Why Vodka will be the spirit of the summer 

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Vodka doesn’t get sufficient love. Gross sales might have dropped a little bit lately however it stays Eire’s greatest promoting spirit at 32% (Whiskey is 26%) and could be very a lot again in vogue.

Vodka is the clean canvas of the cocktail world providing texture and alcohol zing, however permitting different elements their place within the limelight. It’s the pasta, the potatoes, the rice – and it’s as much as us to venture flavour and character onto it.

My first style of fine vodka was once I someway managed to crash the launch of the Finnish Embassy in Eire once I was a pupil in Trinity School again within the early Nineteen Nineties. Bottles of premium Finlandia vodka had been encased in two-inch thick blocks of ice and poured into our glasses by beautiful flaxen-haired Finns – we alternated pictures of wealthy pea soup with this chilly viscous nectar and I used to be instantly hooked.

I have been conserving my vodka within the freezer ever since however have by no means fairly managed to recreate the soup (as for seducing flaxen-haired Finns, I could not probably remark).

Vodka
Vodka

Origin

The phrase Vodka is derived from the Slavic phrase voda that means ‘water’ – vodka interprets as ‘little water’. Sweden, Poland, Ukraine and Russia all have a declare to early variations of the drink. Vodka is normally distilled from grain (generally 3 or 4 occasions in high-quality variations) however will also be produced from maize, beets or potatoes. Vodka must be impartial however it also needs to style of one thing and it’s instructive to style vodka neat – that bottle costing €60 or extra might not style nearly as good to you because the one at €25. As for worldwide manufacturers you’ll have to make that call your self however I do wish to point out that Stoli is made in Latvia so requires a boycott in March had been misjudged.

The arrival of premium vodkas corresponding to Gray Goose and Ketel One within the Eighties gave vodka an enormous enhance however it has since misplaced some floor to Gin and Whiskey. The reopening of bars and eating places after the lockdowns of 2020 nonetheless have seen vodka and vodka-based cocktails get a little bit of a revival – the principle beneficiary being the Espresso Martini which appears to be in every single place. Recipe under.

Irish Vodka

There are a variety of high quality Irish vodka manufacturers and I notably like Kalak for its creamy barley notes and Sausage Tree (from the makers of Gunpowder Gin) for its hints of caramel and spice. The most recent available on the market is Istil 38 made in Co. Meath by Sugarloaf Drinks.

Istil 38 is distilled 4 occasions so wants no filtration and apart from the unique vodka, has two flavour variations – a Pink Berry and a Vanilla Vodka. Vanilla vodka is especially helpful in the event you like Espresso Martinis and Pornstar Martinis. Istil 38 consider their Vanilla Vodka is wealthy sufficient to help you omit Tia Maria or Kahlua within the conventional Espresso Martini recipe – merely enhance the amount of vanilla vodka and espresso.

Flavoured Vodka

Virtually so long as there was vodka there was flavoured vodka and the king of those in my e-book is Zubrówka Bison Vodka from Poland which accommodates a blade of Bison Grass within the bottle. The bison grass provides hints of candy apple, coconut and maple syrup and is scrumptious neat or in your cocktail of alternative. Each main vodka model has flavoured variations however these three are among the many greatest.

Belvedere is without doubt one of the better of the premium vodkas they usually have teamed up with the Shelbourne Resort to create the Belvedere Terrace for the following couple of months. In case you can’t make it to the Shelbourne look ahead to the Blackberry & Lemongrass Belvedere and the Lemon & Basil with a Contact of Elderflower which could be blended with soda water or Prosecco.

Cîroc is uncommon in having grapes as its base. Owned by Diageo it was model created in 2003 and is distilled 5 occasions. 

Ciroc Vodka
Ciroc Vodka

New on the cabinets is the Cîroc Summer time Citrus is flavoured has blood orange and has noticeable citrus notes so makes a very good lengthy drink with soda water or with some orange juice and cranberry.

Ciroc Sunrise
Ciroc Dawn

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Absolut I confess I’m much less eager on Absolut drunk neat however a few of their flavoured vodkas are onerous to beat. From the traditional Citron to the extra voluptuous Kurant to fruity Mango and creamy Vanilla – there’s even an Absolut Rainbow dropping in June 2022 for Pleasure Month.

Cocktails

You want a cocktail e-book in the event you don’t have one already. The Difford’s Guides are complete and easy however annoyingly heavy on branding. I’ve a few previous Michael Jackson (no relation) books I nonetheless use, and I additionally advocate ‘Spirited’ by Adrienne Stillman (Phaidon). Some traditional cocktails under to brighten up your summer season.

The most recent development in each eating places and in drinks is dessert cocktails and certainly the doyenne of those, the truth is the post-lockdown drink of the 2021-2022, is the Espresso Martini. A little bit like Vodka and Pink Bull or espresso and a joint (I’m advised) it is a heady mixture of a depressant and a stimulant – one thing our programs love.

Espresso Martini

Basic and scrumptious

Shake: 50ml Vodka, 30ml Kahlua or Tia Maria, 10ml Sugar Syrup and 1 sturdy freshly made Espresso over ice. Pressure right into a cocktail glass and dot with espresso beans.

Black Russian

A creamy deal with that by no means goes out of style

Pour 50ml Vodka and 30ml Espresso Liqueur into a glass stuffed with ice and stir.

White Russian

Beloved of The Dude in The Huge Lebowski. 

Pour 50ml Vodka and 30ml Espresso Liqueur into a glass stuffed with ice and float some cream on high.

Cosmopolitan

Now that Intercourse and the Metropolis has had a revival so has the Cosmo.

Add to a shaker: 50ml Lemon or Berry Vodka, 25ml Cointreau, 25ml Lime Juice, 25ml Cranberry Juice and shake over ice. Pressure right into a coupe glass and garnish with a twist of lime.

The Screwdriver and the Wallbanger

For a Screwdriver stir 50ml of vodka with 80-100ml of recent orange juice over ice. For a Harvey’s Wallbanger add a tablespoon of Galliano and garnish with an orange slice – and for a Sloe Comfy Screw In opposition to the Wall add 50ml of Southern Consolation and 30ml of Sloe Gin and stir effectively.

Bloody Mary

Lastly, the treatment.

To a cocktail shaker add 50ml of Vodka, 100ml of Tomato Juice, 20ml Lemon Juice, a teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce and a pair of dashes of Tabasco plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Add ice, shake or stir vigorously and pour right into a Slim Jim glass. Add a big ice-cube, a slice of lemon and a stick of celery.

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