This clear, often neutral tasting liquor has a history that is anything but boring. It wasn’t until the 1950s when we Americans were introduced to the Moscow Mule that the vodka took off craze in the United States. But our friends in Eastern Europe — the Russians and the Poles — have been imbibing in their national drink for centuries. (Both claim to be the originators of vodka). And, to help celebrate this popular drink (so popular, it’s said to be the world’s number one selling alcoholic beverage), we’ve gathered some fun facts — and a few great cocktail recipes — to get you into the spirit of National Vodka Day, which is Sunday, October 4.
Did you know?
- Vodka is considered to be the national drink of Russia.
- In 1546, the King of Poland issued a decree extending the right to make vodka to every citizen.
- It’s said vodka became so popular in Russia because it didn’t freeze. Maybe that’s why we love it here in Minnesota, too.
- Thank the James Bond movies for popularizing the vodka martini (shaken, not stirred).
- Vodka has been used as an aftershave (in Poland).
- Vodka was used to treat soldiers in many wars – as a disinfectant and an anesthetic.
- Vodka can be made from nearly any grain, fruit, or malt meal (including potatoes, wheat, rye, and grapes).
- The two most popular cocktails using vodka are the Bloody Mary and Vodka Martini
It seems everyone has a favorite recipe, so let’s start with a classic. Go ahead and make it your own by adding your favorite garnishes.
- 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce (about 1/4 teaspoon)
- 2 dashes black pepper
- 2 dashes cayenne pepper
- 2 dashes salt
- 1 dash lemon juice
- 1 1/2 ounces vodka
- 4 ounces tomato juice (low-sodium tomato juice can be used)
- 1 lime wedge
Place Worcestershire sauce, peppers, salt and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker or a wide-mouth jar. Add ice, vodka and tomato juice. Shake well. Pour into a highball glass or goblet. . Garnish with lime and serve.
- Dry Vermouth
- 2 ounces vodka, chilled
- Green olives or lemon (optional)
Pour a little bit of dry vermouth in a chilled martini glass and swirl to coat the inside of the glass. Dispose of excess vermouth. In a shaker full of ice, gently swirl or stir the vodka before straining into glass. Serving suggestion: Garnish with olives or lemon twist and add rocks if you like.
- Ice cubes
- 1/4 cup vodka
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup chilled ginger beer
- 1 lime wedge
Fill tall glass with ice. Add vodka and lime juice, then ginger beer; stir to mix. Garnish with lime wedge.
You’ll often see a Moscow Mule served in a copper cup. What’s that all about? Here’s the story about the legend.
Founded in 1934, Haskell’s has championed fine wines for over 80 years. We have 13 wine stores in Minnesota, two delis and one restaurant. As one of the top wine shops in North America, Haskell’s is known for legendary service and one of the finest collections of wine, beer and spirits. Led by Chairman and CEO Jack Farrell, and the Farrell family, Haskell’s continues to be at the forefront of the wine scene throughout the world. Haskell’s also can ship wine, beer & spirits all throughout the world, the U.S. and we deliver locally.