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Sep. 13, 2021
Vodka is so popular you may think you know all there is to know about the libation. But when you stop to think about it, perhaps over a Vodka Martini Cocktail, you may start to wonder how much you really know about it. It can help to get back to basics. Here are some fundamental and more surprising facts about vodka so you can become an expert in no time.
There’s debate among Russians and Poles about the origin of the word vodka, a slavic word that can be interpreted as “little water.” Some say it comes from the Russian “voda” while others say it's from the Polish “wodka.”
Let’s get back to basics. Vodka is made primarily from water and ethanol, and it is defined as having a minimum alcohol content of 40% in the US or 37.5% in the EU. Up until 2020, the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms defined it as “a neutral spirit without distinctive character, aroma, taste or colour.” However, the agency later agreed that the latter part of that statement is no longer true.
We agree wholeheartedly. While many vodkas may lack a signature taste, we were born to produce a premium vodka with a most distinctive character.
Vodka is like the mother of all spirits. You could almost say that every spirit spends some time as a vodka. A spirit starts by becoming a beer or wine through fermentation. It’s then distilled to what you could consider to be a vodka.
This base can be manipulated in many ways to create other spirits. Distill in some juniper to a vodka and voilà – you have gin! Age it – ta-da! Whisky!
Vodka is generally made from potatoes or grains, but it can be created from almost anything, anywhere. Depending on the market and on local rules, it can be made from almost any fermentable sugar.
And despite being traditionally made in Poland or Russia, it can be made anywhere in the world. We believe the best vodka is made in France, the gastronomy capital of the world, using the traditions of the Maitre de Chai. GREY GOOSE® Vodka is made in France with only two premium ingredients: soft winter wheat from Picardie and spring water from our own well in Gensac-la-Pallue.
After the alcohol has been created by fermenting the ingredients (wheat and water), it undergoes distillation and filtration. Vodka distillation usually happens in a continuous column still, although some makers will also use a pot still to refine the spirit that has been distilled.
The distillate is then generally filtered to remove all of the impurities.