Vodka is a distilled beverage composed primarily of water and ethanol, but sometimes with traces of impurities and flavorings. Traditionally, vodka is made through the distillation of cereal grains or potatoes that have been fermented.
Vodka is traditionally drunk neat (not mixed with water, ice, or other mixer), though it is often served freezer chilled in the vodka belt countries of Russia, Belarus, Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. It is also used in cocktails and mixed drinks, such as the Vodka martini, Cosmopolitan, Vodka Tonic, Screwdriver, Greyhound, Black or White Russian, Moscow Mule, and Bloody Mary.
It should also be pointed out that vodka is not necessarily tasteless or odorless and there are distinct differences between vodkas. The flavor of vodka is subtle and often like a clear grain. If you taste enough vodka of a great variety, you will begin to pick up the differences. Similar to the difference in taste between tap water and bottled water. If you pay attention to it, you can quickly tell when you drink unfiltered water. The heat of vodka is another term you may hear. This is the burn that is revealed on the tongue or back of the throat when you drink vodka straight. It is often another way of deducing how clean or smooth vodka is.
Vodka is much more interesting than it might appear to the casual observer. Scrape beneath the surface, and you’ll find a spirit with a rich and diverse history, made from a variety of raw materials, each of which affect the finished product’s final taste, and sometimes flavored with a quite bewildering array of different fruits, herbs, and spices from every corner of the globe.