In theory, vodka should be tasteless and odorless. This is the reason why it mixes so well with many ingredients to create some of the top favorite classic cocktails. However, the producers needed to make the spirit more palatable for the average drinker, so they introduced flavored vodka. Find varieties with any flavor you can imagine, from pineapple to cucumber and mint.
The introduction of flavored varieties played a big role in the popularity of the spirit in America, along with many marketing campaigns by certain brands in the 1950s and 1960s. Fruity vodkas are delicious on their own, but they can also add a particular twist to many cocktails. Unflavored vodka mixes with almost anything since it's virtually tasteless, and is ideal for creating Martinis, Bloody Marys and Cosmopolitans.
How do they produce it?
To make vodka, most producers use fermented grains or potatoes, but the fancier varieties may also come from exotic fruits and sugar alcohols. This spirit undergoes a multiphase distillation process, which gives it a considerable alcohol content. Because of this, many producers add distilled water.
However, there are also distillers who like to keep the alcohol content super high, up to 98% ABV (alcohol by volume). These spirits are best to pair with mixers and make cocktails. Most vodka producers are in Russia, Lithuania, Belarus and Latvia, but this iconic liquor hails from all around the world. You'll also find some good bottles coming from the United States! The name of the spirit is a diminutive of the Slavic word "voda," which means "water."
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