The “Skinny” on Skinny Vodka

A friend of mine gave me the heads up to what we thought was a new way to market “skinny”: Skinny Vodka. A search quickly returned a plethora of like products. Apparently there is an entire line of skinny vodkas and vodka mixes (one of which aptly entitled Skinnygirl Vodkas). What the hell is skinny vodka, you ask? Yeah, I asked that, too.

Even the bottle is skinny…
[Image: Voli Vodka’s various skinny vodka flavors in a tall, thin bottle.]
Voli Light Vodka, one of these so-called skinny vodkas, advertises itself as the world’s first low calorie fruit infused vodka. And who are they made for? Well, they are the perfect “alternative for health conscious people who want to indulge in flavorful, refreshing cocktails without the guilt!” [Source:] Because, you hard working ladies, “you balance the world on your shoulders; let [them] balance the cocktail in your glass.” Oh, and, by the way, it’s made from French wheat, so it’s doubly superior and extra classy.

The trick to this sort of market is the selling the adage “You can have your cake/fried foods/soda/alcohol and eat/drink it, too.” (It’s also based on the antiquated model of weight loss that is the calorie system, but that takedown is for another day”¦) Specifically, don’t worry ladies, going out and having a full-on, dance-partying, drink-buying night will no longer leave you feeling guilty from all those calories! So, go on, and buy another. In fact, buy a bottle. Of skinny vodka. Because you want to be skinny. Because skinny is fun. So is drinking. So drink to be skinny. Or, at least, don’t let your drinking (aka, your buying drinks) get in the way of your ultimate goal of being skinny”¦

And boy is it working.

While running said searches, reviews of the skinny vodkas came up on a number of different dime-a-dozen sites aimed at The Woman.

One in particular notes that Voli Vodka made its debut at Fashion Week, which means (obviously) it’s perfect for all you fashionistas out there. And all you fashionistas want to be skinny, yes? Because skinny is fashionable, which is why Light Vodka makes its debut surrounded by those that are both praised and condemned for their size. This particular post is tagged with, “bride, bridesmaid, wedding, food and drink, events” despite making no mention of weddings. But brides want to be skinny. Because skinny is beautiful. And on your wedding day you must be your most beautiful self, which is your most skinny self. My favorite line from this post is, “You fashionistas will delight in learning that Voli Light vodkas have 25 to 40 percent fewer calories than other leading vodka brands.  I KNOW!!”

Fewer calories?!?!?! I KNOW!! Like, right?!

The page then boasts Voli’s tagline, “In a world where things add up, it’s nice to subtract,” then adds, “now you know I’m not one to say “˜diet’, but if you are counting those calories, Voli may be a great option.”

Listen, no one likes the word diet, but you know what word we do love? SKINNY.

BUT HERE’S THE THING: Skinny Vodka is chemically impossible.

A few commenters on said sites caught on to this asking things like, “What’s the alcohol content? I bet it’s lower, so you have to drink more, and therefore consume the same amount of calories”¦” Good call, Anonymous Commenter. You’re on the right track.

If you look closely at Skinnygirl’s Vodka, you’ll see that it is down from 80 proof to 60 proof. So, yup, less alcohol for your proverbial buck. But that’s not all! Suggested serving size is 1.5 oz, smaller than the traditional shot size of 2 oz.

If you’re counting, “Skinny” vodka is, mathematically, 1/2 of 1 shot of vodka. That’s why it’s skinny, because it is literally half the size. That’s it. That’s the big secret.

So yeah, I guess if the whole academia thing doesn’t work out, I’m going to make millions marketing everything as “skinny” but really just giving them half the product for a huge markup.

Dammit, someone already beat me to it…
[Image: 100 calorie snack packs by Nabisco]

By philososaurus

Raised on the farmlands of the Midwest, this gluten-free, feminist bunny took New York City by storm earning an MA in Philosophy. She’s currently encroaching on the normative territories in Chicago, spending time jamming the Discursive machines of ‘health’ and ‘illness,' and relaxing with her animal companions: Pfeffer, Yoshi, and Mr(ish) 'Saurus, her human-animal partner.

41 replies on “The “Skinny” on Skinny Vodka”

If you’re counting, “Skinny” vodka is, mathematically, 1/2 of 1 shot of vodka. That’s why it’s skinny, because it is literally half the size. That’s it. That’s the big secret.

Oh man….hahaha. WOW. Silly Americans* just love to consume everything in sight, especially food, yet want to be skinny bitches. *eye roll* I wish society would get off that idealized vision of what a person should look like. Too bad we don’t live in the Middle Ages where food was scarce and the idealized woman was rounder than Roseanne! :)


*Soy Americana right here.

I am so sick of people being too dense to read a label. I don’t know how many colleagues or acquaintances I’ve had this conversation with since this shit came out. DUH YOUR MARGARITA HAS LESS CALORIES, IT ALSO HAS LESS BOOZE, LESS FLAVOR AND MORE CANCER-CAUSING BS PRESERVATIVES.

This is why only special people get to have my homebrew. If you have to ask about the calories, let’s just say you don’t want to drink something that turned grain and sugar into more sugars.

A friend of mine is OBSESSED with that Skinnygirl bullshit. She brings it with her to all the parties we have and will refer to it by its full name (ie “Does anyone want some of my Skinnygirl vodka?” “I brought Skinnygirl mojitos!” etc). My other friends and I have tried to explain to her that it doesn’t make any sense that it would be significantly lower calorie than regular alcohol, but she doesn’t believe us.

Adding “skinny” to any product name makes for an instantly irate Ren. With this one, I’m painfully aware I would have been the perfect target audience when I was a student with nonexistent self esteem and raging ED, and I can assure anyone that it’s a really fucking bad idea to drink when you’re starving yourself, so I’m seeing red flags flying like on a Brezhnev era May Day parade here.

And don’t ladymags preach about small glasses of white wine being the go-to drink for anyone obsessing about their calorie intake any longer? (Although that too would be a bad idea when you’re starving yourself.)


I’m seeing red flags flying like on a Brezhnev era May Day parade here.

LOVE. *waits for wave of ladymag commenter love to pass* ok!

I thought it was vodka+tonic, but I may have made that up because I hate tonic because it tastes like earwax.

I love love love love love gin. And I hate hate hate hate hate tonic. And I get soooo annoyed when I order a gin and soda water and they look at me like I’m a dumb little girl and ask if I mean gin and tonic. I say, ‘Betch, please. I know my drink, and it’s gin and soda water or bust. Or is that too tough to mix?” (Ok, I don’t say the last part, but I think it every time)

What jerks or idiots.

I don’t know what the hell is in tonic but it tastes very medicinal to me. I learned to just ask for sparkling water & gin (or Hendricks & Perrier when I’m in a fancy-schmancy place).

I used to bartend, so I’ve argued with trendy & “new-age” bartenders who insist on making martinis with vodka & too much damn vermouth.

I do think about the alcohol % to $ ratio, but I rarely think about the calories in the alcohol. I do know a bunch of girls who only drink flavoured vodka with water or soda water to cut out the pop calories. The best part about that is that it works to keep you hydrated and prevent a hangover.

‘Skinny’ is starting to leave a bad taste in my mouth.

And dear, dear companies; if I go out for a drink or booze night, I don’t give a flying baboon’s ass if the cocktail exists out of liquid bacon fat. If it tastes great and looks great, I will pour it in. Stop trying to make skinny happen*.


*I know, I’m about two decades too late.

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