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Know the Difference Between Vodka and Gin

Vodka and Gin | www.drinks.ng

Vodka vs Gin Comparison

Vodka and gin are two of the world’s most popular spirit drinks, most notable for their clarity of the liquor in the bottle as opposed to whisky and brandy.

Many alcohol lovers do not give a care about what each of these spirit drinks are made of, least of all the artistic excellence put into distilling these drinks.

Although all of these drinks, whether it is vodka, rum, tequila, gin, bourbon, whiskey or cognac, have a unique history, there is a striking difference between them. The difference notwithstanding, there is still some form of similarity between them, especially in terms of production.

The major difference between spirits is in the raw materials used in the production. However, no matter the basis of the liquid, all spirit drinks must go through a distillation, and later aging process to arrive at the finished product.

The same thing goes for vodka and gin, two spirit drinks that form the basis for most cocktail mixes in the world.

While you may not be a liquor connoisseur, it is important to know the difference between the two distilled spirits.

What is Vodka?

Linked with roots to 14th century Russia, vodka is a neutral spirit traditionally lacking a distinctive character, aroma, taste or colour. However, with recent evolving trends, most vodka brands now have products with fruits flavour and aroma.

Derived from Voda, the Russian word for water, vodka in Russian means ‘little stream’. It has the characteristics of a colorless liquid, clear and smooth. It is a pure spirit with a neutral taste. It is generally distilled from the mixtures of potatoes or grains. It can also be made from corn, wheat or even more unconventional items such as grapes.

This is one of the heaviest drink which has 40% of alcohol content. In the European Union, the standard is set to 37.5% but in Nigeria, the limit remains 40% and sometimes higher.

What is Gin?

Gin is flavoured spirit that is produced by re-distillation of a high proof neutral spirit with juniper berries and other flavouring agents. Its origin is traced back to 17th century Holland.

The history of gin dates back to the 11th century, where monks were known to flavor crude distilled drinks with juniper berries and it was also unsuccessfully used as remedy for the black plague. However, the origin of the drink is credited to Franciscus de la Boe (known as Doctor Sylvius); a seventeenth century physician and professor of medicine at the University of Leyden.

It was first named Genièvre by Boe in relation to the French word for Juniper berry, but English distillers shortened it to Gin in the late 17th century.

Gin gets its flavour from the whatever product it is re-distilled from, and is produced mostly in United Kingdom, Holland and the United States. The four distinct varieties of gin include London Dry, Old Tom, Plymouth and Dutch.

The Difference between Vodka and Gin

The major difference between vodka and gin lies in the raw materials used in the production of both spirits, aside from the countries of origin.

While vodka is made from by distillation of potatoes, rye or wheat, gin is made with the help of distillation of malt or grain and then mixed with the flavor of juniper berries. The main constituent of Vodka is water and ethanol while the central part of Gin is Juniper berries.

Taste

Evidently, both vodka and gin are clear, colorless spirits, but when it comes to taste, both drinks carry a huge difference. Vodka is virtually neutral and tasteless, while gin often has distinctive, herbal notes. What marks this distinct flavour between the two spirits is that while vodka is a water-based alcohol which lends itself to more of an unfettered, clean finish, gin comes with eight botanicals used to realise its unique, juniper-laden flavour.

How it is served

Vodka is best served chilled while gin can be served without ice or refrigeration. Drinking chilled vodka gives a better mouthfeel as the drink is viscous at ice-cold temperatures. Gin, on the other hand, is already comes with aromatic flavours that compensate for when it is not served chilled.

Cocktail and Mixes

While both drinks are specially good for making cocktails, vodka is the preferred choice for most mixologists. Vodka plays a main ingredient in many cocktails including Bloody Mary, Screwdriver, Sex on the Beach, Moscow Mule, White Russian, Black Russian, etc. It can also be consumed with soft drinks.

For gin, its complexity comes alive when mixed with straight flavours just as in gin and tonic cocktail the effervescence of the tonic, the hit of sweet quinine and a twist of citrus (lemon or lime) makes a deceptively basic drink come to life.Other cocktails popularly made with gin include Ramos Gin Fizz, Martinez, Gin Rickey, Red Snapper, Tom Collins, White Lady, Hanky Panky, Clover Club, etc.

Classification

While gin maybe classified as a flavoured vodka in many instances, vodka can never be seen as a gin. This is because gin can be re-distilled from vodka, only with added spice and herbal extracts.

Types of Gin

Juniper-Flavoured Spirit Drinks

They are the earliest class of gins distilled in pot stills from fermented grain mash, before being re-distilled with aromatic compounds. They are approximately 68% ABV in strength.

Gin

Also juniper flavoured, however the juniper or aromatic compounds are added later on.

Distilled gin

Distilled gin is made by exclusively the re-distillation of ethanol of agricultural origin and has an initial strength of 95% ABV. It is also added with additional juniper berries and other natural botanicals.

London gin

London gin comes exclusively from ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin along with a maximum methanol content of 5 grams per hectolitre of 100% ABV equivalent.

The flavour is added by  re-distilling in traditional stills of ethyl alcohol in the presence of all the natural plant materials used, resulting in a spirit of 70% ABV. London gin is sometimes referred to as ‘Dry’.

Popular Vodka and Gins in Nigeria and their Prices

Some of the popular vodka in Nigeria and prices

Product Size Amount in Carton

Unit Price (NGN)

Carton Price (NGN)
Absolut Original or Absolut Blue

1 Litre

 

12

3,870

 

41,055

 

Absolut Raspberri 1 Litre

12

4,095

 

43,500

 

Absolut Citron 1 Litre

12

4,095

 

43,500

 

Absolut Mango 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Vanilla 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Mandrin 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Pear 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Kurant 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Apeach 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Ruby Red 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Elyx 1 Litre

12

10,920

58,000

 

Skyy Vodka

1 Litre

12

3,220

37,435

Skyy Vodka Infusions Citrus 1 Litre

6

3,620

19,210

Skyy Vodka Infusions Raspberry 1 Litre

6

3,620

19,210

Skyy Vodka Infusions Passion Fruit 1 Litre

6

3,620

19,210

Ciroc

1 Litre

12

16,494

163,013

Ciroc 6 Litres

1

148,922

148,922

Ciroc Red Berry 1 Litre

12

16,494

175,088

Ciroc Apple 1 Litre

12

16,494

175,088

Ciroc Peach 1 Litre

12

16,494

175,088

Ciroc Coconut 1 Litre

12

16,494

175,088

Ciroc Pineapple 1 Litre

12

16,494

175,088

Smirnoff Blue

70cl

6

3,230

34,080

Smirnoff Apple 70cl

6

3,180

33,500

Smirnoff Raspberry 70cl

6

3,180

33,500

Smirnoff Citrus 70cl

6

3,180

33,500

Smirnoff Orange

70cl

6

3,180

33,500

Smirnoff Red 70cl

6

2,900

30,610

Smirnoff Red 20cl

48

830

34,650

Belvedere Black Raspberry 1 Litre

6

16,630

87,780

Belvedere Citrus 1 Litre

6

14,660

77,390

Belvedere Grapefruit 1 Litre

6

14,660

77,390

Belvedere Intense 1 Litre

6

14,660

77,390

Belvedere Luminous 3 Litres

3

21,880

57,750

Belvedere Pure 1 Litre

6

14,660

77,390

Some of the popular gins in Nigeria and prices

Product Size Amount in Carton

Unit Price (NGN)

Carton Price (NGN)
Tanqueray Ten

1 Litre

 

12

3,870

 

41,055

 

Gordons 70cl

12

1,350

 

14,210

 

Beefeater 75cl

12

3,500

 

36,960

 

Bombay 70cl

6

3,310

17,470

 

Greenall’s 70cl

6

2,370

12,480

 

Gordons 20cl

48

1,130

47,360

 

Bombay Sapphire 75cl

12

4,800

50,590

 

Best 75cl

6

880

4,620

 

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5 Vodka Cocktails You Should Absolutely Try

Vodka Cocktails | www.drinks.ng

10 Vodka Cocktails You Should Absolutely Try!

Vodka is a fun spirit, and shots are boring. Here are a few Vodka Cocktails you should absolutely try!

 

1. BASIL WATERMELON COOLER

Ingredients:

  • 3  Large basil leaves
  • 1  slice Peeled ginger
  • 1  chunk Watermelon
  • .5 oz Simple syrup
  • 2 oz Grey Goose Vodka
  • .5 oz Fresh lime juice
  • Ginger ale

Process:

  • In a shaker, muddle the basil, ginger, watermelon and simple syrup.
  • Add the vodka and lime juice, and fill with ice.
  • Shake well and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
  • Top with ginger ale and garnish with a watermelon chunk and basil leaf.

 

2. WEST SIDE

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Lemon Vodka
  • 1 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • .5 oz Simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water)
  • 3 pinches Fresh mint
  • Club soda Add all the ingredients except the club soda to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously. Open the shaker and add a splash of club soda. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Process:

  • Add all the ingredients except the club soda to a shaker and fill with ice.
  • Shake vigorously.
  • Open the shaker and add a splash of club soda.
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

3. GYPSY QUEEN

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Russian Standard Vodka
  • 1 oz Bénédictine
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitter

Process:

  • Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with cracked ice.
  •  Stir, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Twist a swatch of thin-cut lemon peel over the top and discard.

4. ICED CARAMEL COFFEE

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz  Caramel Vodka
  • 2 oz Iced coffee

Process:

  • Add both ingredients to a rocks glass and fill with ice.
  • Stir to combine.

5. SINGING TELEGRAM

Ingredients:

Process:

  • Add all ingredients except the Champagne to a shaker and fill with ice.
  • Shake, and strain into a Champagne flute.
  • Top with Champagne and garnish with a grapefruit and lemon twist.

 

Source- Liquor.com

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10 Things you didn’t know about Absolut Vodka

Absolut Facts | www.drinks.ng

1. The old guy depicted on each bottle’s seal is the company’s founder

His name is Lars Olson Smith and in 1877 he came up with a revolutionary new way to distill liquor without creating fusel alcohol, resulting in a cleaner, more pure spirit without any off-flavors.

2. He originally refused to sell his vodka in Stockholm

Due to Stockholm’s former liquor monopoly  founder L.O. Smith refused to get the required liquor license and instead set up a shop on a nearby island and offered free ferry rides to anyone who wanted to visit.

3. Absolut Vodka bottles might look clear, but they’re actually green

Figuratively speaking. In keeping with Absolut’s commitment to sustainable business practices, each bottle is made with 40% recycled glass.

4. The bottle design was inspired by an antique medicine bottle

The squat, round, crystal-clear glass bottle is similar to the sort found in 18th-century Swedish apothecaries.

5. The brand’s original name translated to “Absolutely Pure Vodka”

In 1879, old L.O. Smith introduced the world to “Absolut Rent Brannvin,” or “Absolutely Pure Vodka,” in homage to his prized liquor’s immaculate constitution. Since the name was a mouthful, it was quickly shortened to Absolut.

6. Absolut Elyx’s name is a double entendre

The company originally wanted to it “Elixer,”  however due to legal constraints they had to shorten it to ‘Elyx’ – which, conveniently, is a derivative of the Swedish word for “luxury.”

7. Absolut Citron was the world’s first commercially available clear flavored vodka

Thus securing its position as the best way to class up a Lemon Drop shot.

8. All the Components of the Vodka Are Obtained in Southern Sweden

The company adheres to its One Source Philosophy, hence all the components of the vodka are sourced within a 75 mile radius of Åhus in the province of Skåne in Southern Sweden.

9. There are 31 Labels and Flavors

You might know the popular flavors like Citron and original, but there are other Absolut flavors like Absolut Wild Tea ( a combination of oolong tea and elderflower flavors) and Absolut Orient Apple (with ginger and ripe red apples).

10. Its Biggest Market is the United States

Although the vodka is produced in Sweden, the United States is its biggest market and represents 45 percent of its market. The company’s distillery in Åhus produces half a million bottles every day to keep up with the demand. The company is also very efficient, with fewer than 300 employees working to man the entire production process from distilling to shipping.