Vodka discourse has been a constant chatter for centuries! Whilst some believe vodka is made purely from potatoes, others think vodka needs to be filtered a hundred times to even be considered drinkable. Let’s debunk some myths often heard when talking about vodka.
Although distillation and filtration is what turns rye or wheat into the vodka that you love, the resting period that takes place after the first two steps is key in the production process. After distillation, vodka is left to sit for at least 24 hours in order to meld all the ingredients together to get a consistent flavour. Resting the vodka also helps it gradually hydrate, something that also occurs when other spirits are left to rest before being bottled, packaged and shipped off.
Sometimes, you have to make-do with a cheap bottle of vodka to make the night out fun, however, if you have the option, you should always buy a higher quality vodka. Cheaper vodkas tend to give the drinker a much stronger hangover in the morning. It can also taste a lot more bitter and unpleasant, producing a burning sensation when dranken. Expensive vodkas tend to have a much more pleasant texture and taste, often being described as smooth and silky, and won't give you that burning feeling at the back of your throat.
Vodkas recent spike in popularity has meant that flavored vodkas have been popping up all over the market. And although they can seem delicious, with flavors ranging from lemon to grape to pear, experts recommend always sticking with a cool, neutral tasting vodka for cocktail making. Unflavored vodkas will bring out the best in mixers, and don't overpower a drink with artificial flavorings. A classic martini should stay classic!
In the US, vodka is officially classified as “tasteless”, however, anyone who has ever choked back a shot of vodka knows this is definitely not true! Vodka has been described using many terms: spicy, bitter, briny, peppery, sour, fresh, minerally. Some even compare it to watered down nail polish! The base ingredients used in vodka whether it be rye, wheat, potatoes, or grapes, can greatly impact the characteristics of vodkas flavour. The water used can also create variations in the taste of vodka, as some experts have sworn by Scandinavian vodka made from fresh mineral water.
Although Russians were some of the first to enjoy vodka, vodka also originates in Poland and parts of Scandinavia. Polish vodka is unique in being the first to make vodka using rye, similar to how it is made today. In Sweden, vodka was also made using a variety of starchy grains, however after a period of grain shortages in the 18th century, potatoes became a common ingredient used in vodka. Nowadays, vodka can come from all over the world, from Canada to France.
Although a martini - shaken not stirred - is a classic catchphrase spoken by the iconic British gentleman, James Bond, bartenders disagree with the constant Bond-inspired requests. Experts claim that shaking an alcohol-heavy drink such as a martini can disturb the flavors. Vodka martinis have a distinct texture that are changed when shaken, mixing flavors that should be individually standing out. Sorry to all the 007 fans out there, leave the “shaken-not-stirred” fad to the amateurs!