The cocktail is an art form that peaked in the middle of the 20th century and has been in rapid decline since. As a young lad, I was schooled in the fine art of cocktailing by my father and grandfathers, I learned many valuable lessons that I plan to pass on. I also want to resurrect some of the old classics that vastly surpass the sugary & fruity concoctions made today with their simplicity, elegance and bold flavors. Most of the time I will focus on one drink, and to provide, at least in my opinion, the definitive recipe, but hope to expand to other related topics as I see fit. Please mix yourself a cocktail, read, drink, and enjoy!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Reinvigorating the Vodka Soda

I have been fortunate enough to enjoy a cocktail or two with some truly incredible women, and this seems to be the favorite among them (there is the rare whiskey drinking woman, but they are few and far between). I personally have always found the vodka soda to be a little bland, tasting like a watered down vodka tonic, so I have shied away from it. But I do see the allure in a simple, refreshing cocktail that is easy to concoct so I took it upon myself to delve into this feminine favorite.

My goal was to find a combination that stayed true to the beautiful simplicity of this drink and its three ingredients, but that overcame the dull flavor. I found the secret is in the vodka. My local purveyor of spirits has an entire wall dedicated to the simplest of grain alcohols, the number of brands and flavors is incredibly overwhelming, so I focused my search on the citrus flavored options as I felt they would stay most true to the drink while adding some complexity of taste without sacrificing ease of concoction. I hope to deeper immerse myself in this wall of flavors in hopes of finding some truly unique flavor combinations, but for the time being the cocktail made in my house for the fair maiden desiring a vodka soda will be the following.

Start with an ice filled glass; add two ounces of orange vodka. I like Three Olives Rangtang, the name is awful, but the taste is unmatched (try it by itself on the rocks). Add three ounces of club soda and squeeze a wedge of lime. In the spirit of simplicity the drink is complete here, but muddling a slice of clementine in the glass adds another nice subtle flavor (a clementine slice is also a nice garnish). Serve this to the next woman who asks for a vodka soda and you will be remembered as the person who re-awakened her taste buds and gave new life to her go-to drink.

Vodka Soda
2 oz orange flavored vodka
3 oz club soda
Add vodka and soda to an ice filled glass with a wedge of lime.

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