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The "science" of super premium vodka

There has been a video by THE EDUCATED BARFLY

And while my rebellious years seem to be gone, I could not pass on and not comment on this video - and even worse, I could not not write an article about it here...

So first the video:


Let me be frank, I am on one hand absolutely frustrated about the things, YouTube-Influencer-Bartender say... but then, I cannot really complain, because I am not (because of various reasons) try to do it better.

So in this case - thanks of bringing us any content about drinks and bars (and the educated barfly isn't half-bad).

But - this video, pulled out basically all misconception about vodka, alcohol etc. which I could imagine.

Let me first of all start with this: consumer prices today are often not even close related to the actual value. Some prices are (sometimes basic groceries). Some aren't. One product which stands out, of being based on a fantasy (speak solely marketing) value is: TaTaTaaaaa... VODKA.

That's true. Let us look at the pro…
Recent posts

Truth - and no Faux Science

There is an article about:SCIENCE EXPLAINS WHY SOME BASE INGREDIENTS MAKE BETTER VODKA It is unfortunate, but in these days science is mostly misinterpret and also used "wrong".
Strangely people relying on science but don't really understand how. Science seems to be a "new religion" similar to catholicism in the dark ages: people don't read and understand the scientific papers, but rely on the press and on "spokes people" which are simplifying and explaining. This isn't so bad if it comes to popular scientists like Neil DeGrasse or Bill Nye. They are trained scientists and understand scientific reasoning. However when it comes to the press and other people who are "using" science it is a complete other issue;
Let's look at the article to understand what I mean:

By definition, vodka in the U.S. must “be without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color,”according to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).That's …

Is the Bar Revolution over?

There is an interesting article on Thrillist...: Is the Bar Revolution over?

So what is my take on it?

First of all the obvious - yes the Cocktail Revolution is over! Because there is no more resistance on Bartender-side / operator-side etc. when it comes to the use of quality (and premium) ingredients. Because there is no more resistance of guests to pay for a drink $20.00 (due to alcohol prices here in the UAE - drinks are even more expensive in Dubai). Because there are no more big arguments, if you should use fresh lemons, limes or other juices... This all are an indication: the revolution is over.

The article though brings up another point: it is the commercialization of mixology. In this case I don't really understand the American way of thinking. Even though the prices are creeping up, a lot of Americans (especially bartenders) shy away of increasing prices. Is a cocktail worth $50.00? While this sounds outrageous, we surely have to look at other culinary arts (or consumer…

Ginger Ale: No- that's not amazing

I am growing really frustrated about a lot of issues in popular culture. Especially calling things monikers which they are clearly not.

Let me explain... oh - no, why don't you watch part of the below video of Saucestach:




Yes, I can understand, how he is frustrated by a corporate food industry, which doesn't uhm use food anymore (at least not the most important ingredient). Hey, I don't even say, that his ginger drink doesn't taste great... but all what I say is, that it cannot be called ginger ale.

Let me explain: Ginger Ale is a soda. And sodas since pretty much the beginning used food additives, which traditionally enhanced the sourness.
I have seen uncountable videos, which suggested to use lemon and lime to balance the drink out - but this doesn't really work. Ginger ale (or any other soda - even including lemon/lime soda) doesn't taste like lemon or lime juice. It taste like: ginger and candy/caramel. And here's the fundamental fallacy of Saucestach …

One of the weak links in Cocktails: Liqueurs - The Midori Example

Today the press is often celebrating Mixology as distinct culinary art. Yes, it is still not as popular and widespread accepted as "cooking" - but it is a trend, which is growing. 
The problem is, that Bartender and Mixologists are seeing themselves as artists, which can be controversial. However while a lot of chefs can be intentional controversial, as the "main culinary art" is a mainstream trend - bartenders are seeing themselves equally enamored to spread controversies - in my eyes though this weakens the still delicate trend of mixology.
One part, which transformed modern bartending was the use of fresh products and quality ingredients. However one problem in the liquor industry is, that ingredients don't need to be listed on any product.
This isn't so bad on spirits - there are additional laws which the producers mostly comply with - which make the use of distillates a rather save and reasonably consistent procedure.  However the issue is usually syr…

Yerba Mate Soda

Do you know, that it is pretty expensive to get Inca Kola in Dubai (or probably anywhere in the world except of Peru)? There is little which is more expensive than alcohol - but Inka Cola is one of those things.
How expensive you ask? Amazon has prices of U$ 70.00 for a pack of 12 - we haven't spoken about shipment - or even the soda tax of 50%, which you have to excise in Dubai...

I can be crazy - but I am (usually???) not that crazy! I know, that Inca Kola is quite a commercial product, which isn't shying away to use commercial flavorings, preservatives and so on.

Why is it so expensive? That is a good question. Is it worth it? Probably not...

I quite liked the Almdudler which I bought a couple of months ago. Also not cheap (but by no means that crazy). But it doesn't necessarily fit perfectly into Noir. Noir is about South American food with an Asian influence (think Peru). Something really South American (except of Inca Kola) is yerba mate.
However it is pretty obvious…

The Problem with Botanical Spirits

On the picture here you can see different botanical spirits which are offered on thewhiskyexchange.com. Don't get me wrong - I would love to try each and every single one of them.   This is a fundamental issue - as the success of a spirit is based on its appeal to the masses, which is again directly related to the level of education. Without a common denominator a product category will not thrive.  Here you have got completely different categories:  You have got quite simplistic and straight forward "botanical vodkas" like Ketel One, which have only a couple of flavors.You have got complex flavored spirits which are analog to gin - however without the use of juniper.You have got spirits which are based on "non-neutral" spirits which are then redistilled with a botanicals.You have got spirits with a flavorful mash which is infused and afterwards distilled.
Further there are botanical spirits which are solely cold compound spirits (neutral alcohol mixed with aroma…