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First things first, no I don’t have a clue why this is in the spirits section. Surely, one would think, you would find Smirnoff Ice in the alcopop section, but apparently not! Anyway, on with the show…
Smirnoff Ice first came out in this country in winter 1999. It wasn’t one of the first alcopops – Hooch had been around for 2/3 years before this, but Smirnoff was one of the first big brand alcohol labels to bring out a ready mixed drink. Smirnoff is a Russian company, founded by Piotr Arsenyevitch Smirnov in the 1860s. After years of produced some of the best vodka in the world, they bought out Smirnoff Mule (launched in 1994), and then the now infamous Smirnoff Ice.
Smirnoff Ice is a vodka based ready mixed drink, and comes in 275ml bottles. The blurb on the front tells us that it is a “Blend of pure Smirnoff Red vodka with the classic taste of lemon.” It comes in clear glass bottles, and carries a sticker on the front, with the Smirnoff logo – a red crest with the words “Smirnoff Ice” across it. The name is repeated at the top of the bottle, along with info about the legal age limit of 18 years in the UK, and info about how much alcohol there is in it. Smirnoff Ice is 5.5% vol, therefore in a 275ml bottle there are 1.5 units. In comparison, a standard 175ml glass of wine is 1 unit, and a pint of standard strength lager is 2 units (around 4% vol) The bottle has a crown bottle top, so you need a bottle opener to open it. I have actually had a bottle of this stuff with a screw lid before, but only once – if anyone knows anything about this, please let me know! The bottle is pretty classy and simple - not the kind of thing you'd be embarrassed to be seen with. As it is made of glass it is recyclable.
So, what does it taste like? Bloody gorgeous! It’s extremely easy to drink (which is great in some cases and very very bad in others!) It tastes a bit like traditional lemonade, but with a fizz to it. It’s not too fizzy – a lot of alcopops are so fizzy you spend all night burping (dead sexy!) but this drink isn’t like that – it’s fizzy enough not to taste flat, but not so bad that you end up with a mouth full of gas! It has a slightly bitter taste to it, but not as objectionable one. What it does taste like is vodka. I remember the first time I tried it I was really wary of it, as I’ve had soooooooo many experiences with vodka, which have ended up with my head stuck down a toilet! There’s no vodka after taste though, and to be honest, I doesn’t really taste like it has any alcohol in it whatsoever! Great if you’re trying to get wasted without the effort of tasting alcohol (and even better for hangovers!) It’s a very fresh taste, great for when it’s a sunny day and you just want to relax. It’s also great if you just feel like a drink when you’re at home and feel like something alcoholic – for some reason I absolutely love having fish and chips, and a bottle of this stuff! I won’t lie to you – it is a girlie drink, but a lot of guys do drink it. I remember being at work once, and a guy bought two bottles of this. When I asked him if he would like a glass or straw, her replied – “Neither – I aint a bloody girl you know!” to which I replied “Yes, but you are drinking Smirnoff Ice.” Very funny for me and the rest of the bar staff, not so funny for him or my manager who he complained to. Hehehehe.
And how drunk does it get you I hear you cry?! Well, the problem here is that I’ve been drinking the stuff for over 2 years, and I tend to build up an immune system to drinks, which I often consume (hence why alcopops don’t get me that wasted, but Stella kills me, and a bottle of wine leaves me absolutely bladdered!) Because this is a fizzy drink, I think it has more of an affect than a still drink like Reef does, but it is still quite easy to handle. However, it is the kind of drink, which hits you all of a sudden, hence in the end you tend to have drunk so many in order to get wasted, that when you finally feel drunk you are absolutely bladdered!
What kind of price range are we looking at? Well, this stuff isn’t cheap. In my pub, we charge £2.29 a bottle, which is in line with other alcopops like Bacardi Breezers and WKDs, but £1 more expensive than things like Reef, Hooch and Red Squares. In clubs, you can often pay up to £4 for it, which I think is just ridiculous! From supermarkets/off licenses they tend to cost around £1.80 a bottle. The bottle I am currently devouring cost me £1, as I bought it on offer in Tesco’s (2 crates of 4 bottles for £8). It’s certainly one of those drinks, which is worth buying in bulk when you see it on offer. We used to buy it from Bargain Booze at uni, where it was £25 for 24 bottles, but this price may have changed. There is now a HUGE amount of rip off versions of this drink, ranging from “Sputnik” Ice, to the Red Square lemon. They’re all pretty similar, but this is still far superior.#
Smirnoff Ice is available to buy from all supermarkets, and most pubs and clubs.
Overall, I would highly recommend this drink to people, because it is wonderfully easy to drink, and very refreshing. I rarely drink it when I’m out nowadays – I stick to double vodkas with mixers, but its great to drink when you’re getting ready to go out as it goes down so easily!
As with all alcohol, you must be 18 to purchase this drink in the UK. If you are planning to be drinking on a night out, be sure to designate a driver, or arrange a taxi to pick you up. NEVER drink and drive.
PS – I finally wrote an op, which suits my name!! Hope you all enjoyed it! I’m off to open another bottle.