HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >

Discussion

Vodka is like the training wheels to other spirits

When I first started drinking spirits I drank vodka mixed with juice or other flavourings. The mixers pretty much masked the flavour of the vodka. Vodka doesn't really have much taste IMO. I've since grown to love Gin, Bourbon, Tequila, Rum etc., without strong mixers allowing the flavour of the spirits to shine. I haven't drank vodka in years now. Vodka was like training wheels for me. Anyone else agree?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I feel that is the way it is for many folks. But not me. I never drank vodka. What's the point, it's tasteless. I drink for flavor first, the buzz is just a nice side effect. I started with gin in my teens, whiskeys in my early 20's, and then cognac and aged rum in my late 20's. Now I drink every type of spirits except vodka. The only time I drink that is when new bottles show up for review. Then I give most of those away. Gin is still my favorite.

    1. I am probably not going to make many friends with this statement, but it is very easy to come up with Vodka cocktails. Mainly because you don't have to worry about how the base spirit works with other ingredients -- its neutral and mixes with anything.

      It takes a lot more effort and skill to mix complex spirits like tequilla and gin.

      I never drink Vodka -- much prefer the brown spirits.

      1. I don't. My standard drink is a bourbon Manhattan or a single malt Scotch. Love tequila, when I can afford the really good stuff. But everyone once in a while, often in summer, nothing hits the spot like a dirty vodka martini. In fact, I haven't grown out of it; I've grown into it.

        1. Agreed. I havent drunk vodka since it was offered as part of a double-vodka-and-lime-juice shot for 50p during my English nightclubbing phase. To this day, the mere thought of that drink makes me shiver.

          Give me a good quality bourbon, a tanqueray/bombay sapphire and tonic, and a fine tequila instead.

          1. There are times when nothing is better than a shot of vodka straight from the freezer. We have Hangar One's Budda's Hand and Mandarin Orange in the freezer just for that purpose.

            However, all of our gins, tequilas, whiskies, brandies, liqueurs, etc. -- of which we have many -- are all in the liquor cabinet. (IMHO, it's the "ice melt" that is an essential ingredient to a Martini; to put gin in the freezer just doesn't work.)

            As far as personal preferences are concerned, although we have multiple brands of everything, we probably have a dozen of so different brandies.

            1. I just don't "get" vodka. As others have said - what's the point? It must be only for the alcohol after effect. For me a well made gin dry martini, a wonderful wine to compliment dinner....perhaps an Armangnac to follow. That's the stuff of life.
              Oh - let us not forget the gin bloody Mary or the Tanqueray & tonic of summertime.

              1. I think vodka was another side effect of the synthetic age. There's a crisp clean feeling that comes with a sip of vodka which appeals to many people. If you look at much of their marketing, they try to display themselves as pure

                1. The vast majority of mass produced vodka's are flavorless (or at least not very good).... but if you've never had a good small batch vodka as a martini you are really missing out. There ARE flavors in a good straight vodka, they are much more subtle than the in your face flavors of a bourbon or rum but under the right circumstance can be much more refreshing. The Absolut's, Grey Gooses, Skyy's of the world have given vodka a bad name. Seek out some hand crafted vodka's and see what I mean- nothing better than a smooth crisp vodka on a warm summer night.... If it's good it needs no mixer- try it on the rocks, or shaken. If you have a good vodka, and want to mix it try it with a small amount of mixer- the vodka should still come through.

                  1. Well, of course everyone have their own attitudes and prejudices. To me vodka is like one of the great neutral foods in cooking, like tofu or cream cheese, etc. They can be sweet or savory, they add volume and texture to the dish. They are the foundation. Most people think of tofu as blah, but I've had amazing Thai tofu dishes. The same way, vodka adds volume and kick to a drink. That's why vodka is so perfect for mixed drinks.

                    As for drinking it straight, I could never drink any hard liquor straight. Among those who do it's possible to argue that vodka is is too tasteless and inferior to other drinks. On the other hand, it can also be argued that those with more refined palettes can appreciate the subtleties of vodka, as opposed to the more blunt flavors of other drinks. There is no right answer. The preference is highly personal, and in some cases cultural.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Toadberry

                      I'm just the opposite. Most hard liquor I DO drink straight . . .

                      ;^)

                      Cheers,
                      Jason