry to chile peppers served as a brainless cocktail base for much of the early 2000s. It wasn’t a good thing: Most of it tasted like Jolly Rancher candy.
Thankfully it is out, out, out, in large part due to bartenders at high-end cocktail bars like Pegu Club refusing to touch it with a 10-foot swizzle stick, and in part to the waning interest in all things formerly described as metrosexual. New infused-vodka-esque products (that is, neutral, unaged spirits containing flavoring) are rebranding. Case in point: VeeV Açaí Spirit is sold as a liqueur, and it lists açaí as its main ingredient but does not say it’s infused with it. Square One Botanical is described as follows: “Square One Botanical isn’t a flavored vodka. With its broad range of botanicals and high proof, Square One Botanical takes us beyond our vodka heritage to a new category of specialty spirit.” Graphic designers are hard at work on a new symbol, which will replace the “category formerly known as infused vodka” and make all this a lot easier to understand.