Vodka is made from potatoes, right? Well, that's one carbohydrate used to make vodka. Others used are sugar, beets, grains,
corn, rye, etc.
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.
it’s filtered through charcoal and un-aged creating
a colorless, almost tasteless, and almost odorless spirit.
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
(STOW-lee-sha-NI-ya, people call it Stoli for short) Russia, Smirnoff
(SMEAR-nahf, America...now), Finlandia
(San Francisco, California) and the new turn-of-the-century filtered
boutique-type vodkas; Belvedere,
was introduced to America from Poland.
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
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.
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.
vodka is a Canadian vodka made from the water of melted
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!