I have female friends that love vodka coolers. One they particularly like is the Woody's brand Pink Grapefruit cooler. They are impressed with my beers but constantly ask me if I could brew them some coolers.
OK, so I tasted a few and they are not bad. 5.3% alcohol by volume. A girlie drink, but not bad.
According to the bottle, the ingredients are
- carbonated water
- pink grapefruit juice
- elderberry juice
- grape juice
- citric acid
- sodium benzoate
- potassium carbonate "To keep fresh"
Now according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vodka
"Vodka may be distilled from any starch/sugar-rich plant matter; most vodka today is produced from grains such as sorghum, corn, rye or wheat. Among grain vodkas, rye and wheat vodkas are generally considered superior. Some vodka is made from potatoes, molasses, soybeans, grapes, sugar beets and..."
So, the first two ingredients of these vodka cooler is vodka + water. Vodka itself is a distilled alcohol so the addition of the water basically reverses the distillation process.
So why couldn't one mash and ferment the appropriate grains, skip the distillation, skip adding the water, mix in the rest of the ingredients and make a "vodka" cooler ? I guess one reason is that the distillation of the vodka removes any impurities and off tastes.
Has anyone ever fermented wheat and/or rye without hops with a really clean yeast ? How clean/clear is it ?