It’s official; Vodka is the most popular drink in LA. At least right now, the clear spirit surpassed Bourbon as everyone’s darling, especially with the young crowd (Gen-Xers are still in love with their Baileys and good-old Captain Morgan LOL).
This is no surprise; Vodka is incredibly versatile. Having no real flavor of its own, it is ideal for boozing up many drinks and cocktails, from creamy White Russians to the lavish Martini.
Here’s all you need to know about Vodka, especially about what it is and how it’s made. Pour yourself a drink and let’s get it on!
What is Vodka, anyway?
People make beer with malted grains, and the same goes for whiskey. Wine comes from crushed grapes just as Brandy, and Tequila is made from the sap of the blue agave. So, what do producers use to make Vodka?
Traditionally, Vodka makers made the clear spirit with grains; specifically, rye or wheat, which were mashed, fermented and distilled to get a high-proof spirit. Some super-traditional styles are made with potatoes, too, like the Chopin Potato Poland Vodka.
It comes without saying there are no strict laws regarding vodka production, so manufacturers can use any fermentable sugars to make it. The ever-popular Tito’s Handmade Vodka is made with yellow corn from Texas, and the high-end Ciroc Vodka is made with fancy French grapes.
What is Vodka made From, does it Matter?
The question is, does Vodka taste differently when made with corn, grapes or rye? Although there’s controversy amongst connoisseurs, Vodka rarely tastes as its fermented base.
Traditional Vodka from Russia, Sweden and Poland might have a unique taste to it, but most Vodka is all about the purity of the alcohol and its water. Yes, Vodka is just water and ethanol. The more you distill the spirit, the purer the alcohol will be. Producers might distill Vodka three or more times, either in a column or copper still, to eliminate any trace of flavor and aroma.
Then you have the water, the other main ingredient in Vodka. Most Vodka is just made with regular water, but then you have those producers that source their water from a crystalline spring or a melted glacier. Water’s just water, right?
The truth is, there’s a significant difference between a $5 bottle of Vodka and one that goes for several hundred. When you buy the good stuff, you’re paying for a really nice water and hyper-distilled ethanol, which might make the difference between waking up with a hangover or not. Vodka is noble like that.
It’s Not About the Best Vodka, but what You Do with It.
What matters most about Vodka is what you do with it. Yes, straight from the freezer, any vodka is a fantastic shot, but the spirit is also a building block for many drinks, from dry martinis to fruity concoctions.
It’s okay to have a favorite vodka brand; they might not taste like much on their own, but every Vodka has a personality. Find your favorite brands at juicefly.com, the leading vodka supplier in LA, and find that unique Vodka that sings to you.