Today we bring you the sequel to our recent post ‘Vodka: The History and origin of the clearest distillate’. In this post, we’ll let you discover what types of vodkas and varieties exist.
There is a wide selection of different vodkas which can be catalogued in various ways: by the type of distillation, country of origin, etc. Below we will go into further detail about the different classifications that are used:
Vodka Types Based on Their Raw Material
One way to classify types of vodka is according to the vegetable raw material that is used for the elaboration of the vodka. We can also look at the degree of purity. The purity level depends on the impurities after filtration and the quality of the raw materials. Even the origin of the water used matters. We can differentiate between:
In the best vodkas, the use of rye provides a mild and sweet flavour and aroma. It is one of the most popular ingredients in Europe and the Polish consider it a very useful ingredient. In fact, Poland is the world’s largest producer of rye. Until 1870 rye was the most widely used ingredient in Russian vodka, although in times of scarcity they also used potatoes and wheat.
Vodka Made from Molasses
Molasses is the syrup that is extracted by refining sugar. Therefore, vodkas made from molasses contain purer and sweeter aromas. In the past molasses was often used for making vodka because it was a cheap ingredient.
Vodka Made from Potatoes
It is slightly more expensive to produce vodka made from potatoes. The raw material is difficult to work with because it releases chemicals during fermentation that are very difficult to break down. In Poland the weather conditions are great, and the country manages to produce potatoes with a starch content of 18 % which is higher than the usual 12 %.
Vodka Made from Wheat
Wheat is a very popular ingredient in Western Europe and the United States. It has been used in vodka production since the 19th century. Wheat vodka is considered as being of the best quality.
Varieties of Vodka
François Thibault is the driving force behind Grey Goose Vodka. This brand is considered the absolute reference for French vodka. It is indeed a noteworthy vodka. It is distilled five times from the grain of winter wheat grown in the La Beauce area. They use artisanal well water which is filtered through limestone from the Cognac region.
This American vodka, SKYY, produced in the United States, is the world’s first 100 % distilled liquor and has a mild flavour. In 2012 SKYY Vodka launched its first ad on television where the focus was put on the design of the bottle and their desire to achieve perfection.
Vodka from Finland
The production of Finlandia vodka began in the 1970s. It is not well-known, but the creation is an unmistakeable vodka, created by Tapio Wirkkala. This specific vodka is obtained through a distillation process where barley grain is macerated in alcohol from cereal and mixed with spring water.
The formula for this Russian vodka was devised by Dmitri Mendeleev in 1894. This formula remains the same to this day. It dominates the Russian cocktails bars with 60 % of the market thanks to a triple distillation of wheat grain alcohol where water from the Ladoga glacier lake is added. The Russian Standard Original is the quintessential Russian vodka and the best-selling vodka in Russia.
If you want to know more about which vodka brands are the best and which brands mix better with cocktails, we recommend you pay attention to the next chapter of the story.
Translated by Karoline Arlberg