“It’s not that bad,” says Matty Clark, head bartender at New York’s Dutch Kills. He’s talking about Pinnacle’s Cinnabon Vodka, an imitation-cinnamon-roll-flavored collaboration between the spirits brand and bakery franchise, first released in 2013.
Packaged in a sky-blue bottle that’s decorated with a cinnamon roll dripping icing over a French Alp, the flavor was recently discontinued—though Pinnacle still offers a strong lineup of confectionary flavor variations, like cake, chocolate whipped cream and rainbow sherbet. While most bartenders keep these flavored vodkas at bay (and definitely off the backbar), Clark is generally less quick to judge. Each year, at the Southern Wine & Spirits portfolio tasting, he makes a point to investigate—for better or worse—these often snubbed bottles.
“I go down the line and taste the thing us high falutin’, fancy bartenders all pretend to look down our noses at: flavored vodkas,” he says. As you might expect, these are typically a showcase for artificial additives. But Cinnabon Vodka, says Clark, is different: “It tastes like a Cinnabon. That in itself is ridiculous, but also kind of outside the norm for flavored vodkas.”
As for how to use the spirit in drinks, Clark shakes it up with ginger syrup and a whole egg for a guilty-pleasure flip that he’s dubbed That Mustache Feeling (a nod to the sensation of the drink sticking to your upper lip, like a milk mustache). “It’s basically a breakfast cocktail,” says Clark, “[or a] hangover cure for the twenty-something who still gets up on a Saturday to eat sugary cereal and watch cartoons.”
Despite being discontinued, Cinnabon vodka is still procurable online for as long as supplies last, and it’s worth a try. Really—it’s not that bad.