What Is Vodka?
When talking about essentials at the bar, vodka ranks top. It is used in most of our cocktails, shots, and mixed drinks too. However, there are many questions people ask about this liquor. Questions like: “Are all vodkas made from potatoes? “What is the definition of vodka?” Are there grape based vodkas? What are the best vodkas to take? Is vodka aged too? Are there only Russian vodka drinks?”
All the above questions are about to be answered here in this article. Read on to discover amazing vodka facts that you never knew.
Vodka is a distilled spirit that consists mainly of alcohol and water. The liquor is commonly made from potatoes and grains and has been around since the 14th century. Now, there is a long-standing argument about where vodka originated from. Some say Poland, some Russia, and the others Sweden. We cannot tell where the idea of drinking vodka was birthed, but what we know is that vodka was already in Russia in the 14th century.
From wheat to apples, Vodka can be made from pretty much any foodstuff. However, in some regions, vodka is allowed to be made from specific foodstuff only. For example, Russian vodka drinks are to be made exclusively from rye, potatoes, or wheat. You would never find a Russian grape based vodka.
In some places, you can use any food that contains sugar or starch to make your vodka drink. Below is a vodka ingredients list:
- Maple sap
Even with the variation in the vodka ingredients, the taste of freshly distilled vodka is constant. By the end of the distilling process, all the natural flavors of the ingredients are already lost. So, as much as there are different vodka drinks, it does not matter what base ingredient you choose to make your vodka.
How Is Vodka Prepared?
The making of vodka is pretty much the same as that of the other distilled spirits. The steps include:
- Base ingredients: unlike most of the other spirits, vodka does not have a distinct ingredient. Any foodstuff with starch or sugar can be used as base ingredients in vodka. In the case where grains are used as base ingredients, the grain is boiled first before the fermentation process.
- Fermentation of the extracted juice: After extraction of the juice from base ingredients, a mash is created by adding water and yeast. The fermentation stage allows the sugar to break down to produce ethanol.
- Vodka distillation: The result from the fermented mash is low alcoholic ethanol which needs to be vaporized. The vapor is then collected in a condenser to form a purer and more concentrated liquor.
Aging is not included on the list above because vodkas are hardly aged. This is because aging will cause vodka to lose its essence. If you keep vodka stored in a bottle for a long time, you will notice that the taste will be inferior to the one that has not been kept for that long.
How Does Vodka Taste?
If you are accustomed to sipping vodka, you will discover that vodka does not have a distinct taste. Vodka taste varies because of the different styles employed by brands in making it. So, if you are an amateur, you might be unable to tell the difference between vodkas if you were to carry out a vodka tasting exercise.
However, with enough experience, you should be able to distinguish brands from each other because you already know the mouthfeel of the ones you have tried.
Some brands add flavors like chocolate, lime, strawberry, lemon grass, peach, citrus blend, pear, ginger, and so on to create a distinct taste, because vodka itself does not have one.
Types of Vodka
Unlike some of the other spirits that get classified based on age and color, vodka is classified based on its component elements. There are four types of vodka:
- Plain vodka: This is the initial nature of the vodka after distillation. The alcohol is extremely high and the taste is plain. This is the vodka used in many of the common vodka drinks and cocktails.
- Flavored vodka: Flavors are added to plain vodka before bottling by companies to create specific tastes. Some of the flavors that you can find are cinnamon, blueberry, orange, apple, lime, lemon, and chocolate. The flavors are added after or during the distillation process. The alcohol content in the flavored vodka is less than that of plain vodka because the flavoring process can dilute the distilled flavor.
- Grain vodka: this type of vodka is characterized by dryness and very high alcohol content. The vodka is usually made from rye and mixed with water. They are usually consumed by countries with a very strong winter season.
- Fruit vodka: Fruit vodkas are plain vodkas infused with fruits. The process takes much longer than plain vodka. The fruits are blended and infused in plain vodka for up to three weeks so that the alcohol can suck out the flavor in the fruit.
There are quite a lot of brands producing vodka, whether as plain or flavored. You have a wide array of choices in exploring the chilling, smooth taste of different vodka drinks. And if you are one with a low tolerance for alcohol, you can simply spike your drink with a little vodka and also enjoy it. Bear in mind that too much alcohol consumption is not ideal for your health.
We hope you found this article helpful in your quest to earn more about vodka. Keep following this site, and you will become an Alco pro in no time!
How is vodka made?
Vodka is made by fermenting foodstuff like grains, grapes, potatoes, and others into ethanol. The process is completed by distilling the ethanol more than once to obtain high-quality vodka.
When was vodka invented?
Vodka is said to have been around since the 14th century in Russia. However, there are other history books about vodka that claim vodka has been around in Poland since the 8th or 9th century.
Is vodka strong?
Vodka is distilled up to three times in the making. That means the alcohol content in vodka goes up by three too. Vodka ranks top among the strongest alcohols in all categories of alcoholic drinks.