Lets face it vodka is one of the most common drinks in the UK and probably the world. Pretty much anything can be mixed with vodka; juices, soft drinks, even other spirits for shots. But did you know all the facts about Vodka? Such as where it originated, how its made, what cocktails it;s featured in. Well read on and you will know everything you need to know.
Did you know that Vodka is a dirivitive of the Russian word 'Voda' which means water?
Origin Of Vodka
Vodka, as you will already know, is a clear spirit manufactured from ethyl alcohol. It is colourles, and normally has very little taste or aroma.
Vodka is the base ingredient for many cocktails, mixed drinks, and alcoholic products today.
It was apparantly originally created from potatoes in Russia for medicinal purposes. Nowadays, Vodka is distilled from barley, wheat or rye.
Adulterated vodkas (basically the cheap black market vodkas) are now a popular alternative to the original. These will normally contain a mixture of sweeteners, flavourings, colourings and fruit juices. Most flavored vodka contains 30-35% alcohol, whereas clear vodka is normally 40%, with a few brands offering 50%.
Adulterated VodkaIn Russia, cheap kiosks offfered an alternative to official vodka by creating their own, 'mix' so to speak which meant that they could sell their own hand made vodka for a reduced price, which obviously appealed to the lower class, or teenagers looking to get pissed, but the downfall to this is the ingredients which are put into these adulterated vodkas. You can find ingredients such as, additives, preservatives and other toxins, which did cause a big problem for Russia in 2006 with a reportedly 16,000 deaths due to excessive consumption of adulterated vodka.
To prevent this trafficking of adulterated vodka, the Russian government thought it was time to take measures into their own hands (after 16,000 deaths you kind of hope so).The government wanted to profile 2 key areas which were;
Popular Brands Of Vodka
How many have you tried?
Nutritional Value Of Vodka
*Per 25ml Measure
*Please note that these are only typical values and do not fully represent all vodkas, or any specific vodkas, just a general overview
Some Classic Cocktails Containing Vodka
Long Island Iced Tea
Godiva Chocolate Martini
The choice of pot or column still has a fundamental effect on the final character of Vodka. All Vodka comes out of the still as a clear, colorless spirit, but Vodka from a pot still (the same sort used for Cognac and Scotch whisky) will contain some of the delicate aromatics, congeners, and flavor elements of the crop from which it was produced. Pot stills are relatively "inefficient," and the resulting spirit from the first distillation is usually redistilled (rectified) to increase the proof of the spirit. Vodka from a more "efficient" column still is usually a neutral, characterless spirit.
Except for a few minor styles, Vodka is not put in wooden casks or aged for an extensive period of time. It can, however, be flavored or colored with a wide variety of fruits, herbs, and spices.
Eastern Europe is the homeland of Vodka production. Every country produces Vodka, and most also have local flavored specialties.
Russia, Ukraine and Belarus produce the full range of Vodka types, and are generally acknowledged to be the leaders in Vodka production. Only the better brands, all of which are distilled from rye and wheat, are exported to the West.
Poland produces and exports both grain- and potato-based Vodkas. Most of the high- quality brands are produced in pot stills.
Finland, along with the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, produce primarily grain-based Vodkas, mostly from wheat.
Sweden has, in recent decades, developed a substantial export market for its straight and flavored wheat-based Vodkas.
Western Europe has local brands of Vodka wherever there are distilleries. The base for these Vodkas can vary from grains in northern countries such as the United Kingdom, Holland, and Germany, to grapes and other fruits in the winemaking regions of France and Italy.
The United States and Canada produce nonflavored Vodkas, both from various grains (including corn) and from molasses. American Vodkas are, by law, neutral spirits, so the distinction between brands is more a matter of price and perception than taste.
The Caribbean produces a surprising amount of Vodka, all of it from molasses. Most of it is exported for blending and bottling in other countries.
Australia produces molasses-based Vodkas, but few are exported.
Asia has a smattering of local Vodkas, with the best coming from Japan.
3 Interesting Facts On Vodka
1) The main reason why vodka became so popular in Russia was because the spirit never froze in the hard Russian winters. This is due to the high alcoholic content.
2) Shelf-life of vodka is 12 months.
3) Vodka makes you addictive to alcohol much more faster then other spirit drinks do.