Vodka – one of the few spirits that I’ll drink on the odd occasion. Though, in general, I’m more about the wine, the beer and the Champagne. In my youth I’d often have a vodka and lime when I’d had enough beer. Blimey – I couldn’t do it now. I can’t bear gin, so if I’m in a cocktail mood then it has to be rum based or have the eponymous spirit as a base.
So what is vodka? Well, it’s a clear, distilled, alcoholic drink, composed, in the main, of water and ethanol. Different varieties of this particular spirit originated in Poland, Russia and Sweden. By tradition, it’s made by distilling liquid from fermented cereal grains and potatoes. Though some modern brands use corn, sugar cane, fruits, honey, and maple sap as the base.
The 1700s saw the drink introduced into Europe.
From the 1890s onwards, standard vodkas became 40% alcohol by volume. The European Union established a minimum alcohol content of 37.5% for the spirit. While vodka in the United States must have a minimum alcohol content of 40%.
How to drink it
Tradition dictates that one takes one’s vodka neat – not even on the rocks. In what’s known as the vodka best of Belarus, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and Ukraine, it’s often served freezer chilled. And of course, we use it in cocktails and mixed drinks. Drinks such as Vodka Martini (shaken not stirred?), Cosmopolitan, vodka tonic, screwdriver, greyhound, Black or White Russian, Moscow Mule, the Bloody Mary and a Caesar.
And now of course we have flavoured spirits – and that lets me segue into mentioning a Swindon business that I’ve come across on Instagram: Tipple Tree
About Tipple Tree
Well, #obvs they sell the spirt that’s the focus of this post – but they sell other flavoured spirits too.
Their website tells us that they make delicious infusions of fine spirits with exciting flavours, using authentic ingredients, blending each delectable concoction by hand.
See more of the Swindon in 50 Drinks series here: