Miss Charming's Vodka Page

 

Vodka is made from potatoes, right? Well, that's one carbohydrate used to make vodka. Others used are sugar, beets, grains, corn, rye, etc.

Legend tells us that in the 1300s, Genoese merchants brought this “water of life” (aqua vitae) to Moscow when they were on their way to Lithuania. By the 1400s, Ivan the Third began production of this clear spirit. By the 1700s, one today would be surprised to learn that people were distilling vodka a second and third time with herb and fruit flavors like sage, cherry, dill, blackberry, caraway, etc. And we thought our modern society created flavored vodka!

As for vodka making it to American cabinets, well that didn’t take place until the 1930s – 1950s. The classic cocktail, Moscow Mule is actually responsible for introducing vodka to America and the vodka was Smirnoff. Them in 1962, the first James Bond film showed 007 ordering a Martini made with Smirnoff and vodka skyrocketed straight to the top. It has remained the number one spirit in America since.

 

Today it’s filtered through charcoal and un-aged creating a colorless, almost tasteless, and almost odorless spirit. The Moscow Mule is credited to introducing vodka (Smirnoff) to America in the 1940’s.

Vodka at the bar is liken to chicken in the kitchen. It has a chameleon-like in taking on the tastes of what surrounds it. Flavored versions have flourished since the turn-of-the-century. Also, high-end vodkas are constantly being produced with their own little gimmicks. Some include: harvesting ice from icebergs then using the water from the icebergs to make the vodka, making black colored vodka, filtering it multiple times, infusing rose petals with it, and using organic grains. The downside of vodka is since it’s almost tasteless, it makes it the number one training wheel spirit and young people tend to drink too much of it.

Screwdrivers were popular in the 1950’s and when James Bond ordered a Vodka Martini in the 1962 film, Dr. No, it skyrocketed vodka to the top. It’s still the #1 spirit sold in America.

The basic steps in making vodka are, fermentation, distillation, filtration, dilution, and bottling. The most popular vodka brands are Absolut (Sweden), Stolichnaya (STOW-lee-sha-NI-ya, people call it Stoli for short) Russia, Smirnoff (SMEAR-nahf, America...now), Finlandia (Finland), Skyy (San Francisco, California) and the new turn-of-the-century filtered boutique-type vodkas; Belvedere, Chopin, Van Gogh, Greygoose, 42 Below, etc.



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In 1979, Absolut was introduced to America from Poland.
Absolut was the first to introduce a flavored/infused vodka using three types of peppers in 1986. They called it Absolut Peppar (peh-PAR). It was perfect for a Bloody Mary. Next was Absolut Citron in 1988, Absolut Kurant in 1992, Absolut Mandarin in 1999, Absolut Vanila in 2003, Absolut Raspberri in 2004, and Absolut Apeach in 2005. Absolut was the pioneer of all the vodkas that followed. It's important to know that.



After Absolut Citron
became all the rage (which is also believed to cause the beginnings of the Cosmopolitan), every vodka brand began producing flavored/infused choices. From there, rums and gins became infused as well.



Absolut is also known
for a prolific series of clever ads. The very first Absolut ad was called Absolut Perfection and it came out in 1980. Since then, there have been almost 1500 ads.


There is a book and gallery at Absolutads.com

 

 

Rain Vodka was first introduced in 1996 and is made from 100% organic American grains. Even the labels, and shipping boxes are made from recycled paper and the company gives a donation to the Wilderness Society with each bottle sold.


Blavod American black vodka was first introduced in 2003. It was invented by Mark Dorman and its color comes from a herb from Burma called a black catechu. However, blindfolded it tastes like vodka.

 

Iceberg vodka is a Canadian vodka made from the water of melted harvested icebergs.

 

Vodka Facts



In the West, vodka is mostly drunk with a mixer while the East drinks it neat or straight up.

It’s said that Peter the Great would ride a bear drawn sleigh throwing bottles of vodka to the peasants.

Modern vodka distillers search for the purest water to make their vodka. Some even harvest chunks of icebergs.

Most bartenders that drink behind the bar choose vodka because it’s the least detectable.



Other Vodka Uses



1. To remove a bandage painlessly, saturate the bandage with vodka. The solvent dissolves the adhesive. 2. To clean the caulking around bathtubs and showers, fill a trigger-spray bottle with vodka, spray the caulking, let set five minutes and wash clean. The alcohol in the vodka kills mold and mildew. 3. To clean your eyeglasses, simply wipe the lenses with a soft, clean cloth dampened with vodka. The alcohol in the vodka cleans the glass and kills germs. 4. Prolong the life of razors by filling a cup with vodka and letting your safety razor blade soak in the alcohol after shaving. The vodka disinfects the blade and prevents rusting. 5. Spray vodka on vomit stains, scrub with a brush, then blot dry. 6. Using a cotton ball, apply vodka to your face as an astringent to cleanse the skin and tighten pores. 7. Add a jigger of vodka to a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo. The alcohol cleanses the scalp, removes toxins from hair, and stimulates the growth of healthy hair. 8. Fill a sixteen-ounce trigger-spray bottle and spray bees or wasps to kill them. 9. Pour one-half cup vodka and one-half cup water in a Ziplock freezer bag, and freeze for a slushy, refreshable ice pack for aches, pain, or black eyes. 10. Fill a clean, used mayonnaise jar with freshly packed lavender flowers, fill the jar with vodka, seal the lid tightly and set in the sun for three days. Strain liquid through a coffee filter then apply the tincture to aches and pains. 11. Make your own mouthwash by mixing nine tablespoons powered cinnamon with one cup vodka. Seal in an airtight container for two weeks. Strain through a coffee filter then mix with warm water and rinse your mouth. Don't swallow. 12. Using a q-tip, apply vodka to a cold sore to help it dry out. 13. If a blister opens, pour vodka
over the raw skin as a local anesthetic that also disinfects the exposed dermis. 14 To treat dandruff, mix one cup vodka with two teaspoons crushed rosemary, let sit for two days, strain through a coffee filter and massage into your scalp and let dry. 15. To treat an earache put a few drops of vodka in your ear. Let set for a few minutes. Then drain. The vodka will kill the bacteria that are causing pain in your ear. 16. To relieve a fever, use a washcloth to rub vodka on your chest and back as a liniment. 17. To cure foot odor, wash your feet with vodka. 18. Vodka will disinfect and alleviate a jellyfish sting. 19. Pour vodka over an area affected with poison ivy to remove the poison oil from your skin. 20. Swish a shot of vodka over an aching tooth. Allow your gums to absorb some of the alcohol to numb the pain. 21. If all else fails, just turn the bottle up and drink it, nothing will matter anymore anyway!

 

 

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