Here’s the thing: Despite what I may have suggested in earlier posts, I don’t hate vodka. But I do resent it.
What can I say? When taken side by side, a shot of Smirnoff and a shot of Beefeater, the gin is a more compelling spirit. It lays hold of the senses, sends them off to explore the juniper forest, elephant guns at the ready. The vodka, on the other hand, simply goes down. Served cold (as it must be), it’s as featureless and desolate as the prairies in winter. And there’s a good reason for that. Let’s let Thomas Mario explain:
By federal definition, vodka must be so treated “as to be without distinctive character, aroma or taste.”
Later on in his Playboy’s Host and Bar Book (1971), he continues:
Vodkamen have two ways of eradicating flavor. The first is to distill it with such artful care that only the smoothest, purest fraction of spirits from the still is accepted for vodka; the balance of the run is rejected. The second is a finishing process wherein the liquor is sent through columns of charcoal until it emerges clean, satiny and as tasteless as technology can make it.
Leached of flavour. Sterile. Neutral. Subtle to the point of being inconspicuous. Vodka is the beige of spirits — a damning label to lay on anything. Despite this, in any liquor store you visit, vodkas will occupy an entire wall. Gin, on the other hand, will be lucky if it’s granted a couple thin shelves.
As a gin fancier, therein lies the source of my resentment.