Smirnoff ICE Black: One Hell of a Conversation Piece

by Jen on May 31, 2012

Friend of the blog Travis sent us some Smirnoff ICE Black to try out.

According to the maker of this beverage,

With an ABV of 8%, Smirnoff ICE Black offers a bold flavor in three mouthwatering varieties: Lemon Lime, Fruit Punch, and Watermelon.

 Before I go on, I want to be clear.  If you like Smirnoff Ice, you will like this product.  Don’t continue reading.

The three flavors of Smirnoff ICE Black. Pictured here with John Aniston--Jennifer Aniston's father and the infamous Victor Kiriakis from Days of Our Lives.

We brought the Lemon Lime, Fruit Punch and Watermelon over to a bbq at our great friends Kat and Nick’s house. Julia and Zach were also present. Everyone was stoked to try this new product.

At first glance, Zach noted that he liked the packaging, but also that he’s “a sucker for black shit.” We all agreed that the cans were cool — a marvel of modern packaging with finger-pleasing texture everywhere but the “BLACK”.

A bitter argument followed as we all tried to figure out what to drink it out of. Julia suggested cognac glasses. Nick had some little wine glasses on hand, so that’s what we grabbed.

Note the extreme colors! The can boasts that these are 'certified colors.' Whatever that means!

“Dig in!” I demanded.

Spirits were high.

Opinions rang out…indeed, I could hardly write fast enough.

“It might be good over ice…”

“Tastes like a jolly rancher…”

“This is 8% alcohol??! Old E is only 6!”

“The Sparks for the New Era…”

We all settled on the truth that the drink tastes like a “jolly rancher with hand sanitizer mixed in.” Given that we have a fondness in our hearts for watermelon-flavored Jolly Ranchers, the watermelon-flavored Smirnoff ICE Black was our favorite.

Zach likened the "nose" to "kerosene."

We kept tasting. We tried it out of the can. It was better, but still terrible.

The bottom line:

There’s an audience for this booze…it’s just not people who like drinking. It’s people who like to get drunk.

No, with Smirnoff ICE Black, Smirnoff is masking the taste of the alcohol with artificial flavors and corn syrup, giving you a sugary free-pass to Hangoverville.

Will noted that when mixing cocktails, his goal is to make an appealing mixture that showcases all the ingredients without overpowering any of them, without the burn of alcohol. He noted that this drink simply overpowered the vodka taste with the candy flavors. “Like shandy, but with eight times the booze.”

In a society where kids are known to drink straight ethanol, sugary drinks are a method of delivering alcohol to people whose taste buds aren’t mature enough to enjoy it. Get drunk fast and with a sugar high.

We started daydreaming of serving this in a fine restaurant, along side the dessert wine. Picture your waiter, dressed to the nines…”Dessert wine, sir? Or would you prefer a dessert malt beverage? We have watermelon tonight.”

The conversation didn’t stop. I began recalling my days working as an intern for Clorox Technical Center. I was on the fourth floor experimenting with different options for dry bleach, while a floor below they were perfecting the perfect new salad dressing. Imagine the hours food chemists had spent coming up with this travesty!

At one point Nick proclaimed that he “kinda liked it.” “Finish it!” the party chimed in. “I’ll throw up!” he protested.

Don't stab the can Nick! The consequences aren't worth it.

Smirnoff ICE Black comes in 16 ounce cans. All of us combined, we only managed to consume about two ounces of each. The conversation — and cirticisms — did not stop until I poured the remaining concoction down the drain.

Did I mention that the green one looks like nuclear waste?

Nuclear waste...or poisonous mushrooms!

Smirnoff Ice sells. I’m sure this one will as well. For anyone who enjoys fruity, high-fructose-syrup-saturated, get-drunk-as-quickly-as-possible beverages, this one is for you.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

marsha May 31, 2012 at 7:20 pm

I know you were nervous about writing up this critiquing but you were honest and entertaining. Good job.


Jen May 31, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Thank you Marsha! It was fun. And we really tried to think of some nice things to say.


Tonya July 25, 2013 at 12:17 am

I normally enjoy Smirnoff Ice products, but I am drinking the Smirnoff Ice Black Watermelon right now and the first few tastes make me think it’s a play on those liquor/energy drink combinations that are a horrible idea. It tastes like someone overdid the carbonation!
Very odd, not a fan as of now. As you mentioned, I’m not entirely sure if I can finish the can or if it’s gonna get poured.


whothehellcares October 10, 2012 at 12:27 am

For some reason, my husband loves this stuff! It could be the price, it could be the young stigma, or it could be the wild sex he enjoys afterwards. We are way into our 50s and while I don’t enjoy it, I do look forward to it 🙂


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