This together with its sister the red label version tend to be the only alchopops I drink. I find that many of the breezer type drinks are a little too sweet for my liking - this cannot be said of black ice. This is essentially vodka, lemonade and lime. This gives this version of the drink a slightly sharper taste.
I don't think this version took off in the same way as standard Smirnoff Ice, perhaps because it has a less sweet taste and so sometimes it seems to be quite hard to get this in the small size but still seems to be readily available in the litre sizes in most of the supermarkets.
The drink is clear in colour so I think it makes it look more appealing than the cloudy red version. I find this drink is really refreshing in the summer because of of its crisp taste. It needs to be cold to keep this freshness and balance otherwise it can sometimes taste a little artificial.
As usual these drinks are very easy to drink and always come with the danger of forgettting that it does contain alcohol, because vodka does not have a hugely distinctive taste anyway and once it is mixed with lots of lemonade a splash of lime it is very hard to detect.
The one problem with having a party is what gets left behind. I dont mean the people who you find sleeping on your sofa the following morning, but what you find in your fridge when everyone has left.
More and more often these days, these tend to be pre-mixed drinks, or alcopops. This can be a good or a bad thing, depending on what you usually drink. Of course, if youre the only person at the party drinking John Smiths, youre going to be out of luck.
But Ill try anything once, and twice if I like it, so when a couple of bottles of Smirnoff Black Ice ended up as leftovers after a recent party. Claiming itself to be a vodka mixed drink with a hint of lime, its not the kind of thing Id normally go for, if only because Im not usually a vodka drinker. I do quite like lime, though, so I thought Id give it a try, figuring that would be the dominant taste.
Vodka tends not to have much of an odour, so you dont get much when you open the bottle. Theres perhaps a slight hint of lime, but its not a drink youre immediately going to pick up in a blindfold test. In fact, as a clear drink presented in a clear bottle with a minimalist black and silver label, its not a drink thats particularly distinctive in any way.
Sadly, this continues once youve taken a taste. Although its supposedly vodka mixed with lime, the first taste you get is one of traditional lemonade, especially if you drink it straight from the fridge. If you didnt know otherwise, youd not be able to guess this was an alcoholic drink as theres no hint of the vodka at all, as the citrus taste overpowers it.
As the drinks warms and as you get further down the bottle, the taste of lime becomes a little more distinctive. Lime has a sharper and bitterer taste than lemonade, and this is what comes through. Its a little harsher than its sister drink, plain old Smirnoff Ice. This slight bitterness does linger, too.
This is perhaps the one way that Smirnoff Black Ice sticks out from the competition in the alcopop market. The majority of drinks in that range tend to be fruit based drinks and come in a variety of sweet flavours. Most of the alternative vodka mixed drinks on the market also tend towards the sweet, working on that modern favourite of vodka and Red Bull, or some similar energy drink, usually packed with sugar.
If other alcopops are too sweet and sickly for you, this is one to try but if youre happy with the sweet taste of Archers Aqua and Bacardi Breezers, this wont appeal. In the same way that Baileys Glide is the closest alcopops get to cream spirits, so Smirnoff Black Ice is the alcopop equivalent to a pint of bitter. As a result, it wont be to everyones taste, and may be an acquired taste.
Its only the taste thats different, with the other specs coming in fairly much the same as most alcopops, at 5% alcohol by volume and with a standard size 275 ml bottle having 1.4 units of alcohol. Of course, you should always drink in moderation and never drink and drive and not drink at all under the age of 18.
If this sounds like your kind of thing, a single bottle can be had from Sainsburys for £1.49. If its really your thing, a 4 pack can be had from Tesco for £4.47 or a case of 12 bottles for £9.98. Expect to pay more in pubs and clubs somewhere between £2.50 and £3.00 would be my guess, although I cant claim to have ordered it from either.
Essentially, Smirnoff Black Ice is lemonade, with some of the sugar taken out and replaced with vodka. Its not bad, but its not hugely special either.
If you like the taste of lemonade, then you'll like the taste of Smirnoff Black Ice! I prefer Black Ice to the normal Smirnoff Ice. the original is more of a bitter lemon/traditional lemonade taste, where as the Black Ice tastes of normal lemonade, with a little kick, which is obviously the Smirnoff Vodka. The difference between the two is that the original is made using the Red Label Smirnoff, where as Black Ice is made from the Black Label Smirnoff Vodka, which is purer and a stronger percentage. The percentage proof of a bottle of Smirnoff Black Ice is 5.5%. The smell of the drink is citrus, and sipping it from a glass, poured over ice on a warm summers night, is very refreshing. The price of a 275ml bottle is the same as most other alcopops and I usually pay between £2.50 and £3 in the pubs and clubs where I go out. If you want to identify the bottle, it looks like the normal Smirnoff Ice, but the liquid is clear and the labels are black and silver. Overall, I would strongly recommend this drink, however, beware..... ...after a few, my throat starts to dry up and it becomes a bit sickly ....because of its pleasant taste, it's easy to drink and therefore, before you know it, you're rolling on the floor ....the morning after the night before isn't pretty after a night of pure Smirnoff Black Ice