Vodka is a clear spirit made through fermentation and distillation. It is traditionally made using potatoes or grains such as corn, wheat, or rye. It can, however, be made using many different things, including beets or grapes! Vodka has been long associated with countries such as Russia or Poland, and these countries have indeed produced good quality vodka for a long time now. However, vodka’s production is not exclusive to any geographical location and is in fact produced all over the world.
Whilst Russia and Eastern Europe do drink the most vodka, this spirit is enjoyed globally, and is a bar essential. Due to its tendency toward flavor neutrality, vodka is used to make many different cocktails, mixed drinks, and shots. It is not a spirit a good bartender should be unfamiliar with!
Vodka is composed of water and ethanol. The quality of the water used often affects the flavor and mouthfeel of vodka. Vodka has an ABV (alcohol by volume) of between 40% and 50%. According to EU standards, vodka must contain 37.5% alcohol content, whilst in the USA vodka must contain a minimum of 40% ABV. Typically between 80-100 proof, the qualities of vodka vary, usually according to the number of distillations and filtrations.
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