Thursday, April 13, 2006

Versatile Vodka

Portion of my Essay for my principles of gastronomy class.

The first vodka introduced in the United States in nineteen thirty-four was the Smirnoff brand. Rudolph Kunett bought both the formula and the name from Vladimir Smirnoff in Paris. Vladimir Smirnoff originally produced vodka in Russia. John Martin bought the company from Rudolph Kunett in nineteen thirty-nine for fourteen thousand dollars. Martin was very successful at promoting the drink in Hollywood movies. The Smirnoff vodka marketing campaign of the nineteen fifties increased the drinks popularity in the United States. In the United States, vodka consumption accounts for one-fourth of all distilled spirits sold. Vodka is more popular than ever accounting for one out of every four bottles of alcohol sold worldwide. The reason for vodkas dominance in the spirit market is its ability to be mixed into so many drink recipes. It also became popular due to its odorless quality and leaves no trace of alcohol on the breath allowing people to function at work or in social situations. In the United States, the Cosmopolitan became extremely popular and trendy in society and the bar scene due to its appearance on the hit television show, Sex and the City.

Neutral and colorless alcoholic beverage vodka consists of sixty-percent water with a smooth taste and odorless aroma. The water source is very important and explains why no two types of vodka taste alike. Unlike other spirits, vodka can be made with any carbohydrate that will ferment. Foods such as potatoes, beets, corn, rye or wheat can be made into vodka. Vodka is made from ethyl alcohol, fermented mash and water.

The vodka martini, screwdriver, Bloody Mary, White Russian, the Gimlet and Cosmopolitan are popular drinks made with a vodka base. Aromatic vodkas that are flavored with ginger, lemon peel, lime, mint, chocolate, cinnamon, grapefruit, banana, orange, raspberry, nutmeg, red pepper and vanilla have become popular in recent years. In the nineteen nineties Belvedere and the French Grey Goose was introduced. These have a brandy like toffee flavor and fruit aftertaste. Absolut is Swedish vodka with citrus and pepper flavoring thought to lighten the harshness of the near pure alcohol. These new vodkas in their fancy and frosted bottles have proven that vodka can sell for more than thirty dollars a bottle. The flavored vodkas have lost the traditionalism and authentic quality of the Eastern European vodkas. The real test of a good vodka producer would be the taste of unflavored vodka. In the United States, the flavored vodkas are intended for drinking as the base or mixer in a cocktail and they serve that purpose.

The fondness of vodka, in Russia has caused the government to profit over the weakness of their people. This has been great for the Russian economy, but the problem had been that Russians drank too much vodka. However, many Russians have become alcoholics. Vodka is a part of everyday life in Russia and could be compared to the consumption of coffee in the United States.

Hollywood movies, such as James Bond films have popularized this versatile vodka and have lead to the drinks success. Popular television shows, such as Sex in the City have also increased vodka consumption and awareness of the pink tinted Cosmopolitan. In the United States there is also an increase in Vodka Bars specializing in an extensive range of premium spirits. This has led to problems of addiction in the United States.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I didn't know any of this and it's my favorite liquour. Thanks for the info.