Vodka is traditionally from Russia and Poland, but today it is produced and sold all over the world. The United States and all parts of Europe contribute to the global vodka market. It is a wonderful beverage used in cocktails, mixed drinks, and shots.
How is it made?
Vodka is often referred to as a neutral grain spirit as the standard method for making it is by fermenting and distilling grain. It can be corn, rye, wheat or any other grain – choice is left up to the distiller. Potato vodka has long been a popular product of Poland and other potato growing regions, such as Idaho and Scandinavian countries In fact, vodka can be distilled from nearly anything, so it isn’t unusual to find vodkas made from beets and grapes!
How is vodka distilled?
Vodka, being a rectified spirit, needs to be distilled at 3 times, though some are distilled five or more times. In fact, it has become common practice for a vodka brand to state how many times the vodka has been distilled. The assumption is that the more times it is distilled, the cleaner and smoother it is. As the liquor takes each trip through the still, its heads and tails (parts of the distillate found on top and bottom of a finished batch) are often removed. Thus, the vodka becomes cleaner with fewer impurities.
Drink up immediately!
After distillation, vodka may be filtered, often through charcoal. The best part about vodka is that it is ready to drink right away. But it is cut with water from still strength to bottling proof, which is at 40% alcohol by volume or 80 proof.
What does vodka taste like?
Vodka has a neutral taste – it doesn’t have a distinct taste, which can be attributed to water. At times, mountain spring water or other ultra-clean sources are used to create smooth vodka. This aspect is crucial to the distillation and bottling process. The flavor of vodka is subtle and often like a clear grain. If you taste enough vodka of a great variety, you will begin to pick up the differences. Some vodka have an oily, silky texture with a bit of sweetness, while others are clean and watery and have a medicinal finish. It depends on how it feels on the tongue, which is known as mouthfeel.
What are its flavors?
Popular flavors of vodka include citrus and vanilla. All types of berries, as well as melon, pineapple, pomegranate, and other types of fruits, are used to flavor vodkas as well. Some flavored vodkas are produced using the traditional infusion method of steeping ingredients like fresh fruits and herbs in a finished vodka.
How to enjoy vodka?
You can drink vodka straight, as a sipper or down it quickly like a shot. A chilled bottle helps it go down smoothly, and some prefer to serve it on the rocks. Straight vodka can also be shaken or stirred with ice, then strained into a glass for a smoother drink. Common cocktails include Moscow Mule, Vodka Tonic, Vodka Martini, Vesper, and Cosmopolitan.
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