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(Popular Science)   The differences between vodka brands really are just marketing   (popsci.com) divider line
    More: Stupid, food historian highlights, Maize, facts  
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646 clicks; posted to Food » on 28 May 2020 at 2:43 PM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-05-28 1:44:11 PM  
For those unfamiliar with the topic: these vodka threads are invariably akin to Americans saying that Europeans are snobs for pretending that some beers taste different from others since Miller, Bud, and Coors are all the same, just marketed differently.

And the thing is, nobody cares what Americans think about vodka. We don't need you to amerisplain to us that we can't possibly be tasting what we are tasting.
 
2020-05-28 1:45:49 PM  
I always associate vodak with the smell of a doctor's office. No thanks, I'll stick to whisky.
 
2020-05-28 1:54:06 PM  
In fact, a taste test conducted for The New York Times by journalist Eric Asimov and a group of vodka experts concluded that America's old favorite, Smirnoff vodka, retailing at under $15 a bottle, beat out all the fancy high-priced brands for flavor and value.

media1.tenor.comView Full Size
 
2020-05-28 2:07:10 PM  
America's old favorite, Smirnoff vodka, retailing at under $15 a bottle, beat out all the fancy high-priced brands for flavor and value.

So which is it: the only difference is marketing, or they do taste different? Make your mind up.

And by the way, is it really so fantastic that a low-priced brand would win when "value" is a factor?

It's almost like words don't mean anything anymore...
 
2020-05-28 2:33:47 PM  

gopher321: I always associate vodak with the smell of a doctor's office. No thanks, I'll stick to whisky.


I never understood the appeal of vodka except as a mixer.
 
2020-05-28 3:22:58 PM  
I always thought that Effen vodka had a unique taste back in my younger days. After a particularly long night in Moscow in 2017 I now go for Beluga if I'm going for vodka. May as well go for the good stuff.
 
2020-05-28 3:27:09 PM  
Vodka is just a fancy way of saying "ethanol, bottled at ~40%". Which is fine, sometimes that's what you want, but trying to make it fancy just makes you look dumb.
 
2020-05-28 3:28:58 PM  
"It looks like your ad blocker is on."

Well, I'm sure it was a nice article full of insight and thought provoking opinions. But a Cape Codder does sound pretty tasty right now...
 
2020-05-28 3:29:55 PM  

HugeMistake: For those unfamiliar with the topic: these vodka threads are invariably akin to Americans saying that Europeans are snobs for pretending that some beers taste different from others since Miller, Bud, and Coors are all the same, just marketed differently.

And the thing is, nobody cares what Americans think about vodka. We don't need you to amerisplain to us that we can't possibly be tasting what we are tasting.


By law, any american made vodak is required to be tasteless.  Imports *might* have a taste (I've heard that Russians prefer spiced vodak, but that might be seriously out of date), but don't count on it.

I strongly suspect that differences in taste are nearly all due to all the stuff that they put a lot of effort to make sure they aren't there (esters and whatnot found in the early and later times in the distillation process).  Supposedly an expert vodak taster can successfully detect different brands of vodak, and even tell you how many times they've been through a brita filter), but for enjoyment the differences are pretty subtle.

/haven't cared at all about vodak since switching to gin (real) martinis
//note that for martinis (and similar) cheap vodak>>cheap gin
///but I can't really recommend drinking cheap vodak at all (taste is probably similar, but you'll know the difference in the morning)
 
2020-05-28 3:41:21 PM  
If you're drinking vodka, you're not one of Life's discerning few. In St. Petersburg, we were told to drink it so that it just falls from the glass to the throat. That's why I now talk like Wallace Beery.(Or maybe Marie Dressler. I get those two confused.)
 
2020-05-28 3:43:39 PM  
I like my vodka in plastic bottles because I don't want the bottle to shatter when I drop it or stumble.
 
2020-05-28 3:44:38 PM  
Most people I see drinking vodka are mixing it with tonic or juice anyways, so what difference does a $12 bottle over a $40 make? Very little.

My girlfriend and I go through a 1.75 a week, just get the cheap stuff
 
2020-05-28 4:11:15 PM  
We just go for Crater Lake. Stuff is usually $15 pre tax and probably the best mid shelf available.
 
2020-05-28 4:19:35 PM  
Vodak is good as a mixer, but that's about it.  Other spirits have flavors and aromas that make them interesting, but vodka has all the character of a hospital ward.  A hint of potato would be an improvement.
 
2020-05-28 4:37:42 PM  
Smoothest vodka I ever had was "huckleberry honey vodka"  from a distiller around Missoula.

Vodka isnt supposed to be that smooth. Farking dangerous
 
2020-05-28 4:54:29 PM  
Vodka is good if you are a high school girl that wants to pour it into juice or something.
 
2020-05-28 5:15:28 PM  
I prefer Polish Potato Vodka. Gvori is the best and yes it does taste different from American grain vodka.
 
2020-05-28 5:18:52 PM  

We Ate the Necco Wafers: I like my vodka in plastic bottles because I don't want the bottle to shatter when I drop it or stumble.


live.staticflickr.comView Full Size
 
2020-05-28 6:06:10 PM  
I spent 2 weeks in Poland last year.  A rural area.  Spent lots of time in the little hotel's bar, usually alone.  Occasionally, a group of working-class Polish guys would come in, buy an entire bottle, and do Vodka shots until the bottle was gone, then leave.

So, I started researching Polish vodka, always thinking Russia were the vodka kings.  Nope, Poland is really proud of their vodka.

Last night there one of the guys offered me a shot ... uh, they were drinking Smirnoff.  I believe just because it was cheap there.  So, I asked the bartender what she thought was the best Polish vodka.  She poured me a shot, I have no idea what brand, just a string of consonants, then I bought the guys a shot.  Seriously, I drink vodka about once a year, but that was a cool night and it *seemed* like the Polish vodka was the best I've ever had.
 
2020-05-28 6:21:22 PM  

We Ate the Necco Wafers: I like my vodka in plastic bottles because I don't want the bottle to shatter when I drop it or stumble.


You made me think of the time I'd bought a "handle" of Jameson, only to lose my grip on it when I was walking from the car to the hotel room. There's no handle on a handle of Jameson...
 
2020-05-28 7:15:59 PM  

bradley547: I prefer Polish Potato Vodka. Gvori is the best and yes it does taste different from American grain vodka.


I like a good Polish cocktail once in a while - Perrier and water.
 
2020-05-28 8:08:54 PM  
Any fairly good vodka, straight from the freezer with creamed herring on dark rye bread brings out my Eastern European roots.

Nazdrovia!

Akavit is a close second
 
2020-05-28 8:19:22 PM  

bradley547: I prefer Polish Potato Vodka. Gvori is the best and yes it does taste different from American grain vodka.


I typically drink Luksusowa. I'm sure there are better options, but I'm not a vodka snob. It is definitely discernibly different from grain vodka, though.
 
2020-05-28 8:25:14 PM  

darwinpolice: bradley547: I prefer Polish Potato Vodka. Gvori is the best and yes it does taste different from American grain vodka.

I typically drink Luksusowa. I'm sure there are better options, but I'm not a vodka snob. It is definitely discernibly different from grain vodka, though.


Thats my close second. I buy it when I don't want to deal with the ridiculously tall Gvori bottle. In fact I'm drinking it right now :-)
 
2020-05-28 8:31:55 PM  
Good news, I'm avoiding it anyway... or if I dive in, Smirnov is the ceiling.
*resting face palm*
 
2020-05-28 10:27:22 PM  
must be odorless, colorless and tasteless.
"congeners" that give the final product its unique taste.

Welp, better make up your mind, or tell the folks at Belvedere it ain't Vodak.

Gettin' drinkin' some Skull right now.

Hey Dan, this ain't Vodak 'cause I can taste it.
 
2020-05-28 10:28:03 PM  

Percise1: Good news, I'm avoiding it anyway... or if I dive in, Smirnov is the ceiling.
*resting face palm*


Flavored Smirnov makes great kamikazes. Just sayin.
 
2020-05-29 9:03:01 AM  

SpectroBoy: gopher321: I always associate vodak with the smell of a doctor's office. No thanks, I'll stick to whisky.

I never understood the appeal of vodka except as a mixer.


Meet more Russians.

It is more of a social experience, there are usually 2 or 3 toasts followed by salty finger foods then as the 3 shots of vodka hit your system like a cockpunch from a gorilla everyone splits off into smaller groups swapping stories and generally relaxing a bit.

Then the drinking continues as several more rounds of toasts happen.
 
2020-05-29 9:18:19 AM  

Ashelth: SpectroBoy: gopher321: I always associate vodak with the smell of a doctor's office. No thanks, I'll stick to whisky.

I never understood the appeal of vodka except as a mixer.

Meet more Russians.

It is more of a social experience, there are usually 2 or 3 toasts followed by salty finger foods then as the 3 shots of vodka hit your system like a cockpunch from a gorilla everyone splits off into smaller groups swapping stories and generally relaxing a bit.

Then the drinking continues as several more rounds of toasts happen.


I get the drinking part.

In fact, my father and grand parents came here from  Lithuania and had similar traditions.
 
2020-05-29 9:38:45 AM  

Rene ala Carte: Any fairly good vodka, straight from the freezer with creamed herring on dark rye bread brings out my Eastern European roots.

Nazdrovia!

Akavit is a close second


The Long Goodbye. There's a scene with Elliot Gould and Sterling Hayden. Hayden's character is a middle-aged alcoholic novelist with something on his mind. Elliot Gould plays the detective Philip Marlowe. In a scene, they share some Aquavit on the beach. So, being a mystery fan and as impressionable as a 10 year old, I bought a bottle of Aquavit and stuck it in the freezer to get the hootch to the appropriate temp. (In the movie, the bottle has a big square base of ice.) Then, at odd moments over the next few years I'd haul it out, convinced that this time it would taste good and I'd have a satisfying adult beverage. In the movie Marlowe makes a face after he drinks his Aquavit and says "Caraway seeds.".
 
2020-05-29 10:26:21 AM  

HugeMistake: For those unfamiliar with the topic: these vodka threads are invariably akin to Americans saying that Europeans are snobs for pretending that some beers taste different from others since Miller, Bud, and Coors are all the same, just marketed differently.

And the thing is, nobody cares what Americans think about vodka. We don't need you to amerisplain to us that we can't possibly be tasting what we are tasting.


I see you meet a lot of Americans from 30 years ago.
 
2020-05-29 11:15:24 AM  

yakmans_dad: Rene ala Carte: Any fairly good vodka, straight from the freezer with creamed herring on dark rye bread brings out my Eastern European roots.

Nazdrovia!

Akavit is a close second

The Long Goodbye. There's a scene with Elliot Gould and Sterling Hayden. Hayden's character is a middle-aged alcoholic novelist with something on his mind. Elliot Gould plays the detective Philip Marlowe. In a scene, they share some Aquavit on the beach. So, being a mystery fan and as impressionable as a 10 year old, I bought a bottle of Aquavit and stuck it in the freezer to get the hootch to the appropriate temp. (In the movie, the bottle has a big square base of ice.) Then, at odd moments over the next few years I'd haul it out, convinced that this time it would taste good and I'd have a satisfying adult beverage. In the movie Marlowe makes a face after he drinks his Aquavit and says "Caraway seeds.".


You need the creamed herring to make the Aquavit palatable.

Try the one that is from a barrel that has been across the equator in the hold of a ship.
Sounds weird, but there is a difference. A friend from Noway brought me some. It is also more expensive.
 
2020-05-29 3:19:18 PM  

yet_another_wumpus: By law, any american made vodak is required to be tasteless.


I'll repeat what I said earlier: Nobody cares what Americans think about vodka. 

bradley547: darwinpolice: bradley547: I prefer Polish Potato Vodka. Gvori is the best and yes it does taste different from American grain vodka.

I typically drink Luksusowa. I'm sure there are better options, but I'm not a vodka snob. It is definitely discernibly different from grain vodka, though.

Thats my close second. I buy it when I don't want to deal with the ridiculously tall Gvori bottle. In fact I'm drinking it right now :-)


My personal favorite is Moskovskaya, and I also like Youri Dolgoruki, which was recommended to me by a Russian cab driver.
 
2020-05-29 3:21:24 PM  
I was right: this is the thread where people who don't know anything about vodka amerisplain it to the rest of us.
 
2020-05-29 7:09:28 PM  

yet_another_wumpus: HugeMistake: For those unfamiliar with the topic: these vodka threads are invariably akin to Americans saying that Europeans are snobs for pretending that some beers taste different from others since Miller, Bud, and Coors are all the same, just marketed differently.

And the thing is, nobody cares what Americans think about vodka. We don't need you to amerisplain to us that we can't possibly be tasting what we are tasting.

By law, any american made vodak is required to be tasteless.  Imports *might* have a taste (I've heard that Russians prefer spiced vodak, but that might be seriously out of date), but don't count on it.

I strongly suspect that differences in taste are nearly all due to all the stuff that they put a lot of effort to make sure they aren't there (esters and whatnot found in the early and later times in the distillation process).  Supposedly an expert vodak taster can successfully detect different brands of vodak, and even tell you how many times they've been through a brita filter), but for enjoyment the differences are pretty subtle.

/haven't cared at all about vodak since switching to gin (real) martinis
//note that for martinis (and similar) cheap vodak>>cheap gin
///but I can't really recommend drinking cheap vodak at all (taste is probably similar, but you'll know the difference in the morning)


And while the law says that in theory, in practice it's not always the case. Vodkas don't all taste like GNS. Of course, some of the taste are nasty little bits of heads and tails in the cheaper brands. That's where the Britta filter trick comes in.
 
2020-05-29 7:26:16 PM  

anuran: That's where the Britta filter trick comes in.


Seriously? What trick is this?
 
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