As I am in the midst of doing several posts on Potatoes, I figured now was as good as time as any to discuss vodka. Of course, I was working under the assumption that potatoes made great vodka. Of course, I was working under what is known as a misapprehension.
It seems that vodka cab not only be made with potatoes, but also with rye, wheat, barley, corn, molasses, even onions or beets. In fact, as long as you have water, yeast, and some sort of carbon based product that ferments in water and yeast, you can pretty much make vodka from anything.
When the Russians called Vodka “little water”, they really weren’t far off the mark. Although there is a contigency of vodka fanatics who claim that the purer the vodka the better, as with water it’s the impurities of the liquid that gives each variety its unique character. The real question surrounding vodka is which characteristics are worth keeping and which are worth filtering out.
At its core, and at it’s perfect best, vodka is simply 40% ethanol and 60% water. The quality is then determined on how pure the ethanol and how pure the water. The lesser quality of water, the lesser quality is the vodka as a whole. However, if you have a Brita filter, it is said that you can remove the impurities and improve the quality of the vodka by running it through a filter a few times.
There are people who can tell the difference between a Skyy Vodka and a Ketel One vodka. The difference in taste is so subtle, that few people can do this and do this well, especially when they compare the purer vodkas against one another. Tasting brand differences is made more difficult when you mix the vodka with any number of mixers. My guess is that very few people can tell the difference between a screwdriver made with Grey Goose and one made with Absolut. If you are one of these people, I would like to see it first hand.
I like vodka, for a variety of reasons. But I know that I’m not one of those people who can discern the subtle variations between brands. I can tell good vokda from bad, but that’s about as far as it goes.