Vodka

Just a bit of general information about vodka, such as:

What is vodka?
Where does it come from?
What's it made from?


What is vodka.

First off, vodka is a very clear spirit, with very little smell or taste, and between 38% and 40% alcohol in general. There are different laws and rules on how much alcohol a vodka should have to carry the label vodka. In the EU it's 37.5%, while the classic Russian standard was rounded at 40% (80 proof). Due to beeing filtered allot to remove inpurities, it's a very popular liquor to use in cocktails. Since besides adding alcohol it will not change the flavour of the drink dramaticly.


Where does vodka originate from.

This is an ongoing discussion, but it would be in the region of Russia or Poland where the vodka was invented. Currently allot of countries have vodka producing distilleries.


Ingredients.

Like all spirits, there isn't a single ingredient that makes a vodka. Most vodka's seem to be distilled out of grain (often wheat), but some are also distilled out of potatoes.
Since after the distillation finishes, the vodka will contain almost completely out of alcohol, it will be deluted with water.
That's the reason some vodka's may taste watery.
The main difference between vodka and the other spirits is that after the distillation process, it doesn't go in barrels to age, but it gets filtered a few times. The more, the better, to remove all possible impurities.
This also means most of the original smell and taste goes lost in this phase, but since most spirits get a great part of their taste due aging in specific types of wooden barrels, this isn't an issue.

Since the vodka will end up as a very neutral spirit, it will prefectly blend into allot of cocktails, and thats why allot of distilleries made allot of different flavoured verions that will go well in all sorts of drinks.
From all the stronger liquors, vodka is the best selling one.

A few of the bigger vodka brands:

Absolut
Smirnoff
Grey Goose

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