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Alcopop drinks seem to be the craze for many and one of the sensations in the alcopop business is Smirnoff.
Smirnoff Ice was first produced in 1998 and was introduced in the U.K. in early 2000. During that time it has steadily risen to become one of the leaders in the alcopop business and alongwith Bacardi Breezer represent a huge chunk of the market. Since 1998 over 1.5 billion bottles have been sold in more than 20 countries.
Vodka alone is not a very versatile drink. It is usually mixed with a zesty type of drink in order to enjoy it to its premium, that is unless you're Russian. These mixes are usually tonic, lemonade (Sprite, 7UP) and orange juice. So the idea to make available a perfect vodka drink was a simple choice of either Lemon or Orange. Lemon was the ultimate choice and thus Smirnoff Ice was born.
Smirnoff Ice contains a combination of Lemon and Smirnoff Red Label vodka. The great thing about something like lemon is that it imposes itself considerably on the drink and therefore the actual taste of the vodka is somewhat diminished and cleverly disguised.
At first glance the bottle looks quite attractive. The same cannot be said for the appearance of the liquid content that is clearly visible through the transparent glass bottle. This is a murky off white colour and to all extents looks like a common and uninteresting lemon drink. This is very much unlike it's competitor Bacardi Breezer, who boast of several flavours bearing bright and attractive colours.
One wonders why Smirnoff have not introduced other flavours like Vodka Orange, Vodka Grapefruit and the likes. As the market for alcopops increases over time and especially with the younger generation taking an interest, maybe they will.
Smirnoff Ice is carbonated, that is it is gassy but not as much as your usual soft drinks like Coke and the likes. The taste is of a crisp lemonade flavour that starts sharp and then immediately soothes into a lighter equivalent with the taste of the vodka prevailent at the end.
Personally I think that they should have increased the prevailency of vodka. Not that the vodka content should be increased but rather by reducing the level of lemon.
It is a refreshing drink but one that I find to be rather monotonous. I mean for us regular drinkers this stuff tastes almost like regular lemonade. How many glasses of lemonade could I drink on a stretch?. Not many I can assure you. There is also the aspect of only one flavour. If there were several flavours like Bacardi Breezer, I might have been encouraged to drink more of them in view of the change.
If you purchase Smirnoff Ice with the concept of thinking that you are drinking vodka, albeit with lemon, then you are certainly going to be dissapointed. If you are looking for something to drink over a long period of time, then again you will be dissapointed.
However if you are looking for something as a refreshing afternoon drink over the weekend or as a starter type of drink for a evening session then this may just be the solution and one that should get you in the right mood. With just 5.6% alcohol and only 275ml in size, this is not going to knock you out of your stride. Rather it should set you up just nicely.
Back to the bottle. As mentioned earlier the actual bottle looks pretty nice. In the middle of the bottle is the unmistakable Smirnoff logo and wording in a metalic red finish. The neck of the bottle is in a lovely silver foil wrapper with "ICE" clearly emphasized. The stopper on the top is of the same Smirnoff red colour.
As far as pricing going Asda is the cheapest with a single bottle going for £1.34. If you purchase it in the 4 pack it works out substantially cheaper at £4.97 and the 8 pack even cheaper at just £8.97. If compared to Bacardi Breezer then Smirnoff Ice is slightly more expensive but then it's another drink altogether.
Availability is excellent and this can be found at most supermarkets, smaller shops, pubs, bars and restaurants.
So there you have my view. A refreshing drink that I would enjoy once in a while but not something that I could drink consistently. The younger generation have taken a liking to it aswell as other alchopops and it seems to be the norm for drinks in the future. Such is the popularity of this that the makers hope to introduce Smirnoff Ice on tap in the not so distant future. Can't figure myself getting too excited about that, but I am sure some people will.
Finally, is it as clear as your conscience? I'll leave that for you to decide.