Bayonne, NJ – It’s summertime, a.k.a. vodka and tonic time! Vodka is a timeless spirit that plays an intriguing role in mixology. While it’s flavorless and odorless by definition, it’s the very backbone of some of the most popular cocktails under the summer sun.
And because vodka and ice are BFFs, it’s definitely worth keeping some on hand when you want to keep your cool during the hot months.
To kick off V&T season, Royal Wine Corp., importer of LVOV Vodka, wants everyone to know about this indispensable summer spirit. Read on for some fun vodka facts.
Vodka is versatile. It’s the invisible star of countless cocktail classics, from Bloody Mary’s, Screwdrivers, and Moscow Mules to White and Black Russians, Cosmos, and Long Island Iced Teas.
Vodka can be distilled from, well…just about anything. Most are made from fermented grains like rye, rice, barley, corn, oats, and wheat. Russian and Polish distillers make use of the abundance of potatoes that grow there. Lately, producers have been crafting interesting vodkas from beets, fruits, quinoa, and even milk!
Even the water makes a difference. Mineral water, glacial water, and chalky water all impart certain characteristics on the finished product, as does the way the water is filtered. It can be drawn through charcoal or bedrock, lava, meteorites, or quartz. Some producers go so far as to filter through diamond dust and black pearls.
Vodka has that certain “je ne sais quoi.” Yes, it’s odorless and flavorless, but different ingredients and production methods lend discernible characteristics to different vodkas.
LVOV Vodka, for example, is made from potatoes, distilled four times, then filtered four times through an activated carbon and candle process. The result has a mellow, slightly herbal, slightly sweet aroma with a touch of minerality and a creamy finish – a perfect foil for refreshing favorites like Vodka Tonics, the zesty LVOV Smash (recipe follows), and the classic Vodka Martini and all its delicious variations, like Appletinis and Chocotinis.
Store it in the freezer! Because home freezers don’t get cold enough to freeze spirits, many people like to stash their vodka on ice (BFFs, remember?) for ready-to-go refreshment value.
How do you pronounce LVOV? Impress your retailer and ask for “Luh-voff.” That’s how they say it in LVOV’s namesake Polish town.
Good news for gluten watchers. Vodkas made from fruits and vegetables are gluten-free, so people with grain sensitivities can indulge. Plus, 100% potato-based LVOV is not only gluten-free, but it’s OU kosher certified, too.
LVOV Vodka recently received an excellent 92-point rating by Tasting Panel and offers tremendous quality for its price point (MSRP: $9.99 750 ML., available gift boxed). Follow them at @lvovpoland
So, get ready to kick off summer with these spirited cocktails and more.
Turn heads with this spicy summer sipper.
2 oz. LVOV Vodka
1 slice serrano pepper
1 lime wedge
1 sugar cube
Dash orange bitters
Directions: Muddle all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and pour everything into a cocktail glass. Garnish with remaining serrano pepper and lime wedge.
LVOV Sparkling Sea Breeze
This cool classic is a breeze to make.
1½ oz. LVOV Vodka
1½ oz. cranberry juice
1½ oz. grapefruit juice
1½ cups ice cubes
1½ oz. sparkling water
1 lime wedge
Directions: Fill a cocktail shaker with vodka, juices, and ice cubes. Cover and shake. Fill a glass with sparkling water. Strain vodka mixture into sparkling water and garnish with lime wedge.
LVOV Lemon Drop Martini
A sweet-and-sour treat may just become your signature cocktail.
1½ oz. LVOV Vodka
¾ oz. lemon juice
¼ oz. simple syrup
1½ cup ice cubes
Lemon twist for garnish
Directions: Fill a shaker with ice. Pour in vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with lemon peel.
Pasta a la Vodka
A garlicky vegetarian spin on an Italian favorite.
1 35 oz. can Italian plum tomatoes
1 lb. penne pasta
¼ cup olive oil
8 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ cup LVOV Vodka
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Crushed red pepper to taste
Chopped parsley to taste
About ¾ cup Italian-style cheese, plus extra to taste
Whir tomatoes and their liquid in a food processor until just finely chopped.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add crushed garlic and brown gently.
Slowly add tomatoes and vodka to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add salt and crushed red pepper.
Meanwhile, cook pasta al dente according to directions. Just before pasta is ready, add cream to the sauce. Drain and stir in the pasta. Add salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Add chopped parsley and simmer, stirring, until sauce thickens and all the pasta is coated. Stir in grated cheese and serve, topping with extra cheese if desired.
About Royal Wine/Kedem
Founded in 1848, Royal Wine Corp. has been owned and operated in the United States by the Herzog family, whose winemaking roots go back eight generations to its origin in Czechoslovakia. Today, Royal Wine's portfolio of domestic and international wines range from traditional wine producing regions of France, Italy and Spain, as well as Israel, New Zealand and Argentina.
Additionally, Royal Wine Corp.’s spirit and liqueur portfolio offers some of the most sought-after scotches, bourbons, tequilas and vodkas as well as hard to find specialty items such as flavored brandies and liqueurs.
The company owns and operates the Kedem Winery in upstate New York, as well as Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard, California, a state-of-the-art-facility featuring guided wine tours, a fully staffed modern tasting room, gift shop and catering facilities. Additionally, the winery houses the award-winning restaurant Tierra Sur, serving the finest, Mediterranean-inspired, contemporary Californian Cuisine. Follow them on social media: @royalwinecorp and https://www.facebook.com/RoyalWineCorp/