What really makes a vodka?
Vodka, distilled liqueur, light in color and without definite aroma or flavor, which varies in alcohol content between 40 and 55 percent. Because it is highly neutral, with flavoring substances removed mainly during processing, it can be made from one of the cheapest and most economical raw materials available for fermentation. Potatoes were traditionally used in Russia and Poland, but have largely been supplanted there and in other cereal-producing vodka countries. Vodka originated in Russia during the 14th century, and the name is a diminutive of Russian wedding. (“Water”). The drink was popularly mainly in Russia, Poland and the Balkan states until shortly after World War II, when consumption began to increase rapidly in the United States and then in Europe. Most producers buy neutral drinks previously distilled and purified with an extremely high alcohol content and almost no flavoring substances left. These drinks are further purified by a filtration process, usually using charcoal, and then reduced in strength with distilled water and bottled without aging. In Russia, where a fairly low alcohol content of 40 percent is preferred. by volume (80 US), and in Poland, where 45 percent is more common, vodka is generally consumed unmixed and refrigerated, in small glasses and accompanied by snacks. In other countries it is popular to use in mixed drinks due to its neutral character. It can be combined with other drinks without adding its own flavor and replaced by other spirits in cocktails that do not require the specific taste of the original spirit. The most popular drinks with vodka include the screwdriver, made with orange juice; the bloody Mary, with tomato juice; vodka and tonic; and martini vodka, with vodka replacing gin. Sometimes vodkas are flavored with ingredients such as buffalo grass, lemon peel, berries, and peppercorns.