Depending on what era you grew up in, lemonade could be a boon of fond memories or the bane of your existence. Fortunately for me, it’s the former. Now, I grew in a small town called Lawrence, Massachusetts. (Wait a minute. Aren’t you from Los Angeles, California though?). Yes. Yes I am. But I’m originally from the East Coast. (Whoop whoop~ East Coast Represent!!!) And lemonade was one of those staple kids drinks that everyone in the neighborhood drank at one point in time, usually in the summer time, and usually at a park where we “play” as business owners selling freshly made lemonade. (No, I didn’t sell lemonade, by the way. If you thought a cute little China man [Yea, I said it!] selling lemonade by the local town park, shame on you.) Anyway, there was always that one kid that made (or sold) that really delicious lemonade that’s sweet, but not sweet, and just the right amount of lemon-y flavor. You may remember this kid yourself. Hell, you might even be said kid. In any case, throw that idea out the window. Forget the sweet, refreshing taste of fresh lemonade. You won’t find it in this bottle of Deep Eddy Lemon, Lemon-Flavored Vodka.
Instead, think back to that same time when you remember drinking that delicious cup of lemonade sold by the popular kid and search long and hard for that black sheep kid that made a batch of really terrible lemonade. You remember this kid, right? He was always just a bit socially ‘off the grid’ or weird in some way that alienated him from practically the rest of the kids his age. It’s almost like the kid just grabbed the worst batch (or the ripest batch) of lemons before they were meant to be consumed or turned into a lemonade and did not forget to include the rind (for extra flavoring) in the mix. This is what Deep Eddy Lemon tastes like. At first, I thought, “No. This can’t be what it’s supposed to taste like. Maybe I forgot something. Maybe I needed to shake the bottle a bit to have it well mixed since it may have well been sitting on the shelf for quite some time now.” I shook it real good but to no avail. It still tastes like a really ripe lemon with the rind added to the mix. As you may know, the rind is not meant to be consumed. The exterior of the lemon is where all that bitterness comes from. It’s bitter. It’s sour. Yea, it’s lemons, but that bitterness and sourness overwhelms any flavor that it was “supposed” to have.
Don’t get me wrong though. I’m not knocking it, per se, but I didn’t really expect it to taste like a really ripe lemon. And I like lemons. Just not this kind of lemon. Nevertheless, there’s a time and place to use this kind of lemon like in a sauce, for instance but definitely not meant to be made into a lemonade, which I think this bottle of Deep Eddy Lemon was shooting for. Let me put it this way. I’d much rather drink a bottle of Mike’s Hard Lemonade than drinking this bottle of Deep Eddy Lemon, Lemon-Flavored Vodka. Ok, ok. I get it. We’re comparing apples and oranges here. Fine. But the point is that Mike’s Hard Lemonade is basically lemonade mixed with malt liquor. Deep Eddy Lemon, despite its labeling saying it’s a “lemon-flavored vodka,” is basically lemonade mixed with vodka. So you can think of it as pre-made lemonade vodka but a horrible one at that. And whenever I think of flavored vodka, I think of regular vodka that has a hint of some kind of fruity flavor. Not “it really tastes like a fresh batch of raspberry, or green apple, or pineapple, or [insert your favorite fruit].” That’s been my experience of vodka’s so far and most of which actually come from Smirnoff’s flavored vodka’s. (Anyone remember drinking a bottle of Smirnoff “cake batter” flavored vodka? Yea, they actually made that. No, I’m not joking).
Then I tried adding a couple of ice cubes thinking that this should curb the bitterness and sourness of the lemon flavor. That was a bad idea. Rather than “mellowing out” the bitter and sour flavors, adding ice to the mixture actually brought the harshness of the vodka. So now, the harshness of the vodka overwhelmed the bitter and sour flavors but that’s really not any better, if you think about it. Harshness of the vodka versus a really ripe lemon flavor? Which would you choose? For some, a really ripe lemon might be the more favorable choice, but to me? They’re both pretty bad options either way. Then I tried mixing equal parts (2 oz of lemon-flavored vodka with 2 oz of water) vodka and water to see if that changes anything. As it happens, it didn’t really change the flavor profile much. Adding ice to the mix still brought the harshness of the vodka.
However, if you do 2 oz of lemon-flavored vodka to 4-6 oz of water plus ice, then the flavors really mellow out. The harshness goes away, the sour and bitter flavors gets masked, and it’s actually drinkable (as in, “it’s okay to sip on it”). But with that ratio of vodka to water/ice, it’s like a watered down lemon-flavored vodka. You would have basically destroyed the essence of the vodka by doing that. (Some would argue mixing vodka with anything else is already destroying the essence of vodka but that’s a whole other can of worms that I won’t get into in this entry.) Bottom line, if you plan on buying this bottle of lemon-flavored vodka and you think that’s gonna taste like lemonade? Don’t. This bottle of vodka doesn’t taste anything like lemonade. (At least, not the good kind). If sourness and bitterness is your game though, I think that you’ll really love Deep Eddy Lemon, Lemon-flavored vodka. Otherwise, I think you should consider other options, so far as flavored vodka’s are concerned.