Vodka Wonder


Vodka is the dominant spirit of Eastern Europe. It is made by fermenting and then distilling the simple sugars from a mash of pale grain or vegetal matter. Vodka is produced from grain, potatoes, molasses, beets, and a variety of other plants. Rye and wheat are the classic grains for Vodka, with most of the best Russian Vodkas being made from wheat while in Poland they are mostly made from a rye mash.

Distillation of Vodka

All Vodka comes out of the still as a clear, colorless spirit, but Vodka from a pot still will contain some of the delicate aromatics, congeners, and flavor elements of the crop from which it was produced.
Except for a few minor styles, Vodka is not put in wooden casks or aged for an extensive period of time. It can, however, be flavored or colored with a wide variety of fruits, herbs, and spices.

Classifications of Vodka

In Poland, Vodkas are graded according to their degree of purity: standard (zwykly), premium (wyborowy) and deluxe (luksusowy).

In Russia Vodka that is labeled osobaya (special) usually is a superior-quality product that can be exported, while krepkaya (strong) denotes an overproof Vodka of at least 56% ABV.

In the United States, domestic Vodkas are defined by U.S. government regulation as “neutral spirits, so distilled, or so treated after distillation with charcoal or other materials, as to be without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color.”

Some of the better known types are:

Since Vodka tends to be a neutral spirit, it lends itself to blending with flavors and fortifying other beverages.

Kubanskaya – Vodka flavored with an infusion of dried lemon and orange peels.

Limonnaya – Lemon-flavored Vodka, usually with a touch of sugar added.

Okhotnichya -“Hunter s” Vodka is flavored with a mix of ginger, cloves, lemon peel, coffee, anise and other herbs and spices. It is then blended with sugar and a touch of a wine similar to white port.

Pertsovka -Pepper-flavored Vodka, made with both black peppercorns and red chili peppers.

Starka – “Old” Vodka, a holdover from the early centuries of Vodka production, which can be infused with everything from fruit tree leaves to brandy, Port, Malaga wine, and dried fruit. Some brands are aged in oak casks.

Zubrovka – Zubrowka in Polish; Vodka flavored with buffalo (or more properly “bison”) grass, an aromatic grass favored by the herds of the rare European bison.

Vodka Cocktails


• Fill a tall glass with ice. Add:
• 1-1/2 oz. Vodka
• Orange juice to fill

Stir and serve.

Bloody Mary

Fill a short glass with ice. Add:
• 1-1/2 oz. Vodka
• Dash Worcestershire Sauce
• Dash Tabasco Sauce
• Dash lemon or lime juice
• Tomato juice to fill

Stir and garnish with celery salt on top.

Sex On The Beach

Fill a tall glass with ice. Add:
• 1 oz. Vodka
• 1 oz. peach liqueur
• 1-1/2 oz. orange juice
• 1-1/2 oz. cranberry juice

Stir and serve.