A Short History of Vodka and How to Choose One for Your Cocktails
So, you're dying to christen your new custom copper mugs with a classy cocktail featuring your favorite brand of vodka, but are unsure exactly which one is right for the occasion.
Here, we'll dive into a short history of vodka and how to choose one for your cocktails. Depending on the cocktail, you will likely want different vodka brands best suited for different recipes. To help, we've broken down the list into the most popular vodka cocktails to try out with your engraved solid copper mugs.
A Short History of Vodka
The first written references to "vodka" appear in 19th-century Russian describing a drink introduced to Russia via Poland. Quickly, the new liquor's identity became inexorably linked to the Russian cultural identity. From there, the drink made its rounds throughout the world. Without further ado, let's get into the different vodka cocktails popular today and how to select the right vodka for each.
The vodka martini is perhaps the most ubiquitous and popular vodka cocktail to mix into laser engraved solid copper mugs. They are also simple to make. Whereas the traditional martini contains gin, the vodka martini is the same formulation with only the type of liquor swapped.
The martini's namesake is "Martini & Rossi" vermouth, one of the primary ingredients in the cocktail that gives the drink its distinctive flavor. The famed US writer H.L. Mencken, known, among other things, for his love of the drink, once said of the martini that it is "the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet."
The essential ingredients in the vodka martini are:
- Dry vermouth
- Garnish (i.e., lemon peel) – optional
But which type of vodka should you look to use in a vodka martini? The drink, as opposed to some of the others on this list, is pretty versatile in terms of the brand of vodka needed. However, if you were going to hone in on one to use, it might be the "clean" taste of Absolut.
Mix, pour in your set of wholesale copper mugs, and enjoy.
For a classy, modern cocktail (especially if you're playing host to the fairer sex), the cosmopolitan is a renowned crowd-pleaser. Vodka is an ideal base for cosmopolitans because it blends well with the fruity adornments of the popular drink. In addition to tasting superb while shaving some of the sharper edges of hard liquor for a softer palate, the cosmopolitan, when prepared and presented correctly in personalized custom barware, is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the taste buds.
Alternatively and affectionately known as simply "cosmo," the disputed history of the cosmopolitan dates back to the early 20th century on the US East Coast, with different variations of the story crediting different creators. Ultimately, we may never know for sure who invented the drink, but we are grateful to whoever it was.
The basic ingredients of a cosmopolitan are:
- Cranberry and lime juice
- Orange liqueur
Every bartender has his or her own personal preferences. For an extra dash of pizzazz, consider adding a bit more cranberry to sweeten the drink as desired.
In terms of finding the right vodka to use in your cosmopolitan, St. George California Citrus comes highly recommended by experienced bartenders because its citrusy flair pairs well with the other fruit flavors of the drink.
Transitioning to a bit of a harder drink, the Moscow mule is a tried-and-true, no-nonsense cocktail with traditional roots in Manhattan, New York – not, as the name implies, in the home of vodka, mother Russia. The drink was first crafted in New York's Chatham Hotel in 1941 when an enterprising barman decided to try out vodka with ginger beer.
The essential ingredients of a Moscow mule include:
- Lime juice
- Ginger beer
But what type of vodka best suits your customized Moscow mule mug? Hands down, that privilege must be given to the deserving Smirnoff vodka brand, the original vodka commercially used in the Moscow mule drink.
Connoisseurs looking for a bit of nutrition with their cocktail, or those nursing a hangover, or those who simply appreciate an out-of-the-ordinary taste with a tomato flavoring will enjoy a fresh Bloody Mary to go in their wholesale barware.
The modern iteration of the tomato juice-vodka combination known as the Bloody Mary is credited to a bartender working in 1920s Paris named Fernand Petiot. In a transatlantic twist, Petiot, a French national, created the cocktail in a joint called The New York Bar owned by an American expat.
The basic ingredients of a bloody Mary are:
- Ice cubes
- Tomato-vegetable juice
- Worcestershire sauce
- Pepper sauce (usually Tabasco)
- Green olives
In terms of the ideal vodka to pair with the fresh veggies in the Bloody Mary, you might want to consider, based on the recommendations of bartenders, the unique vibes of Tattersall Distilling Organic Vodka, a corn-based creation emanating from Minneapolis. The extremely atypical taste of Tattersall Distilling Organic Vodka brings the most out of the other ingredients, especially the Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces.
Mix and pour into a custom copper mug on a gloomy morning to brighten up your day.
Regardless of the cocktail you are preparing or which type of vodka you include in it, selecting the right barware to contain the drink in can make all the difference in the world. In the world of cocktails, the packaging is often just as important as the drink itself.