Vodka

Vodka goes in and out of fashion, but not its popularity with drinkers. It remains the biggest-selling spirit in the U.S, and even the Scots drink more vodka than whisky. In the U.S., according to the Code of Federal Regulations, vodka is defined 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.” Nevertheless, there are subtle differences between vodka made from potatoes and from grain, for example, two of the most common base products for distilling into vodka. (In recent years, a wide variety of other bases have been used to make vodka.) Infused vodka has usually been infused with natural products (e.g. real lemons), while flavored vodka can mean it contains either natural or artificial flavorings. Rules regarding the acceptable strength of vodka differ slightly around the world. Within the European Union, vodkas can be bottled at as low as 75 proof, while in most countries outside the European Union, and in the U.S., vodka must be at least 80 proof.

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Original Recipe: The Lemony Snicket

By Christopher Null | January 13, 2009 |

Something off the beaten path… I was inspired by lemon meringue pie. I like it quite a bit! The Lemony Snicket 3/4 oz. vodka 3/4 oz. lemon-infused vodka 1/2 oz. Navan vanilla liqueur 1/2 oz. Damiana herbal liqueur 1 oz. milk or cream Build in a rocks glass over ice. Stir and serve.

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Review: Vicious Vodka

By Christopher Null | December 28, 2008 |

I had no idea how combative the idea of caffeinated spirits would be: Vicious Vodka claims to have originated the idea six years ago, fighting for months for government approval to add caffeine to booze. The company has a patent on its production process and remains a small, deeply devoted player in this market, with…

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Recipe: Jett Vodka G5

By Christopher Null | December 18, 2008 |

The name of this cocktail — designed for downing on New Years Eve — from the folks at Jett Vodka is downright awful, but it sounds really delicious. I’ll be making one up as soon as I can wrangle a few grapefruit. Jett Vodka G5 1 oz. Jett Vodka 1 oz. Limoncello 1/2 oz. fresh…

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Review: Indio Vodkas

By Christopher Null | December 15, 2008 |

As promised yesterday, today we’re plowing through the five vodkas (one straight, four flavored) from Portland’s Indio Spirits. All five are 80-proof and distilled from rye, then filtered through charcoal-activated coconut husks. (All the vodkas are uncolored, too, and feature very approachable prices.) Indio Silver Edition Vodka – This is the straight, unflavored vodka, and…

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Original Recipe: The Dow Jones Industrial Average Cocktail

By Christopher Null | December 13, 2008 |

Coming to my holiday party tonight? Here’s the original cocktail crafted just for the event that you’ll be drinking tonight. Give your liver a pep talk. The inspiration is obvious: Economic collapse. The DJIA Cocktail (or the Dow Cocktail, if you prefer) is meant to be bittersweet to remind us of the hard times we’ve…

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Review: Organic Nation O-N Vodka and Gin

By Christopher Null | December 9, 2008 |

Organic spirits are a category that you just can’t stop. Organic Nation hails from Oregon’s Cascade Peak Spirits Inc., and Organic Nation Vodka and Gin are the company’s first two offerings. A ginger-flavored vodka and at least one whiskey (organic whiskey is decidedly rare) are coming in 2009. While we wait for those, we occupied…

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Review: Boru Vodkas

By Christopher Null | December 4, 2008 |

The only vodka I’ve sampled from the country of Ireland, Boru is named after a legendary Irish king… who probably wouldn’t have been caught dead drinking vodka. No matter. Distilled five times (from unspecified grain), this vodka hits 80 proof in its unflavored and three flavored incarnations (all use natural flavorings). We sampled all four.…

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Drinkhacker’s 2008 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 28, 2008 |

What better gift is there than a bottle of booze? Not only will your giftee think you’re incredibly sophisticated, chances are he’ll let you drink a good amount of it before he realizes his terrible mistake. What’s the best booze to put under the tree this Christmas season? Of course you want to offer something…

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Review: Smirnoff Vodka

By Christopher Null | November 13, 2008 |

Tomorrow the latest James Bond movie hits the big screen, and Smirnoff is taking the opportunity to remind us of Bond’s love for vodka: He’ll be drinking the stuff in Quantum of Solace, and Smirnoff is even putting out a special Smirnoff Black vodka branded with the 007 logo, to be sold only in duty-free…

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Review: Jett Vodka

By Christopher Null | November 2, 2008 |

It’s another vodka, so let’s cut to the sell. Jett is infused not with fruit but with the staples of energy drinks: Caffeine, guarana, and ginseng. (What, no taurine!?) Now on sale only in Los Angeles, Jett offers club kids a way to get their stimulants and depressants together without having to shell out an…

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