Friday, October 4, 2013

Cocktail Thought of the Day- National Vodka Day

Welp, its here. October 4th is National Vodka Day. So to all you Vodka lovers out there I raise my glass to all of you. Let's celebrate early, and celebrate often today. For some of my readers that are just discovering Vodka, I'll share with you a few tidbits and Vodka facts that you might not have known. I know  you probably thinking Vodka is easy, Vodka is a spirit that isn't that complex, but its the opposite. Vodka is labeled as a neutral grain spirit because the process of making it is fermenting and distilling grain which could be a myriad of things including Potato, Rye,  and Wheat. One of the most popular Vodka's today, Ciroc, is distilled from Grapes which makes its taste very distinct. Vodka is usually distilled a minimum of 3 times, and in some cases I've seen Vodka's distilled 10 times and more. Now once its distilled, the filtration process begins, most of the time thru Charcoal. Now Vodka requires no aging process and is ready to drink, BUT you still have to add water to bring it down to a bottling  proof. Most vodkas are bottled at 80 proof, which translates to 40% ABV, or Alcohol by Volume.

Now the fun thing about Vodka is, while it really doesn't have a certain taste( I tend to joke with my clients that  Vodka is the cocktail world's whore, it just goes with everything.. hahaha... but I digress) but each brand of Vodka has some little nuisances and subtleties about them. Here are some of the tastes I got from some of the most popular vodkas on the market today, and while I'm not a big Vodka guy I own all of these in my home bar/lab....Needless to say its been a great day in the lab tasting spirits. I must say this, when you taste you might get some different flavors. I learned from the great Steve Olsen, that when you are tasting spirits, there really isn't a wrong answer. Everyone's palate is different, some mature, some not, and everyone will pull something different out of what we are tasting.

  • Belvedere- Citrus, a little Vanilla, Melon, Cherry
  • Hangar One- I get all citrus.. Orange, Lime, Lemon. But a smooth clean taste
  • Absolut- Dried fruit, and very Floral. 
  • Square One- 1 word.. Delicious. Made from organic Rye so very rich and full, spicy,dried fruit, and earthy
  • Ciroc- Smooth clean taste,  and grape

Vodka is still the worlds most popular spirit, with over 200 different brands and more and more popping up everyday. And we haven't even touched on the countless flavored vodkas that are on the market. But for today we are just going to celebrate the essence of pure Vodka. So go out today and get yourself a Martini, Moscow Mule, or a Vodka/Tonic and enjoy what truly is a great spirit...


Until Next Time