Vodka is a neutral spirit without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color. Sounds delicious right? Well, it’s also the No. 1 selling distilled spirit in the world. Traditionally, vodka is made by the distillation of cereal grains or potatoes that have been fermented, though some modern brands use other substances, such as fruits or sugar. So let’s check out some cool facts you can tell your friends all about before going out drinking again!
1. “Vodka” comes from the Slavic word for water, voda. Whiskey comes from the Gaelic uisge beatha, or “water of life.”
2. The first written record of vodka production was in the Sandomierz Court Registry, Poland in 1405,
3. Russia didn’t get vodka “to paper” until 1751.
4. It was once sold as a possible cure for anything from infertility to the plague.
5. Vodka used to have flavor. Since impurities were more often left behind, producers would mask them with spices and fruits.
6. One of the top selling vodka brands in the world was started by a peasant. His name? Pyotr Smirnov.
7. Like Scotch or bourbon, vodka can actually have certain additives to finish or correct it, like sugar, glycerin, or citric acid with the major goal being to soften harshness.
8. Vodka can be used to make after shave.
9. When vodka in served directly from the freezer, a bit more of the viscosity and richness of the spirit comes out.
10. In Russia, vodka is taken with food, “zakuski,” or little plates of this and that to go with your drink. It’s kind of like Russian tapas, except here they’re not just keeping you on your feet, they’re also meant to guard your stomach against the fiery onslaught of vodka.
11. It is composed primarily of water and ethanol.
12. The “vodka belt” countries of Northern, Central and Eastern Europe are the historic home of vodka. These countries have the highest vodka consumption in the world.
13. The process of flavoring vodka so that it tastes like fruits, chocolate, and other foods occurs after fermentation and distillation.
14. In some countries, black-market or “bathtub” vodka is widespread because it can be produced easily and avoid taxation.
15. Severe poisoning, blindness, or death can occur as a result of dangerous industrial ethanol substitutes being added by black-market producers.
16. There’s a vodka that is made from premium American corn and the liquid’s final filtration is through a 4-billion-year-old meteorite. It’s called outer- space vodka, and it’s motto is “take me to your party”!