Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Vodka: Helping People Get Drunk Since the 8th Century.

This post is in 2 parts. In this part, I will be talking some about the basics of vodka. Then in the next section, I’ll go over some of the better vodkas to order, some of the nasty ones and the overrated ones that you think are good but aren’t.

What Makes Good Vodka?
Good vodka is supposed to be tasteless and odorless because it is supposed to be only pure water and pure alcohol. However, they all have some type of taste, but are supposed to lack flavor like gin or bourbon. A lot of taste is a vodka no-no (except flavor infused vodkas).

This is why vodka has been traditionally the “woman’s alcohol,” because it won’t leave you smelling like you’ve been drinking. Apparently back then it wasn’t considered lady like to smell like booze and be overtly drunk. This has changed a little since like the 1940s because given the right place and time of night, some men consider it extremely appealing- but I digress…

Good vodka has a smooth taste and good texture with minimal burn. Bad ones burn and taste gross. Yes, tasting good and bad are subjective, which is why there is no absolute “good” or “bad” but only informed opinion regarding vodkas. For example, Ciroc vodka (French vodka endorsed by Sean “Puffy” Combs, which is the main alcoholic ingredient in a P. Diddy and cranberry, a delectable and classy drank- I can't make this stuff up) is considered high quality vodka, being distilled 5 times. However, it has a distinct taste that some really like and others hate. A big exception to this is rail brand vodkas- if you love these, read a book, please. Additionally, if you are ordering a P. Diddy and cranberry or a P. Diddy and anything for that matter, read a book too. In fact, read a couple of books.

How Is Good Vodka Made?
There are 2 main factors that go into making quality vodka.
1) The first of vodka’s 2 main ingredients is pure alcohol. The more pure the alcohol, the nicer the product. The alcohol is purified by a process of distilling, and a process of purifying. The better the distilling process it’s gone through and the better the purifying process it’s gone though, the nicer the product.

How to Drink Vodka
I classify vodka drinks into two categories. Drinks that are mostly vodka and drinks that are vodka mixed with flavors. There can be other systems too.

Mostly vodka drinks include drinks that primarily rely on the taste of the vodka and don’t add a whole lot of other flavors. Some of these include vodka martinis, vodka on the rocks, gimlets and vodka sodas. These are the types of drinks that it’s much more important to order the high quality vodkas.

Vodka mixed with flavor drinks are all the others- these are mixed drinks that have vodka, and some other stuff that also adds flavor. These include cranberry vodkas, vodka tonics, white Russians, screwdrivers… the list can go on forever. You don’t have to add the nicest vodkas in these drinks- mid level ones will do just fine. I would actually say that it’s a waste (mostly of your money, but of the vodka too) to put super high quality vodka in a drink with other flavors because you just won’t taste the difference.

Flavor Infused Vodkas
Personally, I think these are awesome, but I am sure that there are plenty of vodka enthusiasts who disagree. Lots of vodka labels are now making flavor infused vodkas. There are the more popular flavors that lots of brands make, such as orange, vanilla and citrus. Then there are the more obscure flavors such as bubble gum, passion fruit and bacon (the main alcoholic ingredient in a breakfast shot, along with maple syrup, orange juice and pancake mix, which I made up). Also, don’t forget about the sweet tea and espresso flavors, mmm MMMM! For a bigger list of flavor infused vodkas, check out this Wikipedia article.

In the next article, I’ll talk about the good, medium, bad and overrated brands of vodka.


Want to buy some great vodka and get it delivered to your door? In an hour? And get $5 off? Check out Drizly. It's the only way I buy alcohol anymore.

1 comment:

  1. Stop stop stop.....