Vodka is a distilled spirit made from potatoes or grains. While it had its start in Eastern Europe, it is now produced all over the world. When I lived in Poland, it was a regular addition to meals out and I began to notice differences. While good vodka has a “neutral” taste, that does not mean it is flavorless. I was recently at a bar called “Pop the Cork” in the Anaheim Garden Walk. They have begun to carry vodkas. We tried a “Russian Platinum” vodka. It had a rich mouth feel and a slight hint of vanilla to it. Had we tried it mixed with anything, we would have lost the ability to experience either. They also carried Skyy Vodka which in my mind tastes like what jet fuel would taste like in my mind. Pour enough orange juice or tomato juice in with even a cheap vodka and you can kill the taste. Below are a few vodka recipes that are good summer drinks. I don’t recommend making them with a super high-end vodka, but a moderately priced vodka should work well for these.
Absolut Summer Fruit Shot
1 ounce Absolut Ruby Red Vodka
1/4 ounce lemon-lime soda
A splash each of OJ, Grapefruit juice and sweet &sour.
Combine everything with ice and shake. Strain into a shot glass.
While friends like this one as a shot, I’m not a shot person. I prefer this one with a little extra lemon-lime soda (usually diet Sprite, for me) and then I pour it into a martini glass rimmed with a combination of sugar and micro-plane grated lemon zest.
Carribean Warsaw Surprise
1 1/2 ounce vodka
2 ounces pineapple juice
1 ounce cream of coconut
1/2 banana (frozen if possible)
1/2 c crushed ice
Whirl everything in an electric blender 30-45 seconds. Pour into a collins glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge.
As an alternative, replace pineapple with OJ
1 -12 ounce can frozen lemonade or pink lemonade concentrate, slightly thawed.
1 c vodka
1/2 c water or lemon-lime soda
4 c frozen peaches, or 4 c fresh peaches skinned, cubed and chilled.
Divide the first four ingredients above into 2 or 3 batches. Process in blender until well mixed.Scrape down the sides as you go.
Add ice and process an additional 20-30 seconds.
Pour into cups and pass around. Great at backyard pool parties.
We have friends who like strawberry smoothies and will make these with 1/2 frozen peaches and 1/2 frozen strawberries, or with just frozen strawberries. I find that too seedy. I’ve had people rave over mango and papaya fuzzies, too.