I think everyone should serve cheap vodka out of a Grey Goose bottle.
There, I said it. When you are at the bar and you see the premium liquors on the top shelf, you want to as quietly and as quickly as possible order something from the house liquor list before anyone else notices. No one else needs to know you just ordered the cheap stuff. You can guarantee the the bartender is already thinking to himself, “House liquor? This poor guy must be broke.”
I was recently at an upscale bar and I had just finished ordering what you may refer to as a “well drink.”
As I turn around to leave with my cheap drink, a very nice-looking woman wearing designer clothing and handbag had been waiting right behind me. She smiled and then shouted to the bartender, “One dirty Grey Goose, two olives, shaken with a twist.”
Wow, that just sounds sexy. You don't get that sophisticated when ordering a “well drink.” In fact, you really don't get to feel that classy when ordering anything else besides a vodka martini with the word Grey Goose in it.
Yes, we all know about the Grey Goose, but is there really a difference between an expensive brand like Grey Goose and an economy version vodka such as Smirnoff. Absolutely not. When dealing with vodka, they're all the same.
1. The Definition of Vodka
The federal government actually defines vodka as: "Neutral spirits so distilled, or so treated after distillation with charcoal or other materials, as to be without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color." Therefore, how is it that we (myself included) have become so snobbish when it comes to certain brands of vodka over another when they apparently have the same trait: no taste?
We have all heard one person tell you they only drink Grey Goose, while the next person will swear that Ketel One is the finest tasting vodka known to mankind.
The reason we prefer one brand over another has nothing to do with the taste or the way we think the vodka is distilled. To be honest, I couldn't tell you the difference between a premium distilled vodka and a potato chip. The reason we have become so passionate about one brand over the other is simple: brilliant marketing.
2. The Packaging
What are the sexiest bottles at every bar you visit? Vodka bottles. You have the frosted bottles from Grey Goose and Belvedere, the unique shapes from Ciroc and Absolut and the ever noticeable blue bottle from Skyy.
The reason marketers put so much emphasis in the bottle is because they have to. Can you imagine being assigned the job of making your brand of vodka stand out among the rest when by definition the alcohol inside the bottle is odorless, colorless and tasteless?
If you were going to market off of pure truth, the marketing we see today would read something like this: All vodkas actually taste the same, but our bottle screams sexy, sophisticated and we promise to make you look rich. Isn't that why we really buy Grey Goose, Belvedere and Ciroc in the first place? Or is it because Jay-Z raps these lyrics with Kanye West in "Primetime:" “I hit the club, ordered some Grey Goose / Switched it for Ciroc to give Puff's stock a boost.”
3. The Taste Test
Grey Goose vodka has branded themselves as the world's best tasting vodka. At quick glance, many people would probably agree with this. However, this idea of the best tasting vodka has been tested over and over again, and the results continue to baffle even the most sophisticated vodka connoisseurs.
4. The "20/20" Experiment
The ABC News primetime show "20/20" conducted a taste test using six different brand vodkas and a group of six vodka enthusiasts who were all passionate about certain brands of their favorite premium vodka. Five premium vodkas and one economy-brand vodka were used for the taste test. The premium brands were: Ketel One, Belvedere, Hangar One, Stoli Elit and Grey Goose. The economy brand was Smirnoff.
The testers were first served the vodkas at room temperature and then they were all served them after being mixed into cosmopolitans: three parts vodka, one part triple sec, lime juice and cranberry juice.
The brand of vodka that was among the group's least favorite was Grey Goose. In addition to Grey Goose, scoring the lowest among the taste test, the group wasn't able to distinguish a cosmopolitan made with $62 Belvedere versus the $13 Smirnoff.
Remember, the group of people involved in the taste test are professional vodka enthusiasts. They have extreme loyalty to one vodka over another and defend their loyalty to their favorite vodkas based on taste and quality. However, when put to the test, even the best of the best vodka enthusiasts were unable to distinguish a “quality” vodka versus the “cheap” one.
5. Save Money
Over at Money Peach, I focus on ways to help the everyday person pay off debt, build wealth and most importantly, save money. The fastest way to build wealth is to get rid of your debt, and the fastest way to pay off your debt is to have money to do so. Genius, I know.
Therefore, let's toast your next martini, vodka tonic or Moscow Mule, to saving your hard-earned money. This is going to sound crazy, but here is what I want you to do: Get an empty Grey Goose bottle and fill it up with Smirnoff, Popov or one of those “other” brands.
If these professional vodka enthusiasts can't tell the difference, then I promise your sophisticated friends and family won't know the difference at all. In fact, I am sure they will think highly of you when you twist the cap off that frosted Grey Goose bottle. I know I did when I saw that sophisticated lady order up her dirty Grey Goose, two olives, shaken with a twist. Wouldn't you?
Lastly, I want you to really control where your money is going and how to best manage your finances. This is starts and revolves around doing a monthly budget. If you have never done one, or want to see how it is really simple to get started, you can have a copy of our budget right here.
As always, I want you to have fun with your money. Make sure to allocate some dollars and cents in your budget to having a little fun while shaking your next martini with the cheapest vodka you can find. Just make sure that cheap vodka is inside an old Grey Goose bottle.