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VODKA: Spirit of Water

 

by Liana Bennett

Recipes below
The word vodka is derived from the regional word for water from places such as Poland, Ukraine, and Russia. And although it is not known the exact origins of vodka, there are strong suggestions that it did come from these grain -growing regions.  However, it has also been widely popular in Scandinavia.   No matter really, what is important is that we are fortunate that vodka was created for our pleasure.

Vodka is a neutral spirit distilled from grains or other starchy/sugary plant matter.  The vodkas made with rye are considered superior in quality over those made from wheat or other matter such as potato or molasses.  Although vodka now comes in various flavors, a key to the spirit is that it is clear; perfect vodka is colorless although some of the flavored varieties have tints to them.  Vodka tends to run about 40% alcohol with the preferred storage in the freezer.  This keeps it at its ideal serving temperature whether straight up, on the rocks or mixed in a cocktail. 

Vodka is made by distilling the grain and then redistilling the liquid to result in a pure, flavorless spirit.  The key to vodka is filtering it through charcoal to remove any impurities and odors resulting in essentially water and pure alcohol (ethanol).  Lower grade vodkas have little to no filtering.  There is no aging with vodka.  Once it is filtered, it is bottled and put on the shelf. 

Flavored vodkas are a big trend these days but it is not anything new.  Scandinavian countries  flavor vodkas with herbs, fruits and spices, especially around festive holidays.   The flavorings we find on our shelves include red pepper (great for Bloody Marys), vanilla, chocolate, citrus and other fruits.

RECIPES
Vodka Cocktails

Cosmopolitan

    • 1 oz. Vodka
    • 1 oz. Triple Sec
    • Cranberry Juice
    • Splash of Lime Juice


Georgia Peach

    • 2 oz. Vodka
    • 1 oz. Peach Shnapps
    • Lemonade
    • Splash of Grenadine


White Russian

    • 2 oz. Vodka
    • 1 oz. Kahlua
    • Milk


Blue Lagoon

    • 1 oz. Vodka
    • ½ oz. Blue Curacao
    • Pineapple Juice


Green Sneaker

    • 1 oz. Vodka
    • 1/4 oz. Melon Liqueur
    • 1 /4 oz. Triple Sec
    • Orange Juice


Shooters


Chocolate Bomb

    • 1 1/4 oz. Vodka
    • 3/4 oz. White Crème de Cacao


Cinnamon Shot

    • 1 oz. Vodka
    • 1/2 oz. Goldschlager


From: The Beverage Alcohol Report - November 2005, Liana Bennett
The Beverage Alcohol Report (The BAR) was published on a monthly basis until May, 2006 compliments of Liana Bennett. Its main purpose was to further the knowledge, appreciation and general enjoyment of all alcoholic beverages. Your comments, questions and tasting stories can be sent to lianabennett@comcast.net

 

 

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