Bill Dowd photoFinlandia's latest vodka product, Tangerine Fusion, debuts on the U.S. market today. The company already had such flavored vodkas as lime, cranberry, grapefruit, mango and wildberries in addition to its basic unflavored spirit.
• Finlandia Tangerine Fusion Vodka
I've found some orange- or tangerine-infused vodkas a bit too sweet for my taste, something that tends to overwhelm many cocktail recipes. This product avoids that problem, with a tangy citrus note that smacks more of the tangerine zest than of the sweeter pulp.
That may be because the flavoring is natural, rather than a chemical additive. It comes through that way in the nose and then on the palate, gentling a bit as the sample is savored and slowly opens.
There is a somewhat floral note as well, a creaminess and warmth to the nicely filtered product, yet nothing reluctant about it. You know you're drinking a full-bodied vodka.
Like most flavored vodkas, particularly citrus-infused, this is a spirit best consumed as part of a cocktail. One example, created for Finlandia by celebrity bartender Tony Abou-Ganim, is the "Summer Solstice." It contains two ounces of the Tangerine Fusion, a half-ounce each of Cointreau, Campari bitters and blood orange juice, three-quarters of an ounce of lemon sour mix, shaken with ice, strained into a martini glass and garnished with a lime twist.
Suggested retail price: $18.99 for the 750ml bottle.
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