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Vodka…Super Hero of the Spirits World?  Maybe.  

Makes friends easily…check.  It's easily mixed with juice, soda, tonic ect.  

Always there when you need it…check.  There are so many varieties and price ranges available everywhere.  

Helps you dance better…check.  Wait, that may not be true!  

Sometime those vodka drinks really sneak up on you…maybe it’s less super hero and more ninja.  Decisions and vodka probably shouldn't be mixed.

In any case, everyone is familiar with vodka, whether you drink it or not, you’ve at least heard of it.  Vodka dominates the alcohol market with reports of around 1/3 of the total spirit share.   Why? Many attribute this to the mixability factor - it has little to no taste and no odor compared with other spirits.  Just think of all the mixed vodka drinks – the Bloody Mary, Sex on the Beach, Martinis, Screw Drivers, Salty Dogs and the list goes on.  Who’s ready for Happy Hour?

We’ve put together another short fun facts, trivia and mini history highlight of the clearly fantastic mixologist, Vodka. We live by Wine, Beer and Vodka, so it was a fun assignment for us!

Ever seen those Russian stereotypes in movies and on TV with the heavy accents constantly drinking vodka?  That stereotype probably started somewhere!  Vodka originated in Russia.  According to legend, in 1386, the Genoese ambassadors brought the first primitive vodka to Moscow and around 1430, a monk at the Kremlin made a recipe of the first Russian vodka.  Commercial production may have started in Russia around the 14th century.

The word “vodka” comes from the Russian word “Zhiznennia voda,” which means “water of life.”  Vodka is composed solely of water and ethyl alcohol with traces of impurities.  Sometimes flavorings were used to cover the impurities back in the day. Impurities were more common and 20 times filtering didn’t exist yet.

Vodka is comparatively easy to make.  Just about anything fermentable can be used - from potatoes, sugar cane, barley, molasses, beets and even grapes.  Vodka’s other “clear” advantage is that it does not need to mature or age to be drinkable.  Distill, bottle, and drink!

Vodka is prized for many reasons, the simplicity of the process, no aging needed and the long list of ingredients it can be created/distilled from are all important factors. But when you consider where Russia is located, the people also valued one more very important quality of vodka – the freezing point.  In the brutal winters before central heating, vodka never froze and when you consider it was used as entertainment and medicine, that’s priceless.

Although vodka is commonly thought of as being made from potatoes, in Russia most vodka is made from wheat or rye and vodka made from potatoes is considered inferior.  But being caught with potato vodka isn’t the biggest sin committed in Russia, supposedly drinking with anything other than vodka is!

Tell us what you think.  Is vodka more ninja or super hero?  We love comments!



There's still more on the vast vodka market!  Check back for the conclusion to Vodka.  Posting to the Blog soon!