Vodka Cocktails, Tequila Cocktails and Vodka Mixed Drinks
Vodka Cocktails and Vodka Mixed Drinks
It is surprising how many alcoholic drinks have their origins in the world of medicine. Vodka was famous in Poland for its medicinal properties as long ago as the 12th century. Nowadays, it is still widely drunk in Poland and, of course, the Soviet Union, ‘to keep out the cold’, so perhaps times have not changed that much.
What has changed is the method of manufacture. Vodka was originally distilled from a potato mash — traditionally of rotting potatoes — but today it is almost always made from grain.
In Eastern Europe, vodka is usually drunk chilled, neat and quickly. It is also very often flavoured with herbs, honey, pepper, orange peel and an immense variety of other flavourings. In the West, however, vodka is flavourless, colourless and odourless. This rather takes the fun out of cocktails for the purist. Nevertheless, the range of mixes that can be used for vodka-based cocktails and vodka mixed drinks is practically infinite and thereare plenty of opportunities for the amateur barman to create new, fascinating combinations of taste and colour without any worry over spoiling the taste of the base.
Until very recently, no-one except native Mexicans or seasoned travellers had heard of Tequila, let alone tasted it. A strongly flavoured spirit distilled from the fermented sap of the mescal plant (a sort of cactus), Tequila has now become a standard ingredient in the well-stocked cocktail bar.
True Tequila is made in Tequila in southern Mexico, but, like Bourbon, it has extended its horizons and is now made elsewhere, including the United States.
Traditionally it was drunk neat (and often), followed by sucking on a wedge of lemon and a lick of salt. A more sophisticated version of this is the Margarita, the cocktail to which Tequila owes its rise in international popularity.