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

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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

International Vodka Day is this Sunday! Find out about French vodka

Reading Time: 5 minutes

This Sunday is International Vodka Day. Below we will tell you about vodka and its origins as well as give you some French vodka suggestions and even a cocktail recipe or two. Happy International Vodka Day!

International Vodka Day

Vodka History

The word “vodka” first appeared in Eastern European writing in the 1400s. It was, and remains,  a national drink of sorts in Russia and Poland for many a century, with each of the countries claiming it was their country that invented vodka. It was only in the 1800s that Western European countries started to make their own vodkas.  

 

What does the word vodka mean?

The word “vodka” is said to come from the slavic word “voda” which means water. The reason vodka is named after water is because vodka is generally made up of ethanol and water. 

 

How is vodka made?

What constitutes vodka has been defined by the European Union. In accordance with regulation No 110/2008 of the European Parliament and European Council of 15 January 2008:

 

Vodka is a spirit drink produced from ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin obtained following fermentation with yeast from either:
(i) potatoes and/or cereals, or
(ii) other agricultural raw materials,
distilled and/or rectified so that the organoleptic characteristics of the raw materials used and by-products formed in fermentation are selectively reduced.

This process may be followed by redistillation and/or treatment with appropriate processing aids, including treatment with activated charcoal, to give it special organoleptic characteristics.

The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of vodka under this regulation is 37.5 %.

 

Some famous French vodkas 

You may well have heard of Grey Goose which is most likely France’s most well-known vodka internationally.  Grey Goose is made from soft winter wheat grown in Picardy, France and water from natural springs filtered through champagne limestone in Cognac. While it is made from wheat, it is gluten-free as distillation removes gluten from the final product. 

The name Cîroc Vodka may also be familiar. Perhaps you didn’t know it was French – after all the name doesn’t give that away. Ciroc, unlike Grey Goose, is not made from grain but rather from French grapes, namely Ugni blanc and Mauzac blanc. You may remember Sean “Diddy” Coombs promoting the vodka brand in the early 2000s.

Coming along a little later than Cîroc Vodka is Cobalte, a vodka made exclusively from champagne grapes not used by champagne makers: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

 

French vodka recommendations for International Vodka Day

We asked a few French spirits importers to recommend some French vodkas for International Vodka Day and to tell us how they would drink them. 

 

Cerbaco

Emmanuel Conde, Ambassador NSW & TAS at Cerbaco tells us his recommendations for International Vodka Day

 

Does Cerbaco sell any French vodkas? 

Grey Goose revolutionised the market 10 or so years ago.

Yes, because France has everything needed to produce high quality vodka:

  • raw materials, notably wheat, which is world-renowned;
  • savoir-faire in distillation and control of alcohol;
  • art de vivre.

 

Which French vodkas do you recommend? 

At Cerbaco, we import two brands of French vodkas: 

  1. NAUD, the wonderful “Noble and Unusual Distillery” of the Naud family. 
  2. SUMMUM, a Franco-Russian collaboration, located in Cognac. 

International Vodka Day - NAUD Vodka Cerbaco

 

How are these vodkas different to the more well known vodkas?

Our two vodkas offer, above all, a beautiful texture in which the balance between aromas, tastes and alcohol is perfectly managed.

 

The SUMMUM range is available in lemon and Espelette pepper, with no other addition than citrus or the famous spice.

 

How do you drink them? Do you have any cocktail recipes to share?

Cocktails allows our vodkas to express themselves at their best:

  • Moscow Mule with the alcohol-free beer Pimento,
  • White Russian for a creamy cocktail, or
  • Espresso Martini with the coffee liqueur Massenez d’Alsace.

 

Noble Spirits

Grégoire Bertaud, Founder & Director of Noble Spirits speaks to us about French vodka for International Vodka Day.

 

Which French vodkas do you recommend for International Vodka Day?

FAIR Vodka from Cognac, South-West of France.

International Vodka Day - FAIR Vodka

It is made out of organic Fairtrade Certified quinoa seeds which makes it very silky and elegant. The production is quite interesting as the master Philippe Laclie is using a technique used in the whisky production.

 

How do you drink it? Do you have a cocktail recipe to share?

I would recommend it with soda water or in this really nice cocktail:

 

The watermelon quinoa martini:

30ml FAIR Quinoa Vodka
15ml FAIR Goji
15ml Vanilla syrup
30ml Watermelon juice
15ml Lemon juice
Garnish with Watermelon slice

Glass: Martini

Method:  Shake and fine strain

 

Where can we buy it? 

You can find it in selected Dan Murphy’s stores or simply at Grégoire’s store The Drink Hive in Rosebery, NSW.

 

The Playford Hotel, Adelaide

We also asked Adelaide’s beautiful art-deco inspired The Playford Hotel to share a vodka based cocktail for International Vodka Day.

 

Snow White

Vodka,  egg white, triple sec and bitters 

International Vodka Day - Snow White

 

How will you be drinking your French vodka for International Vodka Day this Sunday?

Do you like spirits?

You might also like to read our articles about:

International Crème de Menthe day

International Cognac Day 

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International Vodka Day