Down the seemingly endless corridors of south Philadelphia’s skinny streets, where the row-homes stand like sweet corn, ready for the autumn harvest, there exists a little abode that goes by the moniker The Bashful Inky. It is here, at The Inky, where a group of comrades shared in an experience so enjoyably unpleasant that one could only cough up a fair warning to others above the howling partygoers.
“Don’t take that shot!”
Svedka is a Swedish vodka, distilled five times from Swedish winter wheat. Like most vodkas, it clocks in at 80 proof and packs a punch. Here’s the thing about Svedka, though — while it’s a generally good vodka, winning awards and the like, the fact remains that it’s not a good sipping vodka, and so on that front, in my opinion, it loses points. Don’t get me wrong, here; Svedka has its place in Screwdrivers and Bloody Marys, but it had better stay the Hell away from my tonic water, or we’re gonna have problems.
The spirit pours clean, of course — it is vodka, after all. The aroma is astringent, powerful, and hurts like your sinuses got bare-knuckle punched by a 1986 Mike Tyson. The flavor is peppery and that’s about it. There are no subtle nuances to find here, and no hints of vanilla to explore; it’s just you and the burning fire of Satan’s Swedish elixir. The finish is long and hot, like what the tarred roads on the planet Mercury must be like this time of year. While I consider myself to be a seasoned drinker, with an iron-clad stomach and esophagus, I feel no shame in admitting that drinking Svedka requires a chaser.
At the end of the day, I suppose the kind of pain one feels from $12 vodka is to be expected. After all, if one is drinking Svedka, one is likely not doing it because of the complex flavor-profile, and one is certainly not taking notes. Still, for a cheap date, Svedka is excellent when paired with copious amounts of pulpy orange juice or V8.