This week's food section has an article on "premium" Russian vodkas. The article discusses premium Russian vodkas ranging from the $25-$35 range up to $1,200.
I say, leave them all. I am sure there are vodka enthusiasts out there that will naysay me, but vodka is boring. Vodka is a drink that is engineered to be as "smooth" as possible. In other words, the very best vodkas are made to be all but undetectable. What's the fun in that? Why spend lots of money on an invisible drink.
Allow me to present my choice for vodka (if I must): Vodka Monopolowa. You can get it from Trader Joe's for about $10 and it does everything a vodka is supposed to do. Originally a Polish state-created vodka, it is now produced in Austria. It's the best bargain out there. It is award-winning and its austere label conjures up images of everything vodka has ever been. A people's drink, that gets you through the day and night when life is hard.
This is all the vodka you will ever need. No need to spend money on premium vodkas with extra distilling. Once you put it in a cocktail, you won't even notice the difference between Monopolowa and the fancier brands. It is no swill.
If you must spend $30 on vodka, then why not buy local? Hangar One is from San Francisco and is hand-distilled from American wheat using artisanal methods. In other words, it's everythign that gets us food snobs all hot and bothered. But that also means it's good.
Plus, Hangar One comes in intriguing infusions like Buddha's Hand, Kaffir Lime, and Mandarin Blossom. They also have a collector's "Alchemist" series, which consists of limited edition batches of infusions only for the dedicated. Batch 1 was Wasabi, and Batch 2 was Chipotle. See what I mean?
So, seriously, forget expensive Russian vodkas. Unnecessary. Buy cheap (but quality) or buy local. You'll feel ever so much better.
|Thursday, February 21, 2008|