It’s absolutely amazing the way in which we develop our sense of taste and then how we evolve to like and dislike certain flavors and foods. I’m willing to bet that the whole process starts with mom’s milk and proceeds through those pureed, bottled baby foods that are shoved down our collective throats. That progresses to bits of solid food where some are touted as being good for you and must be eaten and others that are just sweet and yummy and that you would really rather eat. By the time we hit our teenage years and have developed a serious attitude and a rebellious streak that encompasses everything and everyone and we either really hate our parents or are ashamed of them, the only things that taste good are mac and cheese, cheeseburgers, fries, pizzas and very sweet drinks of any sort.

It seems that when we finally become young adults our tastes open up a bit and we begin to experiment with all sorts of weird stuff like Jagermeister, cherry liqueur, beets, kinky sex, fois gras, truffles, and overly caffeinated drinks. I do believe that by the time we hit 30 our taste buds just might finally be fully developed and we might actually come to appreciate all the wonders available on this planet for drinking and eating as well as all the other methods of ingesting pleasurable experiences.

However, there will always be things we will find unpalatable no matter our level of experience and sophistication. In my particular case, one of my dreaded nemeses is Brussels sprouts. I truly believe that God created these little green turds as joke on all of mankind. Every time someone eats a Brussels sprout, God rolls over in his cloud and lets out a thunderous laugh. Another thing I have never really come to grips with is coconut. I always avoid chocolates that have coconut in them. I’ve tried coconut numerous ways and have always come away from the experience feeling that this just might be another form of the Brussels sprout. Now, before anyone gets their panties in a wad let me quote the almighty French Gastronomes who say “chacun a son gout” to each his own taste. And let me further add to all you Brussels sprout and coconut aficionados, Bon Appétit.

All that being said, all I really wanted to do was to clear the air about my ambivalence towards coconut before I reviewed Svedka Coconut Flavored Vodka. It’s hard to come into these tastings without some preconceived notion, love or hate. I do my best to set them aside, but I can guarantee you that if some fool distiller out there ever makes Brussels sprout vodka or Brussels sprout brandy they better keep that crap away from me because I WILL rip them a new one.

I really can’t wait to see if this taste test turns into a rant or a rave but with a clear conscience and an open mind and open mouth here goes. The bottle is white with gold accents and the Svedka Brand is spelled out in a greenish yellow color as is the word COLADA. The aroma coming from the bottle reminds me of a coconut creamsicle and is syrupy and very inviting. I pick up a really nice and natural coconut scent backed by a fruity pineapple sweetness wafted by tropical trade winds and followed by a hint of the vodka. It is actually quite intriguing. In the glass, the coconut and the pineapple and the sweetness fall together and present a solid and interesting nose with a tiny bit of alcohol back. My palate is very surprised by the mellowness of the drink; even straight up, it is smooth and sweet and oh so coconutty. And I actually really like the coconut taste that Svedka presents here. It is not overwhelming; it is not artificial; it is very natural and well balanced, and I really surprise myself by having to say I like it – I mean I really like it. On the rocks, it expands its taste profile and becomes just that much better. I stopped with tasting it on the rocks because I saw no point in mixing anything else with it as it stood alone quite beautifully. The finish is long and smooth and sweet just like I guessed it would be. Well, I’ll be going to hell. This is not a rant but a rave. I like it. It’s 75 proof and at around $13.00 to $14.00 per 750 ml bottle, it’s a steal.

By George Brozowski

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