vodka

Pronunciation: [VOD-kuh]

A clear, colorless, unaged liquor, the name of which comes from the Russian zhiznennaia voda, "water of life." Vodkas can be made from everything from potatoes to beets, although those made from grain (primarily barley and wheat, sometimes rye or corn) are considered the best. Vodka's purity is the result of distillation at high proof levels, then filtration through activated charcoal to remove most remaining impurities that would contribute distinctive characteristics. Some vodkas are triple-filtered for ultimate purity. Even so, vodka connoisseurs note distinct flavor differences when vodkas are tasted at room temperature sans mixers. In general, however, vodka served straight should be served icy cold. Flavored vodkas, long common in Russia and Poland, may be flavored with anything from fruits to hot peppers. Some flavored vodkas are sweetened slightly.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Vitamin Vodka Promises to Cure Your Hangover

The maker of a new vodka is aiming to bring the world its “first and only vitamin-infused organic vodka.”

12 Days of Holiday Gifts: Infused Vodka

Trying to keep alcohol consumption modest this holiday season? Make the most of your celebratory sips with these homemade vodka infusions.

Vodka Made with Deep-Ocean Water Makes Waves

Did you know you could drink 80-proof vodka made from seawater and organic sugar cane?

One Recipe, Two Meals: Penne with a Creamy Tomato Vodka Sauce

Valentine's Day at home can be romantic for you and your special someone, even when the kids are there too.

Restaurant Ambush Revisited: Eyes on the Surprise at Copper Still CD Vodka Lounge and Eatery

Find out how Copper Still CD Vodka Lounge and Eatery is doing after its transformation on Restaurant: Impossible Ambush.