The first identifiable Vodka is thought to have appeared in 8th century Poland. Its name is a derivative of the Slavic word, voda, meaning water. Many techniques were used to create distilled alcoholic beverages, but it wasn’t until the 14th century in Russia that the Vodka we now know truly became evident. Today, most vodka hails from various northern European countries, known as the ‘vodka belt’.
To many, Russia is the heartland of vodka and even the Encyclopedia Britannica writes that vodka originated in Russia in the 1500’s. According to legend, in 1430 a Russian monk named Isidore made the first recipe for Russian vodka from within the walls of the Kremlin. He became the authority on the new alcoholic beverage, which was made exclusively within the principality. Since then, Moscow has been inextricably linked with vodka. While Polish vodka (wódka) existed since the middle ages, it was mainly used as a medicine, allegedly used to maximise fertility and awaken lust!
Vodka requires some form of starch or sugar to be created - normally found in the form of wheat, rye, potato or grapes. There are two methods used to distil vodka: batch distillation and continuous distillation.
Batch distillation involves a small amount of the fermented material being processed in its entirety, separating the vapours that create the spirit and the waste products. The vapours are then returned to liquid, ready to be processed for subsequent distillations. This is a time consuming method, but generally results in a smoother, higher quality finished product.
Continuous distillation utilises a constant supply of fermented material, which is continually fed back into the bottom of the still, creating an immeasurable number of distillations.
Although it was rarely drunk outside Europe until the 1950s, today vodka is one of the worlds most popular drinks. It was marketed as a drink that would leave no trace on your breath and began to replace traditional liquors, particularly gin, in cocktails and mixed drinks. Its neutral flavour and aroma lends itself beautifully to being intergrated with many different cocktail recipes including the Black Russian, Apple Martini, Campari Cocktail, Cosmopolitan and the famous Long Island Iced Tea.
It is no longer the case that the only quality vodka is produced by the Russians, with world class examples now coming from New Zealand (42 Below), Sweden (Svedka), France (Grey Goose) and Poland (Belvedere). The market is also littered with numerous pre-mixed vodkas and is found in many flavours ranging from blood orange to guava to coffee!
Imported from France, this is a great value Vodka for birthday or cocktail parties.
Grey Goose claim to make the "World's best tasting vodka"...
A premium vodka from Poland which is additive free and quadruple distilled for greater purity...
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