The high-profile Ciroc vodka brand is endorsed by celebrities and cloaked in controversy due to its foundational ingredient of fermented "snap frost" grapes from the Gaillic and Ugni Blanc regions of France, rather than the grains, wheat or potatoes of more traditional vodkas. Because of the resulting light and aromatic qualities, Ciroc lends itself to a variety of fresh and fruity cocktails.
Background and Serving Tips
Considered by some to be more of an eau-de-vie, which is a light fruit brandy made from grapes, Ciroc does contain enough identifying qualities to be classified a vodka. The vodkas are distilled five times, with the final distillation occurring in a traditional Armagnac-style copper pot. Cocktails created with these vodkas typically use 1 1/2 ounces of Ciroc and are best served icy cold in chilled tumblers or clear glasses, either straight up or with small ice cubes. The style of glassware depends on the cocktail recipe, with some better in tall, slender flutes and others working best in classic low balls, martini glasses or rounded chillers. Garnishes are almost always citrus peels or wedges, to bring out the inherent flavors in the liquor.
Ciroc Ultra Premium
The original Ciroc Ultra Premium is most often served either straight up or mixed with lemonade. The "Ciroc Diddy," named after the main celebrity spokesman for the brand, Sean "P Diddy" Combs, calls for equal parts Ciroc and lemonade served in an extra-tall highball glass. Another way to serve the original Ciroc is with sliced cucumbers, slightly crushed mint leaves and juice from fresh lime. A splash of simple syrup sweetens it up, but you might prefer to add a little honey or agave syrup, or a sugar-free alternative.
Ciroc Red Berry Cocktails
After branching out into flavored vodkas, the Ciroc Red Berry became one of the company's most versatile offerings. Simply adding fresh versions of the drink's flavors brings those flavors out when slightly crushed and dropped into a chilled glass. Drop in a few strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, then add sugar and a squeezed slice of fresh lime. Eat the fruit and these drinks give you a great nutritional boost while also tasting amazing. Another good complement to the Red Berry Ciroc is an equal quantity of cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime.
Ciroc Peach and Coconut Cocktails
Ciroc Peach evokes summertime when served for brunch when filled with chilled champagne. The more elaborate connection cocktail uses Peach Ciroc along with cranberry juice and lesser amounts of grapefruit juice and St. Germain, and it's typically served in a martini glass. Ciroc Coconut takes things tropical with the simple additions of a few slices of lime, raw ginger and sugar. Experiment until you find the combinations that work for you.
Amaretto Ciroc has a richer, earthier taste than the brand's other vodkas, making it a good choice for cooler weather or fireplace sipping. Favorite mixes include a dash of vanilla and equal parts Amaretto Ciroc and Irish cream liqueur. A lighter and more straightforward way to drink the amaretto blend is in a low ball glass filled to the top with cola (diet or regular), sometimes called black gold.
Wendy K. Leigh is a travel writer and photojournalist from Seattle. She is the Editor of Islands America, a travel website for visiting islands within the United States. She also writes about home design, food and historical architecture. Leigh holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Washington.