1) Sip then bite then sip then bite
Want to drink a Russian under the table? It is recommended that you eat between sips, as creamy and fatty things work well as they balance the flavor and break down the alcohol. Think bread, cheese, and pickles.
2) Throw out your shot glasses
“The pro choice is a tulip-shaped glass,” says Oli Blackburn, brand ambassador at Grey Goose vodka. “It channels the aroma, making it easier to smell—which is very important, as 85% of the taste comes from the receptors in your nose.” Alex Davies, head of distillery at Chase Vodka, adds, “Drinking when hungry will heighten your taste receptors, too.”
3) Remember to double up
Give your taste buds a heads up. “The first sip will only prep your tongue and senses to let them know a high alcoholic liquid is coming,” says Oli. “The second time around, it doesn’t miss out on any of the flavors.”
4) Don't leave it in the freezer
Vodka is best served chilled, but not too cold. If the molecules in the alcohol start to freeze, all you’ll be able to taste is the alcohol. Instead, keep your bottle on a shelf and pour it over ice. You’ll get the biggest range of flavors between 1 and 5?C. Any warmer, and lighter notes such as citrus will start to tail off.
5) Wise up to gimmicks
“I saw a bottle of vodka in Berlin promising that every drop was filtered across the breast of a supermodel,” says William Borrell, owner of Vestal Vodka. “There’s also a popular brand that says it is ‘filtered through diamonds.’ It’s ridiculous. If people buy certain brands based on these claims, or because rappers drink them, they’ll miss out on the truly good stuff.”
6) The humble spud is king
“The potato is the premium ingredient of the vodka connoisseur,” says William. “Potato vodka is more difficult to make and is defined by an inherent flavor and feel.” Alex adds, “Potato is very expensive to make vodka from, not only because they spoil very easily but because you get a much lower yield from them than you do with grain.”
7) Made in the PH
Vodka is defined as a distilled spirit made from any agricultural product, meaning you could be knocking back anything you find on a farm, bar the farmer: grape, grain, wheat, rye, peaches and cream corn, horseradish, rye, name it. In England, a distillery called Black Cow bottles the world’s only pure milk vodka. Our very own Filipino coconut vodka, or lambanog, is mainly produced in the Quezon province, and is now being spruced up from its rep as the magbubukid’s toma of choice to a world-class export.
8) Hangovers don't need to be hellish
A massive contributor to a horrible morning-after is sugar, and a premium bottle of vodka shouldn’t contain any, or at least only a tiny amount. You start to walk a very thin and dangerous line when you add mixers.
9) 40 is your favorite number
Nineteenth-century scientist Dmitri Mendeleev had the task of deciding the optimum alcoholic volume any vodka should hold, and (possibly drunkenly) found it to be 40 percent. Any stronger and the burn’s too hard, any less and it’ll over-dilute from the ice.
10) Never mess up your martinis
A vodka martini is class in a glass, but only if you nail it. All you need is fresh ice, a couple of dashes of vermouth and a measure of vodka. Stir for 13-14 seconds, and pour into a classic martini glass. Finish it off with a twist of lemon.