Vodka

Vodka is distilled primarily using water and ethanol, the name stemming from the Russian word ‘voda’, meaning water. It is traditionally made by the distillation of potatoes, but modern brands are more adventurous and make it with fruits, sugar, and even milk. After the Russian Revolution, all private distilleries in Moscow were shut down. As a result, various Russian vodka makers emigrated, taking their skill set and recipe secrets with them. One particular exile revived his brand in Paris, using the French version of his family name to keep his identity secret. He called it ‘Smirnoff’. Vodka must have an alcohol content of at least 37.5% to be officially sold as vodka in the EU. In the vodka belt countries of Eastern Europe, the drink it neat, on or off the rocks. Over here it is more likely to be found in a cocktail, such as a vodka martini, Screwdriver, White Russian, Sex on the Beach or a Bloody Mary for breakfast.