Excellent news, coffee fans: SKYY Vodka has just launched a new flavor that will prevent you from ever having to choose between drinking iced coffee and a cocktail ever again. SKYY Infusions Cold Brew Coffee vodka has arrived, just in time for all those coffee-flavored vodka drinks you’re no doubt planning on mixing up this summer. (Hi there, boozy brunch.) You’ll have to act fast if you want it, though — and you might want to stockpile it while you’re at it: It’s only available for a limited time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Infused with Arabica coffee beans, SKYY Infusions Cold Brew Coffee vodka capitalizes on the current popularity of coffee brewed cold over at least 12 hours, rather than brewed hot in a matter of minutes. 70 percent proof and 35% alcohol by volume, the latest entry to the SKYY Infusions line is available in 750ml or one-liter bottles; they retail for around $13.99 and $16.99, respectively.
SKYY was originally founded by mechanical engineer, inventor, and millionaire Maurice Kanbar, who was well into his 60s when the brand launched in 1993 (never let it be said that everyone accomplishes their best work in earlier decades). According to the company’s lore, the idea behind it was to engineer the perfect vodka for use specifically in martinis. A hit right out of the gate, SKYY was acquired by the Campari Group (now Campari America) in 2006 — and in the years following the acquisition, a wide variety of other SKYY products rolled out to equally strong fanfare.
One of the most successful of those other products was SKYY Infusions, which launched in 2008 as SKYY’s flavored vodka line. Initially, the infusions focused largely on fruit flavors; among the early hits were Citrus, Cherry, and Pineapple, which took home a variety of awards in 2009. The line has branched out a bit since then, though, with other, non-fruit flavors including Vanilla Bean and Ginger — and now Cold Brew has joined the party, offering a coffee-fueled twist on a formula that clearly works.
To be fair, coffee-infused vodka is nothing new; a wide variety of options are already on the market, including Van Gogh’s Double Espresso Vodka, Three Olives’ Triple Shot Espresso Vodka, and Albany Distilling’s collaboration with Death Wish Coffee. It’s also possible that the cold brew angle of SKYY’s version is more marketing speak than anything else.
At the same time, though, it’s worth noting that cold brew does have a very specific kind of appeal: Thanks to the magic of chemistry, coffee brewed cold tends to be smoother, less acidic, and less bitter than coffee brewed hot. The taste can be wildly different, and for some folks, cold brew does for them what hot coffee (or coffee brewed hot, cooled, and served over ice) doesn’t. By calling attention to the cold brew aspect, SKYY is signaling a specific flavor profile for their coffee-infused vodka: One that’s smooth and bold, rather than one with bite and snap.
Given SKYY’s history as a type of vodka optimized for martini-making, it’s no surprise that the brand has a suggestion for what to do with their latest offering: Make a cold brew martini. The recipe is simple; just combine one part each of SKYY Infusions Cold Brew Coffee vodka, Frangelico (or your hazelnut liqueur of choice), and — interestingly — coconut water in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake it up, and then strain it into a martini glass. Sounds a little bit like what I imagine a Nutella martini would taste like — just with a kick of coffee instead of chocolate. (Have I ever mentioned how much of a sucker I am for hazelnut?)
Look for SKYY Infusions Cold Brew Coffee at your favorite booze purveyors now. Bottoms up!