Episode #078- Vodka, Really?

Do you like vodka? No? Neither do we, but it is America’s most popular spirit (accounts for approximately one-third of all spirits sales by volume), so we felt obliged to finally talk about it on the show.

People that like vodka tell us that good vodka doesn’t taste like anything. So for some bartenders that means it is a blank canvas, ready to absorb any and all flavors added to it by mixers, modifiers, and garnishes. For others, like us, it is more aptly analogized to the “paint” application on your computer; no matter what you do with it, it will never be a masterpiece.

Three classic vodka cocktails we can endorse:

  • Bloody Mary (but better with Gin or Tequila)
  • Moscow Mule (Mules and Bucks of all varieties)
  • White Russian (but that’s just like, your opinion, man)

Easy Pineapple-Vodka infusion

  • Pineapple vodka
  • 1 pineapple cut into 1-inch square chunks
  • 750 ml bottle of vodka
  • 1 week, stir each day, strain through a mesh strainer and/or cheesecloth.

Is that a sports drink? Cocktail

I like to pour two ounces of pineapple vodka in a highball glass, top with 4 oz of club soda and several dashes of Angostura bitters on top. Mint sprig garnish.

  • 2 oz. pineapple-infused vodka
  • 4 oz. club soda
  • Several dashes of aromatic bitters

Do You Have Something with Vodka? Cocktail

  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 3 oz. Jordan’s Tart Cranberry Syrup
  • ½ oz. Crème de Mure (blackberry liqueur)
  • ½ oz. lime juice
  • 2-3 fresh Basil leaves
  • Lemon wheel for garnish

Combine ingredients in a shaker, add ice and shake until outside is frosty. Muddle 2-3 fresh Basil leaves in an Old Fashioned glass. Add one large cube, and strain contents of shaker over a fresh cube. A quick stir, and serve.

Jordan’s Tart Cranberry Syrup

  • 2 pounds fresh or frozen cranberries (8 cups), chopped
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions for Tart Cranberry Syrup

In a large saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, water, and salt and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bright red– about 8 minutes.

Strain the syrup through a fine sieve (or cheesecloth) set over a heatproof bowl, without pressing. Stir in the lemon juice. Let the syrup cool completely, then funnel it into glass bottles and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Shake before serving.

Is a Vodka Sour a thing?

  • 2 oz. Tito’s vodka
  • 1  oz. lemon juice
  • ¾  oz. simple syrup
  • 3-4 thin slices of cucumber

Combine all in a shaker, add ice, and shake well. Double strain into a chilled coupe, and garnish with a cucumber round.