What is vodka? This may sound like a strange question until you consider the huge variety of clear spirits, produced from numerous different base ingredients, that can be labelled as vodka.
Whilst “vodka” distilled from grape mash, and other fruit, has been successfully marketed and sold as vodka, the traditional “vodka belt” producing countries of northern and eastern Europe have been campaigning for legislation which defines vodka as a spirit distilled from grain or potato. It is this grain or potato based product which most educated consumers mean when they refer to vodka.
But even genuine potato and grain Vodka can encompass a wide range of products of varying quality. At one end of the spectrum it can mean spirit distilled on an industrial scale, in huge column stills that produce very pure ethanol which is then watered down to the minimum legal strength. At the other end the spectrum lie small batch vodkas, distilled in pot stills which have texture, character and flavour.