If you’re not a fan of vodka on its own, you’re not alone. Vodka is supposed to be flavorless, but really, it has a very pungent taste, while some brands of the clear spirit even have grassy undertones and a sharp bite. Plain vodka is not for everyone, and that’s okay because vodka is the perfect alcohol base for almost any type of drink.
Vodka is versatile and can be used to craft the most delicious range of cocktails to suit any occasion. So, if you’re looking for more on the best way to drink vodka, this blog has you covered.
How is Vodka Made?
Before we dive into some of the golden rules of drinking vodka, it’s good to know how this globally popular alcohol is made. Vodka has medieval origins and was first used as a medicinal agent. But today, it’s consumed in billions of gallons across the globe.
So how is this ancient alcohol made?
Vodka is made via a process of fermentation, like most alcohols. Traditionally, potatoes are used to make vodka due to their high starch and natural sugar content. But you can use any foodstuff that contains both sugar and starch. In today’s world, most brands of vodka are made from fermented grains including wheat, corn, rice, sorghum, and rye. You can also use fruit or even just plain sugar.
The process of fermentation yields a product with an alcohol percentage of 16%. Technically, this is too low to be dubbed a ”spirit”. This is where the distillation process is important. The fermented alcohol is heated in a container known as a still. The evaporated alcohol is then collected as it separates from the water.
When you go to buy vodka, you’ll notice that most in-store brands hold a 30-40% alcohol by volume rating (ABV). But some forms of vodka, known as rectified spirits, can reach a 95-96% ABV rating.
The Best Way to Drink Vodka: 5 Tips From the Experts
If you plan on learning how to drink vodka on its own, as a sipping alcohol or aperitif, here are a few expert tips on how to do it justice:
1. Vodka Needs a Buddy or Two
Vodka should never be drunk alone. And by alone, this means a lack of company. It’s important to drink your vodka with a group of friends or family around the table.
This should go hand-in-hand with a spread of food, such as tapas or small appetizers. At its heart, drinking vodka is a social activity, and should always be shared communally.
2. Always Drink to the Occasion
When choosing the type or brand of vodka you’re going to drink, think about the occasion you’re celebrating or drinking to. If you’re having a dinner party, choose the best vodka to pair with your food. Generally, clean, crisp, and light foods are recommended to pair with vodka, which is best paired with European or Scandinavian vodkas.
If you plan on making vodka-based cocktails, such as a martini, go for a vodka brand that has underlying fruity or yeasty notes. Vodka cocktails are also best paired with light snacks.
Straight-sipping vodka is not for the faint-hearted, especially because the best type of vodka for this occasion is a strong American vodka or a traditional Russian Standard.
3. Always Serve it Chilled
It’s a well-known fact that high ABV spirits do not freeze, including vodka. So it’s best to keep your bottle in the freezer and always serve it chilled. The cold temperature also changes the viscosity of the vodka, turning it into a thicker, smoother, and more luxurious texture.
However, flavored vodkas should be kept it the fridge as the intensity of flavor can become dull when it’s too cold.
4. Keep Portion Control in Mind
Vodka should be consumed in small amounts, and slowly too. The best way to serve straight-sipping vodka is from one-ounce shot glasses, and nothing bigger.
The act of consuming in smaller portions means you have more opportunity to toast to the occasion, which is another deep-rooted tradition when drinking vodka. It’s also a good way to control the amount of alcohol consumed, without your guests getting completely blown out!
5. Let the Vodka Be the Star of the Show
If you plan on serving vodka-based cocktails, instead of straight-sipping vodka, it’s important to let the vodka do all the talking. You don’t want to create a complicated cocktail with 6 other ingredients that totally overpower the vodka. Keep your vodka cocktails simple and they will be equally as delicious.
What Are the Best Vodka Cocktail Mixers?
If straight-sipping vodka is not your first preference, these mixers will help you to learn how to love vodka.
1. Tonic Water
Tonic water can have a pretty strong, medicinal taste itself. If you’re a fan of the quinine flavor, then this is the perfect mixer for your vodka. Go for Fever Tree’s Naturally Light tonic or Q Tonic Water.
2. Soda Water
If you prefer to keep things plain and simple, soda water is a brilliant vodka mixer. It will help you to learn and love the taste of vodka at the same time. You can also add a large squeeze of lime and plenty of ice for a truly refreshing drink.
3. Orange Juice
Does it get any more classic than vodka-orange? Probably not. This vodka-based drink is also known as a ”screwdriver” and is one the simplest ways of drinking vodka. It’s a classic brunch favorite that combines the sweet, acidic notes of orange, with a hint of alcohol.
3. Sparkling Water Half and Half
This is yet another simple and refreshing way to enjoy your vodka tipple. Go for the popular sparkling water from Spindrift, mix with ice, and a large lemon wedge. Perfect for warm summer afternoons and evenings.
4. Lime Juice and Syrup
Serve your vodka with equal parts simple syrup and lime juice, with double the amount of vodka, over plenty of ice. The mixture of sweetness, zestiness, and booziness is your answer to the perfect vodka cocktail.
Take Control of Your Life and Happiness Here
All-in-all, it’s pretty clear that the best way to drink vodka is to keep it simple. Ideally, you don’t want to lose the essence of this versatile tipple — you want to do it justice!
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