The Wonderful World Of Vodka
If one were to ascribe true character to a drink, then it would surely be vodka. This clear and strong spirited beverage is often referred to as a man’s drink. Although there are certainly plenty of men in love with vodka, women are just as much drawn to this emblematic liquid.
Vodka is traditionally distilled from potatoes or fermented grains. Although there are various modern verifications and mixes, such as sugar and fruit vodkas, this high-percentage spirit is composed of only water and ethanol. This also explains why it is so often subject to moonshining in many rural areas around the globe.
Keeping people from freezing to death, this warming drink was once a favourite amongst the Nordic population. However, long since vodka has arrived in clubs around the world, being sold over the counter in entire bottles or served in cocktails, such as in the Screwdriver, the Bloody Mary or the Greyhound.
But not all vodka is ‘real vodka’, at least not for vodka appreciators. While American vodka is considered flavourless, without strong aroma and character, it is the exact flipside in Europe or Eastern Europe. It is supposed to be rich in flavour and have a soft mouth feel.
Although there are vodka cocktails, the spirit is mostly consumed neat. This way one will find out whether the vodka is any good. Cheap or simply bad vodkas can often be slightly sweetened, as it supposedly enhances the flavour, texture and taste. But it doesn’t really. It will simply leave an uncomfortable sensation in one’s month. Drinking vodka straight up without ice is the only way, and for many the preferred way, to really discover the drink’s quality.
Among all the stereotypes about Eastern Europeans and their favourite drink, there rank a few curious facts. There is a saying that vodka is the only real alcohol in Russia and as polemic as this might seem, consider that only since January 2013 has beer been officially considered by law as an alcoholic beverage. This does make the Russians appear like drunkards, but makes sense if one considers that vodka has to be at least 40%. No strong beer will keep up with that.
One of the most important rules to vodka concerns the drinking with true Russians: if you had enough, don’t be polite and keep emptying your glass. Once your glass is empty, it will be refilled immediately. When roaming in the wonderful world of vodka, there always will be another shot.