I rightly contribute losing 20ish pounds (9kg) purely by swapping beer for Vodka. What surprised me, is as I explored this, to me, unknown drink, I have found a new world of taste and enjoyment. As such, I would like to share my Vodka journey with you lot.

Not only did I lose weight, but I just feel better for not having the carbohydrate and grain intake.
(And if you accidentally over do it, the hangover is (for me) totally non-existent. Not that I would know anything about that of course).

Ok, so hears the most important thing about Vodka. If you have had it in the past and not enjoyed it, it is because you are buying cheap stuff. It is as simple as that.
Time and time again, I have had people over (shocking I know) and asked them if they would like to try some Vodka. The answer is the same. “The stuff is nasty, I tried it once and vowed never again”. I am not for breaking vows, but if I can, I offer to open their eyes. Every single person has taken me up, and every single one has been amazed and impressed with the difference.

Second most important thing about Vodka…. You sip it.
The only reason to slam one down (shooting shots, or whatever your teenage self has memories of) is because it is so cheap and nasty that you want the taste part of it over as soon as you can and thus get it inside you to get the kick.
If this is the case, and you really really want to slam it down, then please let me know, and I will adjust my tasting session. (In other words, you don’t get to try the good stuff – and I pour you half or less sized servings).
So, shot glass, slightly over sized, ice cubes (I am looking at getting a special small ultra filtered water table top ice cube maker – the vodka warms up too fast here without the ice) and always keep the good stuff in the freezer. Fridge at the very least. With that, you are good to go.
Seriously, good Vodka is really really enjoyable. It is not uncommon for us to enjoy a shot glass size for some 20-30 minutes.

Matt B and I were talking about Vodka one Skype call some random day, and he asked a very good question… “What does Vodka taste like?”
Tough to answer. Tell me what a rose smells like…. You see my point. What a wine to me and the same wine to you tastes like is hard to describe, but here again is a very important thing…. Matt, like most people, thought that Vodka was tasteless. And, even more to the point, the better the Vodka, the more tasteless it was.
Not so.
Here are some tasting notes from a vodka website;

Tasting. There are three senses involved in a tasting of vodka: smell, sight and taste.

  • Smell. Smell the vodka as you briefly swirl it about in your glass. A good vodka will have a creamy, sweet or grainy odor. A bad vodka will smell medicinal or “aggressive,” with a strong odor of ethyl spirits.
  • Sight. Hold the vodka glass up to the light and look at the liquid’s clarity, texture and luminescence. A fine vodka will have a thick and creamy texture when frozen; it may also have a bluish or yellowish tint. One expert Russian taster noted that vodka is valued “not just for clarity, but for a crystalline lustre, an internal energy.” [Ben – I agree with this, a good one does not look like water, it has a shine to it].
  • Taste. It all comes down to this. A good vodka should taste soft not hard, creamy not watery, smooth not rough. It should not be bitter or caustic, it should not burn your palate.

It very much does has a taste and there is a large variation between brands and even within levels of the same brand.
As for the taste…. It is very unique. I can not really put a finger on it. Most people have had say a red wine and so we can talk about wood, smoke, oak, earth, pepper and so on, whereas describing Vodka is a lot harder since it is a very unique taste…. The grain is the most obvious, but I have not tasted anything else like it, so unlike red wine, I can’t talk about common tastes that we all know.

Long blog long.
Here is my scoring system.

0 / 5 Mouth wash. Worse, engine degreaser. (Mostly likely, if you have tried it in the past, this is the stuff you had). Most likely flavoured. Do yourself (and me) a favor and pour it down the sink.

1 / 5 Mixer at worse. Add it to your orange juice rather than waste the money.

2 / 5 Suffer through it. At least it barely burns at the end.

3 / 5 This is drinkable. Not as complex or as interesting as the good stuff, but enjoyable.

4 / 5 Ok, now we are talking. This is the stuff I really enjoy.

5 / 5 We have not found one yet, but many have come close. Smooth, tasty and a lovely velvet finish.