Skip to main content

Vodka vs other spirits in mixing

TEN BARTENDER OPINIONS ON VODKA COCKTAILS

22nd March, 2016 by Annie Hayes

After receiving an overwhelming number of contributions for our upcoming vodka issue, SB has assembled a preview of April’s cocktail analysis with comment from 10 of the industry’s leading bartenders.


Besides, that I am surprised, that for once I found an article which looks contemporary (in content and layout - Bravo IBA!), I also asked myself, what is my (revised?) opinion about vodka.

I have to say... it didn't changed a lot. But when I read this article and reflected the "blank canvas approach" - I understood, that there are two types of approaches in cocktail making:

  • The Cocktail Sculptor 
  • The Cocktail Painter
Look I am the first. A sculptor usually approaches the object with the theory, that the sculpture is in the "base material" and just needs to be uncovered.

A painter is rather really voicing his inner-self on canvas.

I do believe, that the base spirit is the most essential thing in a cocktail. Everything else is just slightly modifying its character, and "unearth" hidden qualities (if you are doing it right).
In the case of vodka, it is analog to an artificial material, without its own "grown" inconsistencies. 
Hence for me, vodka cocktails are usually no sculptures but rather "reproductions" (to keep on the same analogies).
However people, who are seeing a cocktail as a "painting" obviously might even prefer vodka, because it is the said clear canvas - lets face it - a canvas is also not a white copy paper, but has also some inconsistencies... but they are far less, than wood or stone or similar things, a sculptor is working with.

At the end there is no right or wrong. But I find the sculptor approach far more sustainable and consistent. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to use citric acid - and why you might not want to use it anyway!

To be honest, I shied away of this topic, because I think, people can misinterpret this - big time.


I don't want to be part of the problem - I want to be part of the solution! But when Chris, over at A Bar Above discussed this subject- I literally could not resist to join into "the discussion".

Here is the video:





I - however take a bit slower approach than Chris.
What is citric acid?
Chemical Compound
Citric acid is a weak organic acid with the formula C6H8O7. It is a natural preservative/conservative and is also used to add an acidic or sour taste to foods and drinks.
Wikipedia Formula: C6H8O7
Molar Mass: 192.124 g/mol
Melting Point: 153C
Density: 1.66 g/cm3
Boiling point: 175C
Soluble in: Water
Why is it controversial?
In my "mixology world" it is controversial, as citric acid is the stuff, which makes the nightmarish sour mix [preferably in powder form] sour. Yeah - citric acid is the main ingredient in one of the most controversial [and in the modern craft bartending wor…

Is Jack Daniel's a Bourbon Whiskey?

So Jack Daniels want to make us believe, that it is not a bourbon - but it meets all standards of a bourbon - only it is better?!

Half of it is true: Jack Daniels meets all qualification points for a bourbon. And yes it is true, that they add one more step - the charcoal mellowing. However this doesn't make it not a bourbon.

Well - point is, that the question is not really adequate. The answers to the rather vague question: "Is Jack Daniels a Bourbon?" is driven by semantics and interpretations.

What you could ask is: Can Jack Daniels rightly be called bourbon?
And the answer is: yes, it can. It meets all points to be even a Straight Bourbon [however please note the differentiation to Kentucky Straight Bourbon - as this is again a regional denomination, which Jack Daniels obviously doesn't meet].
The video is explaining exactly the laws. Before Jack Daniels also stated very proud, that they are sour mash. This was a bit... misleading, as most American Straight Whisk…

Secrets of Darcy - this is the best way to create sugar syrup

I am a "rich syrup guy"... not a "simple syrup guy".
This is, because it is better to be able to control dilution by yourself - not by he setup you have got.

I had also a pretty straight forward method: adding 1 kg sugar into 1/2 liter of cold water and blend until dissolved (be carefully, not to blend too long with a high-performance blender, because it would heat up).

The issue here: it takes some time - because sugar doesn't "like" to dissolve in cold liquid.

A lot of bartenders are adding sugar into hot liquid. This isn't a good idea either: due to hydrolysis the sucrose is converting into fructose and glucose. This makes the sugar thicker and sweeter - but also makes the result less consistent (as you don't meticulously monitor all details (time, temperature, pH, etc.). Further the thickness of the glucose worsen the ability of the syrup to mix in cold liquid (speak a cocktail).

Darcy, of artofdrink.com has a profound chemistry insight a…