Vodka is defined as an odorless, colorless, tasteless alcoholic drink in the United States, and is not much of a challenge for bartenders to mix. However, if you don’t make a cocktail with it, vodka exists as a very pure spirit, where noticeable differences in aromas and flavors arise with different vodkas.
With this thought in mind, vodka became the star of the most recent Bottles event: Vodka: A Global History: Seminar, Tasting and Book Signing. On a warm spring evening, attendees gathered at Waterman Grille‘s Riverview Room, set on the banks of Seekonk River in Providence, Rhode Island. Folks tasted 5 vodkas from around the world as Patricia Herlihy and Eric Taylor talked about the history of vodka.
Patricia Herlihy is professor of history emerita at Brown University and its Watson Institute for International Studies, where she taught Russian and Soviet history. She is the author, most recently, of Vodka: A Global History. Eric Taylor, Bottles General Manager, is an enthusiastic vodka connoisseur whose favorite part about his job is education.
“I came into vodka through the back door. I studied temperance first, and then I saw the light. This book is the product of my conversion,” began Patricia at the start of the seminar.
The tasting was organized geographically, starting from Russia and then moving westward to Poland, Scandinavia, and finally to North America. Along with light appetizers, guests sampled Hammer + Sickle, Chopin, Finlandia, Hanger 1, and last but not least, Loyal 9 by Sons of Liberty Distilling in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. For an engaging history of Vodka, we highly recommend reading Patricia’s book, Vodka: A Global History.