The Russians and Polish have constantly fought over who created vodka first. It’s still unresolved, but we know Smirnoff Russian vodka was the first to push into the western world through the USA. In the 1940’s it was launched as ‘Smirnoff White whiskey, no smell, no taste.’ When it was combined a few years later with another new Ginger Beer product, the Moscow Mule was created and the product sales soared. Hollywood celebrities and socialites helped spread the drink and with it vodka right into the mainstream.
Vodka has gone on to become the biggest selling spirit in the world, thanks mainly to this genius introduction to the US. It’s essentially made to be a tasteless and odourless spirit, making it the perfect companion to begin your mixing adventures.
Made from grains, potato and even grapes in some instances, it generally uses a column still that strips the raw material of most of it’s flavour. It’s unaged, so there is never any of the woody characteristics you might find in whiskey or rum. In most cases, more expensive vodka is an expression of the purity of the ingredients that go into making the vodka, giving a more pure and easier to drink finish. As a martini it’s a less potent introduction into the world of straight booze. The classic vodka lime and soda still holds court as one of the most popular mixers. You could try ordering up a Vodka Rickey to add a little more lime to the equation or if you prefer everything a little more sour, try Australia’s biggest selling vodka cocktail the Caipiroska.
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