The history of vodka is somewhat ambiguous. While it is often described as a Russian spirit, the Polish claims it originated in their homeland. Even if its true origins lie outside Russia, there is no dispute that vodka is the liquor of choice for most men and women both within and outside the Russian motherland.
Russians take their vodka seriously. Breweries all over the country take careful measure to properly distill the fermented yeast to produce the pure texture of ethanol stripped of impurities found in lesser quality brands unworthy of labeling itself as vodka.
So, whether you have Russian ancestry or not, drinking vodka the way Russians do will give you a true sense of pleasure and appreciation for the painstaking and delicate process that goes into producing the perfect liquor in a bottle.
How to Drink Vodka the Russian Way
There are some great vodka-infused, cocktail recipes. However, to drink it like a Russian, drink the distilled spirit as it is using a Russian shot glass, which is slightly bigger than your standard sized American shot glass. The challenge is to drink it in one swig. While this may appear to be an imposing task, the key is to take a deep breath before bottoms up, and to breathe out through your nose immediately after. It also helps to have a small basket of peanuts, pretzels or other small snack nearby to help keep the liquor down. This is how vodka is consumed especially when a bottle is corked open in response to a celebratory occasion.
Vodka for the Ladies
Planning a girls’ night out? For those Friday or Saturday nights out with your girlfriends, enhance the evening pleasure with vodka designed for the gals. In contrast to the raw and brute taste of pure vodka, vodka made for the ladies often have a sweeter and fruitier flavor. Even the bottle itself comes with a feminine touch, often in the shape of a vase or perfume bottle. It’s also the perfect beverage for in-house parties, such as bridal showers and bachelorette parties.
Irresistible Vodka Recipes
Guy or gal, anyone can enjoy their favorite cocktail complemented with a pinch of vodka to give the beverage an extra kick.
• Alabama Slammer – Despite its name, the Alabama Slammer isn’t a drink relegated to the American South. Anyone can enjoy this drink any time of the year. Prepare it with vodka, almond liquor, orange juice and your favorite Southern Comfort whisky.
• Vodka Tonic – This is a simple to make drink and the ideal sipper for hot days. All you need is vodka, tonic water, lime juice and an optional lime wedge for garnish.
• Vodka Redbull – This cocktail gives you that alcoholic kick while also supplying a burst of energy. It is also incredibly easy to mix and requires nothing more than vodka and Redbull. However, do exercise caution with such a concoction as the mix of alcohol and caffeine may create serious hangovers.
Top Vodka Brands for True Distilled Spirit Lovers
The true vodka aficionado can detect impurities with a single sip. The typical vodka available at your local liquor store are cheaply made and do not reflect the authentic byproduct of Russian spirits. The following are some brands worthy of their designation as vodka.
Black Momma Vodka – This brand is founded by Vanessa Braxton, who has the honorary distinction of being the first African-American woman to own a vodka distillery with a national recognition. As of 2014, Black Momma Vodka is available in 32 states. This brand is carefully crafted with the content undergoing a five stage fermentation and distillery process. Its primary ingredient, corn, is refined through crushed diamond lava rocks.
Skyy Vodka – Skyy is one of the most renowned vodka brands in the United States. While available in an assortment of fruity flavors, the unflavored version is regarded as its flagship product and has won silver medals at the World Spirits Competition in San Francisco. This is also one of the favored vodka brands among mixologists; its large gamut of flavors provides near endless concoction varieties.
Grey Goose – This vodka brand was founded in 1996 by American entrepreneur and billionaire Sidney Frank, who later sold the brand to the privately owned spirit company, Bacardi, in 2004. Grey Goose is largely marketed as a luxury vodka for the elite class. While pricier than most other brands, the product is labeled as “super premium,” with its ingredients acquired from France and produced from the finest French wheat and filtered through Champagne limestone.
Consumption of a fine spirit is the hallmark of good times. Vodka provides just the right strength and texture that makes it the ideal drink whether consumed as is or used for a cocktail.