9 things you didn’t know about vodka for International Vodka Day 2021!

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To celebrate International Vodka Day 2021, we’re sharing with you 9 things you might not already know about vodka. We’re also sharing a French vodka recommended by a French spirits importer.

International Vodka Day 2021

  1. The word vodka comes from the Slavic word voda meaning water. Vodka is thought to have been named after water because it is mostly made up of ethanol and water.
    Natural drinking water is being poured into glass
  2. Vodka has been around in Russia and Poland (which each claim to be the place of origin) since the 15 th century
    Two maps in the colours of the country flag - one or Russia and one of Poland with the words Polish or Russian

  3. Western European countries started making vodka in the 19th century

  4. The European Union has a definition of what vodka is which requires that it:
    1. Produced from ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin obtained following fermentation with yeast from either potatoes, cereals or other agricultural raw materials.
    2. The organoleptic characteristics (the aspects as experienced by the senses, including taste, sight, smell, and touch), of the raw materials must be reduced
    3. It must have a minimum alcoholic strength by volume of 37.5%
  5. Vodka is commonly made from wheat but is gluten-free as distillation removes gluten from the final product.
  6. There are several famous French vodkas, with Grey Goose probably the most well-known.
  7. Grey Goose is made from soft winter wheat grown in Picardy, and water from natural springs filtered through champagne limestone in Cognac.

International Vodka Day 2021 Grey Goose vodka

  1. Not all French vodkas are made from wheat:


  1. Ciroc Vodka is made from French wine grapes – ugni blanc and mauzac blanc
    Ciroc Vodka - International Vodka Day 2021
  2. Cobalte is made exclusively from excess champagne grapes not used by champagne makers being chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier.
  3. Veuve Capet is the first Vodka exclusively made from chardonnay grapes (hand-harvested in the famous Côte des Blancs, in French Champagne vineyards).
    Veuve Capet vodka - International Vodka Day 2021
  4. FAIR Vodka is made from organic Fairtrade Certified quinoa seeds, which is said to make it very silky and elegant. Master Philippe Laclie uses a technique used in the whisky production.
    Fair Vodka - International Vodka Day 2021
  5. Russian sounding but French, Ruskov Vodka is made from sugar beet!
  1. The popular vodka cocktail the French Martini isn’t French at all. It was invented by the Keith McNally’s bar chain in New York in the 1980s. The reference to French in the name? Simply because of its use of French blackberry and raspberry liqueur – most commonly Chambord is used.

French martini - International Vodka Day 2021

French vodka recommendation for International Vodka Day 2021

Emmanuel Condé from Cerbaco and Spirits of France recommends Summum vodka, 100% Beauce wheat, the best in France! It is made in Cognac on the banks of the Charente, and offers a beautiful syrupy texture, perfect for a martini.

In a cocktail, the famous Espresso Martini is a revelation with Summum Vodka.


International Vodka Day 2021 - Appletini cocktail

But Emmanuel is sharing the best kept secret: The Appletini!

Into a shaker filled with ice, pour:

50ml Vodka
50ml 100% fruit apple juice
5ml lemon juice
5ml maple syrup.

Blend for 20 seconds.

Strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with an apple slice!

A votre bonne santé! Here’s to your good health!


What’s your favourite French vodka? How do you drink your vodka?

Santé! Cheers!


If you like French spirits, you may also like our articles about other French spirits and liqueurs:

14 things you didn’t know about Crème de Menthe to celebrate Crème de Menthe Day today

Cognac Day 2021: which cognacs to drink?

Chartreuse Day – only 2 monks know the recipe!

World Gin Day: it’s more French than you might think

Absinthe Day: the history, its controversy and recommendations



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International Vodka Day 2021

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