Vodka is produced in a wide range of styles using a huge variety of different ingredients and flavourings. From complex, rustic potato spirits produced on a traditional copper pot still to the ultra-clean and smooth modern styles which see multiple distillations and filtration, the world of Vodka has a lot to offer the curious epicure. Often used as a neutral spirit to mix into a cocktail in the Western world, many vodkas are of such extreme quality that they can very well be sipped on their own, as is often done in Eastern Europe and the Nordics.
Unlike other spirits, vodka can be made from pretty much any base ingredient, though the vast majority are distilled from grains or potatoes. There's debate as to whether the spirit originated in Poland or Russia in the 8th or 9th century, but we know that the term vodka comes from the Slavic term "voda," which means water. And, while vodka can be made anywhere, it undeniably has a spiritual home in Russia and Poland. Like many other spirits, vodka was once considered to have medicinal properties and is often still rubbed on baby's gums to eliminate teething pain!