Saturday, July 21, 2007

No Love for Vodka

Vodka is the whipping boy is the cocktailarati. This has become clear after a few days in New Orleans. To be serious about spirits is to loathe and disdain the barbarian hordes storming the gates of our nation's taverns crying for the latest infused vodka—on the rocks, with tonic or awash in fruit juice.

Some comments I've heard and been amused by over the past few days:

Chuck Taggart (author of the blog The Gumbo Pages): "Vodka and tonic, come on! Let's have a drink that tastes like something."

Darcy O'Neil, blogger and bartender: "The vodka menus in bars are not our fault."

Wayne Curtis (author of "And a Bottle of Rum"): "Vodka I blame for what has happened to a lot of the rum industry."

James Meehan (bartender, mixologist, author): Talking about James Bond's favorite drink: "Vodka Martini. No flavor, no taste. Now I'm going to go kill some people."

I must say I am in agreement with all these folks, and would probably express myself in more salty terms. Vodka has its place, but dominance of the cocktail market should not be it.

A good idea for a panel in 2008 might be "Vodka: A Defense."


Chuck said...

A couple of other great pithy quotes I've picked up from Audrey Saunders over the last year or two (and consider it a paraphrasing if I don't get her exact wording right):

"A vodka cocktail is a cocktail with a hole in it."

"We are a generation lobotomozed by vodka."

A panel called "Vodka: A Defense" ... actually, that's a great idea. I might even attend, because I'd be curious to hear what vodka aficionadoes have to say.

The only way you're going to be able to discern the difference between any of the high-end vodkas is to be in the habit of drinking them neat, which has zero appeal for me, and whatever nuances may exist in them are going to be lost once it's in a cocktail.

My primary exception for drinking vodka neat is Polish zubrowka. Man, I love that stuff. It tastes like something! :)

Robert Simonson said...

Nice quotes from Audrey. I knew the lobotomy one, as I saw her quoted in the Times. I loved her for that. I actually used Zubrowka in a recent homemade batch of Limoncello and found it had too much flavor. Needed a more neutral vodka. I hope they do do the "Vodka: A Defense" panel. I'd go. But who would serve?

Anonymous said...

I'm interested to know your thoughts on flavored vodkas.