What Is Smirnoff Ice? Is It…Beer?

The summer months are the perfect time to kick back with a cold one, which “one” are you talking about? Beer? Hard seltzer? Canned cocktails? No, we’re talking about the “one” that’s so cold, it has ice in its name: Smirnoff Ice, the citrusy canned or bottled hard beverage from the Smirnoff vodka company. But, as Jerry Seinfeld would surely agree, it’s good to know “what’s the deal” with stuff before you actually put it in your tummy. So, let’s take a closer look at Smirnoff Ice. 

What is Smirnoff Ice?

Smirnoff Ice is a line of malt beverages. Though Smirnoff Ice began as a generically citrus-flavored bottled drink, it has now grown into a full collection of bottled and canned bevies. Smirnoff Ice flavors include things like Screwdriver, Pink Lemonade, Peach Mango, Spicy Margarita, and there’s even a line of Neon Lemonades. 

How much alcohol is in Smirnoff Ice?

Smirnoff Ice Original has a 4.5% ABV. For comparison, this is about the same ABV one might get from a standard domestic pilsner…more on that subject in a question or two. Stay tuned! 

Is Smirnoff Ice vodka?

Despite its association with one of the most popular vodka companies on the planet, here in the U.S, the beverage isn’t made with vodka. Confusing as that is, isn’t it comforting to know that the world can still have a little topsy-turviness every now and then? I think so! 

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So, what alcohol is Smirnoff Ice?

The alcohol in Smirnoff Ice is malt liquor—that means it’s fermented (like beer), not distilled (like vodka. But, hold on a minute, does that mean Smirnoff ice is beer? Oh, whoops, jumping the gun again…

Is Smirnoff Ice beer?

In the U.S., Smirnoff Ice is officially categorized as a beer. It’s brewed with a malt base like beer, fermented in the same way as beer, and has an ABV which matches many domestic, you guessed it, beer. It looks a little fancier and definitely doesn’t taste like an IPA, but, buddy…you’re drinking a beer! In other countries, Smirnoff Ice is spiked with additional grain alcohol, which takes it out of the beer category. But here in the U S of A, it’s beer, baby. 

Is Smirnoff Ice gluten free?

Smirnoff Ice contains gluten here in the U.S. and shouldn’t be included in your gluten-free diet. This drink contains malt which is an ingredient derived from barley, a gluten-containing grain. Curse you grain, why must you be so versatile and delicious? Why!!!

Does Smirnoff Ice expire?

No, Smirnoff Ice does not expire, as long as it remains unopened. There is a printed date on the bottle or can, but it’s actually an indication of when the batch was brewed. It will still be safe to drink whenever you want; however, it may lose its carbonation and some of its appeal with time. (But, if you’ve waited long enough that the end of days have passed, and this is the only food source for miles, there’s really not much to complain about, am I right?) 

So, the next time the cooler overfloweth at the pool party, grab yourself a frosty Smirnoff Ice, comfortable with all the knowledge you have now. Just don’t spout off the facts randomly when folks are trying to get a whirlpool going, though. Get your head in the game, we’re trying to make a whirlpool here. Grab a boogie board and try and take this seriously! 

About the Author

Joe Rumrill

Joe Rumrill is a fictional one-eyed spinach-loving sailor created in 1929 by E.C Se- Wait, no, that's not right... Joe Rumrill is a stand up comedian and writer currently based in Los Angeles. His favorite thing about food is a close tie between the taste and the nutrients one gets from it. His least favorite thing about it is the "gritty, dirt-like quality some food has", but he's most likely referring to the time in third grade he was dared to eat playground sand.

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