- What exactly is Vodka
- Short History of Vodka
- How Vodka is made
- Alternatives to the brands you know
- Classic Vodka cocktails
What Exactly is Vodka?
Vodka is basically a neutral spirit that is without a distinctive, scent, taste, or color – simple definition, isn’t it? Of course, certain additives are allowed and we discuss them in the How Vodka is Made section.
How Vodka is Made
With all that you might ask ‘What does it taste like?’
Tasting Vodka is not hard, as long as you do it right. To truly taste it you have to forget what you know about tasting and start with your nose.
1. Start with your nose
2. Taste the Vodka
This “premium” brand of Vodka is distilled exclusively from hard winter wheat grown in the rich soil of Southern Sweden. To date it has produced more flavored Vodkas than most brands, with no plans on stopping. As premium brands go, it is recognized worldwide. Absolut wrote the book on marketing and advertising Vodka to the masses. The Absolut ad campaign from the late 1980’s was a cross generational juggernaut that won awards in art, marketing and brand management. Marketing plans aside, the other thing Absolut had was a well made product in a market full of short cut takers and bottom shelf vodkas.
Absolut Alternative: American Harvest
With that said an excellent substitute to Absolut is a Vodka made in the United States called American Harvest. It is the latest invention of Sidney Frank, who create the well known Grey Goose vodka, which was sold to the Baccardi group a few years ago. Once the non-compete clause expired, he embarked on the American Harvest ventures, so don’t be surprised if the aesthetics look vaguely familiar. Like Absolut, American Harvest is distilled from hard red winter wheat (The same grain used is Maker’s Mark and Woodford Reserve Bourbon) . The difference is geography and the scale of production – every aspect of production happens on U.S. soil (hence the name) and uses water from deep beneath the Snake River Plain. American Harvest is made at the American Harvest Distillery in Idaho (a USDA Certified Organic site) to ensure that all the steps involved in making it are above standard. Its main ingredient is grown and not chemically created. All of the wheat used is pesticide and herbicide free. They spend their time and money on making a first-rate product while holding on to the best ideas in Vodka making. The profile on American Harvest is clean, sweet pleasantly mouth filling with a touch of grain on the finish. Is it better than Absolut? That’s for you to decide. A 750ml bottle of American Harvest is priced at around $23-24 (about the same as a bottle of Absolut.)