Although you might be familiar with vodka, that neutral spirit that can spike just about any beverage, what do you actually know about vodka? Today, we’re pouring some fascinating vodka facts. Not only will we be exploring vodka’s interesting history, but we’ll also be sharing some of our most popular vodka drinks. From classic martinis to trendy Moscow Mules, we’re covering it all. So grab a drink and let’s get started.
While vodka is most commonly associated with Russia and Eastern Europe, it’s now produced and enjoyed worldwide. The word “vodka” actually comes from the Russian word “voda,” which means water. Indeed, this clear and crisp spirit is primarily made of water and ethanol alcohol distilled from grains, potatoes and even grapes.
Most experts agree that vodka dates back to at least the 14th century. In Russia, vodka was considered a symbol of national pride and was often used for medicinal purposes. The famous vodka brand Smirnoff was originally created in Moscow by Pyotr Smirnov in 1864.
However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that vodka became a staple of the American drinking scene. In the 1950s and 60s, vodka was directly marketed to women who were looking for an alternative to heavy whiskey cocktails as a glamorous and sophisticated drink.
In 2020, the law defining what is legally vodka in America was updated to reflect changing tastes and the innovate spirit of craft distillers. Still, since vodka is known for being “neutral” in taste, it’s one of the most utilized spirits in a vast collection of delicious cocktail recipes.
Classic Vodka Drinks
One of the most famous vodka drinks is, of course, the martini. Whether James Bond shaken or stirred, this simple cocktail is made with vodka, vermouth, and an olive or twist of lemon.
Looking for something a bit more refreshing? The Moscow Mule has become a heavy favorite in the past few years. Made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice, this cocktail is served in a chilled copper mug.
Of course, there are plenty of other popular vodka drinks out there. The Cosmopolitan, made famous by the TV show “Sex and the City,” is a sweet and tangy mix of vodka, cranberry juice, triple sec, and lime juice. The Espresso Martini is a rich and indulgent cocktail made with vodka, fresh espresso, Kahlua, and simple syrup. And for those who prefer something a bit milder, the vodka soda or vodka tonic with a splash of lime are classic low-calorie options.
As vodka has grown in popularity, so have its variations. Flavored vodkas ranging from fruity and sweet to spicy and savory abound. Additionally, higher-end vodkas are now being filtered multiple times and made with premium ingredients. Whether you prefer a classic, no-frills vodka or something a bit more complex and robust, there’s definitely a vodka for everyone.
We hope you enjoyed this brief tour of the world of vodka and found it refreshing. Whether you’re sipping a classic martini or trying a wildly flavored vodka, we invite you to head over to your nearest neighborhood location and raise a glass with us!