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Being a classy sort of girl, when it comes to drinking, I like something with a little bit of bling. Actually, thats a complete lie, I'm more of a lager girl, but when it comes to parties and special occasions, then I do tend to get a little more exotic and experiment with new things.
Enter Smirnoff Gold - Smirnoff Vodka enhanced with the fiery flavour of cinnamon and containing real flakes of edible pure gold. I paid about £22 for this in my local corner shop, but it can be found in supermarkets significantly cheaper, generally around the £17-18 mark.
It's a thing of beauty to look at. The bottle features all the usual smirnoff motifs, but instead of red they're printed onto the bottle in gold. The vodka itself is clear, and a decent smattering of gold can be seen floating about inside - I do like the fact that it doesn't sink to the bottom, but is suspended in the vodka itself, as it makes it an attractive addition to a spirit collection. It weighs in at 37.5%, so it's a good strength.
Drunk neat, the cinnamon flavour is very strong, and in addition to the usual burn of strong spirits, there is a good amount of burning caused by the cinnamon as you drink it - not at all unpleasant, but certainly something that wakes you up. I perhaps feel the flavour is a little overwhelming when drunk neat - the trouble comes with finding things to drink it with, as many of the traditional mixers don't work. With cola? Disgusting. With Orange? Blech! With Lemonade? Watery.
After a fair bit of experimenting, I have concluded that the best things to mix with this are apple based. Makes sense really, with apple and cinnamon having been a classic combination in cooking for a long time. With Appletise, it becomes a cool and refreshing long drink. The real beauty though, is putting a double of this in a mug, and topping up with warmed apple juice - a fantastic drink for winter nights, it smells just like christmas and is an easy cheats version of mulled cider.
Overall, I rather like this. On it's own, it's a pleasant, though perhaps slightly overpowering (certainly some of my friends were not keen) shot. Combined with the right mixer though, it really becomes a thing of beauty and something to be savoured, though this does come with the disadvantage of the gold flakes becoming less visible, which renders them slightly pointless.
I'm giving this 4 stars. Whilst the gold flakes allow this drink to look very attractive when neat, or as part of a bottle collection, they don't really add anything to the overall drinking experience and a purely cosmetic touch. However, I really like the flavour and the warming sensation I get upon drinking, and for that reason, I have (and will) purchase again.
100cl / 37.5% - A cinnamon flavoured vodka from Smirnoff, complete with the now traditional gold flakes floating around in the bottle. / Cinnamon Vodka