Vodka: An Intoxicating Water-Based Beverage

Made from fermented rye grain and water, vodka is a colorless, strong, and inexpensive alcoholic beverage. The Slavic word for vodka is ‘voda’, which translates to ‘little water’. 

This beverage is generally served chilled and neat, but it remains a popular mixer for cocktails. 

History of Vodka

While the exact timeline of the invention of this European liquor is the subject of much debate, many scholars agree it was somewhere in the 8th or 9th century, in modern-day Poland or Russia that vodka was first produced. 

Appearance of Vodka

A clear distilled beverage, vodka is a velvety, colorless liquid. It is less dense than water, which means that ice sinks to the bottom of a glass containing vodka. 

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Flavor of Vodka

Most vodka in the United States is 60% water and 40% alcohol; it tastes like mildly bitter water that burns as you swallow. Vodka is one of the “cleanest” alcoholic beverages because of its intricate distillation process. Because of the lack of impurities, fairly good quality vodka is likely to produce only a mild hangover. 

Culinary Benefits

Perhaps the most famous culinary preparation with this fiery beverage is vodka sauce. This Italian-American sauce combines tomato sauce, vodka, and heavy cream to create a smooth, herby, and well-balanced sauce. Pour over cooked penne for a scrumptious penne alla vodka!

Wanna try out some scrumptious recipes with vodka sauce? Try it with either Shrimp or Italian Sausage or Pork Chop for a delicious meal!

Vodka is a popular mixer. If you’re new to cocktail-making, a simple vodka martini is the best way to start off! Mix chilled vodka with top-quality dry vermouth and pimiento-stuffed green olives to make the perfect vodka martini. A good drink is an ideal way to kick-start your next dinner party! You can also make large batches of vodka martinis if you’re serving a crowd. 

A cheese dip just for adults? Cream cheese, chopped olives, mayo, and seasoning combined with a splash (or two!) of vodka is the perfect accompaniment to crackers or breadsticks.

Vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and fresh lime: you’re all set for a chill cosmopolitan. Some variations of the popular 70s drink include citron-flavored vodka and maple syrup.  

Looking for some boozy comfort food? Inspired by everyone’s favorite jazz age drink of the same name, a warm bowl of bloody mary soup will no doubt keep you warm and cozy on a rainy day! Bloody Mary soup contains chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, and a few shots of vodka among other ingredients. 

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Vodka keeps well in a sealed bottle at room temperature, freezer, or in the refrigerator. Unlike most alcoholic beverages, vodka does not get better with time. It is best consumed within twelve months from the date of manufacture. 

Feature Image: Flickr user tim-johnsonCC BY 2.0 )

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