A dolls got to eat, doesn’t she? But what goes well with vodka? The answer to that depends entirely on how you like your vodka. For example, vodka cranberry would have a completely different food pairing than a dirty vodka martini. This vodka doll loves her martini dry and dirty, and it always tastes best with a naturally salty dish like King Crab or New York strip loin. When I am enjoying a sinful molten lava cake my drink of choice is a vodka with cranberry juice (Cape Cod); the berries and chocolate make for one happy belly. A well-balanced vodka drink should be a perfect blend of flavours and I would never want to throw that off by pairing it with the wrong food. The other two flavours to consider are sour/bitter and spicy vodka drinks. I would love to enjoy a Vodka Sour with a summertime salad or a Spicy Keg Caesar with a blue cheese lettuce wedge. The best way to enjoy vodka is starting with a mix that suits your taste buds, be it sweet, salty, spicy or sour/bitter and choose a dish that complements the mix. It may not be as easy as pairing beverages like beer, sake or wine, but once you understand the characteristics of vodka and their mixers you will always know which food works best. Which food and vodka pairings do you like best?
Once upon a time in a land far far away called New Zealand there was a man named Geoff Ross and a lady named Justine. These two worked very hard each day in hope of one day getting their homegrown vodka into all the fancy balls around the world. But vodka from New Zealand, who had heard of such a thing? Apparently no one, every door they knocked on was usually slammed shut. I guess the people on the other side didn’t believe in fairy tales. When it came time to go to the ball these two did not have millions of dollars to spend on their outfits, in fact they barely had enough to wash their hand-me-downs. They didn’t have a fairy godmother or a “million dollar” wand to waive. What they did have, money couldn’t buy anyway; they had courage to fight even the biggest dragon, and that is just what they did. Prince charming eventually bought 42 Below for $138 million and, you guessed it, everyone lived happily ever after. With every good fairy tale there is usually a moral and here is mine…prince charming is not just going to knock on your door and offer you a fairy tale ending. You need to work hard, be creative and never let a little fire scare you away. So make yourself a 42 Below martini and start living your own fairy tale.
Call me crazy, but who wants to drink vodka named after someone who cut off their own ear? I mean isn’t naming a vodka after a post-impressionist painter kind of gimmicky? The man shot and killed himself after developing quite the drinking problem and this is now an award-winning drink? I didn’t get it and was turned off before even trying the stuff. Until one night while in Vancouver during the winter Olympic games when a friend ordered a round of celebratory banana flavoured shots; I polity declined. As I saw the grim faces staring back at me, I quickly changed my mind and shot Van Gogh. My eyes lit up as I placed my shot glass back on the table. I was wrong; yes a doll can admit when she has misjudged. As I found myself looking for the bartender, I realized it’s not only a book that shouldn’t be judged by its cover. Over time I came to enjoy the link to the artist even more, especially the use of bold colors in their vodka. The beautiful blue in the açai-blueberry is one of my favourites; try adding a few ounces of pink champagne in a large flute glass and you have one yummy masterpiece.
Living in my first apartment uptown Toronto, was very exciting, I loved getting ready and going out for the night but I also loved having my friends over and drinking martinis. There is just something about drinking vodka in your natural habitat that makes it taste so much better. Each visit inspired me to come up with a slightly new and improved martini. I was searching for the perfect house martini, one that would become my signature drink. I wanted something low in calories which cut sodas and fruit juices out of the mix. I wanted something with flavor that would mask the harshness of vodka. I went immediately to the bottle shop to take a look around and there it was, just like a beautiful pair of Manolo Blahnik’s, a flavour-infused vodka. No extra calories or carbs, no messy pink juice to clean up, just chill the bottle and serve. I passed on the Absolut and Stoli flavoured vodkas as they all seemed boring. I went for the Wyborowa Almond and was blown away with its nutty flavor. For my friends that wanted their’s a bit sweeter, I added a splash of Frangelico and had myself a house martini.
Once upon a time, in a kingdom far far away a bottle of vodka and an inexperienced drinker kept bumping into each other. These two just could not get along, the vodka was simply too much for the amateur to handle. As she swore the vodka was her enemy and would never poison her blood again, there was something about it she could not resist. Was it vodka’s addictive personality that got her hooked? Was it the way vodka made her feel immediately after entering her body? Or was it the fancy martini glass that vodka called home that she adored so much? It turns out it was none of the above. The young girl eventually grew up to become a women. Her priorities changed, instead of using vodka to get as intoxicated as possible, she took the time to get to know vodka. She read books about local and international vodkas, she began to enjoy each sip for the undeniable pleasure of the drink. It wasn’t long before this relationship blossomed into a respectful camaraderie. When the girl finally learned how to drink vodka with style and grace, the two developed a much more sophisticated relationship. Looking back on my early vodka years, vodka was like a bad relationship and I was the one responsible when things went sour. Now the only sour part is the lime that finds its way into my mouth after a lovely chilled vodka shot.