I’ve already reviewed Van Gogh’s Double Espresso Vodka, which definitely had the wow factor as far as flavored vodkas are concerned. It was fabulous, and so moreish that the bottle didn’t last long. So I was delighted to be sent a sample of Van Gogh’s Dutch Caramel Vodka to review. Like the Double Espresso, it’s 35% ABV.
The first thing you notice is the redesigned bottles and labels. I liked the old labels with the Van Gogh-style artworks on them, but the new labels have a cleaner contemporary look to them, less cluttered, definitely attractive, with simpler colors. The color of the Dutch Caramel Vodka is a pleasing light brown, looking not unlike a glass of bourbon or scotch when it’s poured. It also seems slightly darker than the way it looks in the photo on the right. According to the back of the bottle this is ‘Naturally Infused Caramel Flavored Vodka’, and in my review of the Dutch Espresso I go into all the infusion/flavored stuff.
One sniff of this drink and I’m in love with it, just as much as the Double Espresso. It has that deliciously sweet, sugary, burnt scent of caramel, with a kick of alcohol. It immediately says ‘Drink me’. So I do.
It’s an absolute knock-out, if you have a sweet tooth like me. It’s all subjective, of course, but all the promise of the scent comes through when you taste it – sugar, a hint of vanilla, a rich buttery flavor, and of course the slightly burnt taste that caramel has. It’s burnt but certainly not burning on the palate. The vodka element is wonderfully smooth, with just that little buzz of a burn as it goes down the throat. After which it says ‘Drink me again.’ So I do.
Like the Double Espresso, this for me is the ideal sipping vodka. You could have it before a meal, or afterwards, just as you would a bourbon or a brandy. It would go great with a sweet dessert, and I certainly plan to put that to the test soon. You could also enjoy it in your dessert, poured over vanilla or chocolate ice-cream maybe.
Baking with Booze
Van Gogh Vodka also suggests you can bake with their Dutch Caramel Vodka. They’ve put together a recipe for Dutch Caramel Vodka Bites, which sound (and look) awesome. The recipe’s created by Dawn Belisle of Delights by Dawn, and if you want to try it, here it is:
Dutch Caramel Vodka Bites
1 12oz. package of vanilla wafers
3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka
7 oz. Melting Chocolate (dark or milk)
Put wafers in a food processor and process until fine. If you don’t have a food processor put wafers in a sealable gallon food bag and use a rolling pin to crush until fine. Place wafer crumbs in a bowl and add confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup and Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka. Mix until well until combined. Using a small cookie scoop or a heaping tablespoon, scoop the dough and roll into a 1 inch bite-sized ball.
Melt the chocolate and then dip the bites into the chocolate until covered entirely. Place dipped bites on a wax sheet of paper to harden. To decorate, add sprinkles or colored sugar before the chocolate coating hardens. Store the Dutch Caramel Vodka Bites in an airtight container. Bites are best when made ahead of time and stored for 1 to 3 days to allow all the flavors to meld before serving.
More about Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka
You can learn more about their Dutch Caramel Vodka on the Van Gogh website, and find a recipe for a simple Caramel Zing cocktail: http://vangoghvodka.com/varieties/dutch-caramel/.