New “Low Cal” Vodka

VoliIn the world of vodka, simpler is usually better. After all, a typical vodka is made of alcohol, water and almost nothing else. To get around this, manufacturers use a variety of marketing techniques in an attempt to brand themselves as something special.

We are offered the Crystal Head vodka bottles sold by none other than Dan Aykroyd which touts a triple distillation and a bottle that looks like a skull. And then there are all the imported-from-Russia brands, distinguished by price and awards. But now we can add a different marketing spin to the mix – low calorie vodka.

What? That’s right, in a country where tags like “organic” and “fat free” sell more product, we now have Voli light vodkas. According to their ads, the vodka has “one third fewer calories” of leading brands. That sure sounds lite enough, a third less.

Hang on. Don’t all the calories in vodka come from, well, the alcohol?That’s right. Alcohol is metabolized as though it were a food. Unless there is a sugar laden flavoring agent, it’s the only thing in vodka and other liquors that can be counted.

So wouldn’t that mean that equivalent proofs would have the same nutritional values? According to Calorie King, 80 proof tequila and 80 proof vodka have the same number of calories (96 per 1.5 fluid ounce). Just as expected.

So the question is, how can you have a vodka that is one-third less calories, barring some scientific breakthrough? The answer is simple. Take away some of the alcohol. And that’s what Voli does to make the “lite” claim. It isn’t either of the two proofs popular in vodkas – 100 and 80. It’s only 60 proof.

And that’s the secret to a marketing miracle. Those concerned with weight and calorie counting may not even notice any difference. It’s labeled vodka and it’s marketed as low calorie. Almost sounds healthy.

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