WATER VS VODKA
It has become apparent to me that most alcohol consumers think that all vodkas are the same in taste and as a result tend to be nondiscriminant with vodka drinks, not as much so with vodka brands though. For instance; when buying a bottle of vodka a consumer would exercise their discretion in selecting their preferred vodka (this decision is almost always solely informed by the brands marketing). However, when purchasing vodka drinks (shots and or cocktails) at the bar, the same consumer seems to neglect exercising the same discretion, perhaps it is more a case of misplaced faith in the bartenders judgement and ethics than wilful negligence-- assuming that the bartender will act in the consumers best interests but in the absence of a pouring arrangement with a decent enough vodka brand, the bar will insist that the bartender use the least expensive vodka to mix with, regardless of quality. I would think that poor vodka can ruin a generally excellent cocktail drink, I think in legal speak they call it; “fruit of the poisonous tree”.
According to the law and regulations, vodka is classified as an odourless, tasteless, clear spirit with an alcohol volume of forty-three percent. This is not to say that all vodkas are the same nor that all vodkas are equal, some are more equal than others. Even though it is essentially comparing grapes and potatoes [see what I did there], when presenting my argument I quite like using water as an example, fresh water, salt water, tap water, ground water and bottled water, I think we can all agree that all of the above mentioned water types are arguably both odourless and tasteless, however they are all very distinct, you can tell them apart. Some may be thinking; salt water and ground water don’t quite fit the bill, so for arguments sake I will focus more on the bottled variety. Bottled water, bottled water is rather big both here and abroad, with most consumers having brand preferences and insisting that not all bottled water tastes the same, I don’t dispute this, however I find it strange that a consumer can hold that sentiment and yet find it unfathomable that the same could be true for vodka.
I believe the manner in which vodka is consumed has also been instrumental in the perpetuation of this misconception. Most vodka consumers rarely (if at ever) savour a glass of vodka neat, often times vodka is either knocked back as shots and or drowned in other beverages as a cocktail, and this does not afford one the opportunity to discern and appreciate the drinks subtle notes and character, such as severity, mouth feel and aftertaste. I am no purist, however it troubles me when I hear people say; “ all vodkas are the same, only thing that’s different is the packaging”, when we at Au Gold Vodka put our heart and soul into making the finest premium craft vodka. Raw materials, machinery, the process and the people are all variables that affect the quality of the end product. Perhaps to the unrefined palate all vodkas are the same but to the connoisseur, no two vodkas are the same.