Saturday, June 4, 2011

Oh for the love of vodka...

If you've been reading along at home, then you know how much I love my vodka.  It is such a versatile spirit and if you drink the good stuff, you will start to notice the subtle complexities of the spirit and that it isn't just a clear and tasteless drink!

I have different vodkas that I drink regularly and cocktails that I make and it really depends on the seasons and the mood that I'm in as to what I drink.  I thought that I would share some that I have been enjoying during the cooler months.

Hello martini time... Home made that is!
Vodka Gibson made with Belvedere vodka by Miss Mardi!

I've always been a slightly dirty Belvedere vodka martini girl, however in the cooler weather I often switch to a Vodka Gibson, which is a little bit like a martini but is garnished with pearl cocktail onions.  I think that it is the onions that make it more of a wintery cocktail and it definitely goes with more hearty casseroles and heavy meals.

I always think that a Vodka Gibson should be shaken, not stirred.  This way it creates a creamy effect for the little onions to hide in.  Most bars in the USA will make it this way when you order a Gibson, however in Australia I believe that they are made in more of a martini style.  I guess it is personal preference really however you can't really bruise a vodka like you can a gin.

Making risotto - drinking honey vodka in vintage Scandinavian glasses
Krupnik in a lovely Scandinavian vintage shot glasses.

Another Winter Vodka must have is the honey vodka.  Most eastern European countries make some form of this but naturally I drink the Polish versions.  To me, there are three main honey vodkas of varying quality (and cost!).  The first is Medos, which is easily accessible at bottle shops such as Dan Murphys.  I rarely buy this one, especially not to drink straight up, however it is a good and cheap alternative to mix into cocktails such as a Polish Martini.  What I don't like about it is that it doesn't have the depth and complexities of taste in comparison to other honey vodkas.  It is also a little sweet too.

Krupnik is the next one up and is what I believe to be the 'middle of the range' honey vodka.  It is reasonably easy to access and is a good quality vodka at a good price.  We usually have this one on our bar and often drink it straight up in lovely little vintage shot glasses during the cooler months as a way of warding off colds and flus.  It is also a great remedy for a sore throat too.  What makes this one different to the Medos is it has a thicker consistency and hints of herbs in the taste.  It also isn't too sweet, making it easier to sip through and the texture definitely coats the throat.

Honey vodka
Krupnik in a vintage 1950s shot glass, hand painted and bought in NYC.

The final honey vodka is what I believe to be top of the range and is near impossible to source in Australia.  You used to be able to buy it a few years ago but it doesn't appear to be distributed into Australia from Poland anymore.  The English name for it is Wild Bee and out of all three of them, seems to have the most complex flavour of herbs and honey.  Unfortunately, other than going to Poland, it is impossible to buy!

Honey Vodka is an ancient Polish beverage. Honey and spices shape its taste and aroma, made according to an authentic old recipe from southeast Poland, with carefully selected varieties of honey. The vodka base allows the honey to come through, with a good herby bite. (courtesy of the website)

Hopefully you have been inspired to try either the Gibson or a lovely shot of Honey Vodka (naturally both the Polish versions of the vodka!) sometime soon.  Let me know what you think!

1 comment:

  1. HEART your vodka knowledge, thanks for imparting...I adore Krupnik, very easy to drink.


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