Vodka is a distilled, alcoholic beverage that has been enjoyed worldwide by many. Vodka has primarily always been made using grains and potatoes, however, producers of the beverage have been pushing the bounds of what can be used to make vodka.
Among the many variations of vodka across several brands, the newest craze is infused vodkas. Various fruit flavors and botanical infusions are used to create new flavors to staple vodkas.
We will look at 2 watermelon vodka brands (Grey Goose and Absolut) with an in-depth look at what makes each brand unique.
Grey Goose or Absolut Watermelon Vodka
Among the best watermelon vodka brands are Grey Goose Essences Watermelon & Basil Vodka and Absolut Watermelon Vodka.
Grey Goose is a French brand of vodka that was established in 1997 by the brand’s Maître de Chai (which is the French terminology for Cellar Master), Francois Thibault, and Sidney Frank. In 2004 the brand was bought by Bacardi.
Picardie wheat and naturally, limestone-filtered water is used in the production of their vodka. This keeps the base ingredients of the vodka local, ensuring quality taste worldwide.
The Watermelon and Basil infusion is part of a line of three new vodkas offered by the brand.
Absolut is a brand of vodka that was first released in 1879 in Åhus, Sweden after which it was globally launched in 1979.
The brand uses a philosophy of One Source and One Community that leads its approach to create vodka. Every aspect of the vodka making is done around a small village named Åhus in Sweden.
Their ingredients are sourced from across Sweden keeping the production entirely local which ties in with their One Source philosophy. Their Watermelon Vodka is part of a line of 16 flavored vodkas offered by the brand.
How Are They Made?
Vodka is made, in simple terms, by combining a grain with water and heating it. However, fruit-infused vodka has a bit more to it than that.
The base ingredient is first broken down and combined with water and heated up to break down the components. From there, yeast is added, and the mixture is fermented to turn the naturally contained sugars into a spirit, like ethanol.
The spirit is then distilled to create a vodka product that has a high enough alcohol content. The mixture is heated into a vapor and then distilled. The distillation process turns the vapor into a liquid state once it is cooled. This liquid is then filtered to remove any impurities, leaving vodka as the result.
Fruit infusions are added during the distillation process to mix the flavor and vodka, resulting in a refreshing and watermelon-flavored beverage.
Winter wheat is sourced from 400 farms in Southern Sweden to be used as the base of Absolut’s vodka. Grey Goose uses soft Picardie wheat as their base to make vodka.
Absolut uses a distillation process that is CO2 neutral. This is done to ensure the brand maintains a sustainable approach to vodka making. Distillation is done on a continuous basis ensuring that when the vodka is bottled, there is no chance of impurities existing in the beverage.
Grey Goose uses a single distillation process that keeps the production of their vodka simple. Their philosophy is that if the vodka needs to be distilled more than once then “you need better ingredients”.
What Are They Made of?
Absolut uses locally grown wheat and water sourced from communities in Sweden. The vodka is made using winter wheat that is sourced in Southern Sweden.
The wheat is sourced locally to keep with their One Source philosophy in wheat fields that see annual yields of double the global average. The water used in the production is locally sourced and has been filtered through Swedish bedrock, removing any impurities from the water.
Grey Goose uses single-origin Picardie wheat in its vodka production. The water used originates from a natural limestone well that is based in Gensac-La-Pallue.
The limestone naturally purifies the water, removing impurities and minerals that would hinder the final product.
How Are They Similar?
Both Absolut and Grey Goose use wheat as the base ingredient to make their infused vodkas, although Grey Goose uses Picardie wheat while Absolut is made using winter wheat.
Both use naturally purified water with Grey Goose coming from a limestone well and Absolut using bedrock filtered water.
The vodka from both brands is gluten-free and contains no added sugar. The watermelon flavoring for both comes directly from the fruit with natural flavors added during the vodka-making process.
Direct Comparison of Grey Goose and Absolut Watermelon Vodka
Both brands have infused their base vodka with natural watermelon juice to create refreshing flavored vodka. There are some differences between them though.
|Item||Grey Goose Essences Watermelon & Basil Vodka||Absolut Watermelon Vodka|
|Raw Materials||Single-origin Picardie wheat, natural water from limestone well||Winter wheat, naturally purified water|
|Alcohol By Volume (ABV)||30% (60 proof)||38% (76 proof)|
|Taste||Juice rosé watermelon with peppery basil||Refreshing watermelon with a slight sweetness|
|Average Price (1 Liter)||$36 (excluding tax)||$25 (excluding tax)|
|Color||Crystal clear||Crystal clear|
Grey Goose vodka has a lower alcohol content than Absolut and has a higher average price per liter. Both beverages have a refreshing watermelon flavor with Grey Goose having a slightly spicy taste to their beverage due to the basil.
Given that both vodka brands use wheat as a base ingredient, it is easy to compare them and find the right one for you. Both vodka brands are gluten-free making them good alcohol options if you have a gluten allergy or intolerance.
How To Drink Grey Goose and Absolut Watermelon Vodka
Vodka can be drunk neat (without ice) or on the rocks (with ice) in a rocks glass. However, with infusions, the ideal way to drink it is as a base for a cocktail.
An Absolut Watermelon Spritz can be made using a few ingredients for a refreshing summer drink. Muddle 4 chunks of watermelon in a shaker and add 35 ml of watermelon vodka and 7 ml of simple syrup.
Strain the mixture into a wine glass and top it up with 105 ml of sparkling wine. Garnish the glass with a slice of watermelon and a sprig of mint.
To make a Grey Goose Watermelon Basil & Soda, fill a chilled wine glass with ice cubes and pour in 35 ml of watermelon and basil vodka.
Top up the glass with 120 ml of soda water, then garnish with a sprig of basil, a lime twist, and a slice of watermelon.
Watermelon Vodka Brands – Alternatives
New Amsterdam’s Watermelon Vodka is part of a line of 11 flavored vodkas offered by the brand. The vodka is made with a fine corn spirit base that is infused with watermelon and other natural flavors. It is available at an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 35% (70 proof).
Smirnoff Watermelon & Mint Zero Sugar Infusions is part of the brand’s zero-sugar infusion line. This vodka is made using a gluten-free spirit base of corn with natural flavors infused before it is bottled. It is offered at an ABV of 30% (60 proof).
Cîroc has a Summer Watermelon Vodka that is part of their limited edition releases. Their vodka was the result of a collaboration between P Diddy, DJ Khaled, and Diageo.
It is made using Mauzac Blanc and Ugni Blanc grapes and is blended with natural flavors and watermelon to create a unique flavor. The vodka is available at an ABV of 35% (70 proof).
Skyy Infusions Ripened Watermelon Vodka is the second watermelon-infused vodka to be released by the brand. The vodka base is made using Midwestern wheat that is distilled four times during production. Watermelon flavoring is infused before the vodka is bottled at an ABV of 35% (70 proof).
Frequently Asked Questions
Which came first?
Absolut was established in 1879 with Grey Goose following in 1997, making Absolut older as a brand. Their watermelon infusion was introduced in 2021 with Grey Goose’s version also being introduced in 2021. In that respect neither really came first.
Which is stronger?
Absolut Watermelon vodka is bottled at an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 38% while Grey Goose’s watermelon infusion is bottled at an ABV of 30% (60 proof) making Absolut’s version stronger.
Which is the most popular?
According to sales data, Grey Goose ranks higher than Absolut. However, your opinion might differ, making the answer to this question entirely subjective.