International Vodka Day is celebrated on October 4 every year. It is one of the most versatile spirits for cocktails, and is distilled from grains or starchy potatoes. The word vodka comes from the slavic word voda which means water. The two primary ingredients in vodka are ethanol and water. Some of the most popular vodkas in India are Absolut, Grey Goose, Smirnoff, Romanov and the home grown label Short Story.
The clear, almost flavourless spirit forms the base for a variety of classic cocktails, from Martini to Bloody Mary and White Russian. The white spirit is favoured for modern drinks, because it acts like a blank canvas for infusing different flavours. You can take a handful of fresh lemongrass, and let it infuse in 100 ml vodka for three-five days to create a refreshing home made liqueur. You can make a similar infusion with lime and orange peels.
Here are two recipes to raise a toast to International Vodka Day.
Recipe by Aditya Solanki, Head bartender and mixologist, Someplace Else, Mumbai
1 lemongrass leaf
5-6 kaffir lime leaves
15 ml yuzu or lemon juice
60 ml vodka
Dehydrated lime wheel or lemongrass stick for garnish
Lots of ice
Mix all the ingredients together in shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Double-strain the drink, and serve in a rock glass.
Ek simple si coffee
Recipe by Cedrik Rodrigues, Beverage Manager, Hitchki Restro Bar, Mumbai
3 mint sprigs
60 ml sprite
10 ml sugar syrup
10 ml lime juiceNescafe foam (skimmed from a cup of coffee) to garnish
3-4 cubes of ice
In a shaker, add vodka, mint sprigs, sprite, sugar syrup and lime well. Shake well. In a Hi-Ball glass, place the ice cubes. Pour the drink over the ice. Top up with Nescafe foam, and serve.