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The palate-expanding journey starts in 5… 4… 3… 2… and 1 Vodka!
Somewhere out there, beyond the cheap grocery store-bought swill, lies an alternative universe of exciting and flavourful Vodkas, called the Vodka-verse. Free from the constraints of the “mere mortal” rules, these Vodkas gravitate towards aromas and flavours so palate-bending and so out-of-this-world, your perception of this popular, yet criminally underexplored clear Spirit will change forever.
In Flaviar space, no one can hear you scream “this Vodka doesn’t taste like anything” as our flavour explorers believe one can (and should) always smell and taste the source. Contrary to popular belief, modern Vodka is not made from potatoes (only), but also from other terrestrial ingredients, such as wheat, rice, corn, barley, rye or sorghum. Then there are Vodkas propelled by extra flavouring agents into a whole new dimension of taste. It’s a vast and interesting space indeed, so let us explore the otherworldly constellation of Spirits at hand.
The Bay Seasoned Vodka is a savoury Vodka infused with local botanicals found in the famous Old Bay seasoning popular along the Chesapeake Bay, US. Celery seed, black and red pepper, nutmeg, cardamom, and sea salt go great with lobster and crab, but will also help your Bloody Mary, Dirty Vodka Martini, or other savoury cocktail go totally supernova.
Seeking an (inter)stellar adventure in your glass? Look no further than Ukiyjo. This Japanese rice Vodka delivers a true taste bound for Spirits cadets.
Our/London is an eye-catching wheat-based Vodka designed to be shared. Don’t let the tame look fool you—stare into its socially-bonding guise long enough and you and your travel buddies will be pulled in like light into the black hole.
Orbiting the core of the delicate, slightly fruit-forward Aivy Blue Triple Grain Vodka from Sweden are three familiar grains: barley, wheat, and rye. However, it’s the way these are harmonically combined that makes it an absolute star of a Spirit.
Try the Kauffman Soft Vodka and you’ll feel like flying into an incredibly smooth nebula with a creamy, soft mouth-feel thanks to it being distilled 14 times and double-filtered. This Moscow wheat Vodka is the world's only "vintage" Vodka, meaning that grain was grown, harvested, fermented, and distilled in a single year.
1) Vodka can be made anywhere in the world. But it’s Eastern Europe that gets the credit for its birth. Just don’t ask Russia, Poland and Ukraine to get to the bottom of it—they’ll all argue that they masterminded the Spirit first.
2) Vodka can be made pretty much from any ingredient that contains starch. Although potato might be your first go-to, modern Vodka is usually grain-based. But, if you did want to make one using potatoes, a word of caution: to produce a single bottle, you’ll need 12kg (26.5lbs) of potatoes.
3) Today, Vodka comes in all sorts of crazy flavours: bacon, maple syrup, PB&J, dill pickle and even smoked salmon and caviar.
4) Like Bourbon or Scotch, Vodka can be "corrected." Distillers can soften some of that harsh mouth feel by finishing the juice with active charcoal and additives like sugar, glycerin or citric acid.
5) Seems that Vodka is a lightweight—quite literally: it weighs less than water. One litre of water weighs 1,000 grams, while the same amount of Vodka only clocks in at 953 grams.
6) Step aside, smoothies. Vodka’s muscling in rank as the hottest health juice around. According to a study by Professional Heart Daily, Vodka can increase blood flow to the heart and help HDL — that’s the good cholesterol — levels.
7) You won’t impress the bartender by ordering Vodka-soda, but it’s a good choice if you want to avoid unnecessary sugar intake and make sure you stay hydrated when consuming alcohol.
8) The Swedes first used Vodka to make gunpowder and medicine. But around the 17th century, they began embracing the Spirit as their national drink of choice. Hey, make Martinis, not war!
9) Voda, voda, everywhere. Yep, Vodka is taken from the Slavic word for water: "voda." Just don’t get the two confused post-workout.