Thursday Night Loaded: Vodka Update

Good news. Zubrowka vodka — which I raved about many months ago, calling it one of the only two excellent vodkas I’ve ever tasted — is once again available in Regina liquor stores. And what’s more, it’s priced at an entirely reasonable $25 for a 750ml bottle. That means the very best vodka in the SLGA’s entire repertoire sits at the low end of the price spectrum.

In other words, there is no need to waste your cash on premium brands like Grey Goose or Crystal Head (unless, in the case of the latter, you covet the skull-shaped bottle).

Speaking of, The Fox Is Black, a design blog I check almost daily, ran a post titled, “Vodka is Stupid: Why You Should Stop Wasting Your Money On High End Vodka” in which author Bobby Solomon references a piece (also called, “Vodka is Stupid“) written by Toronto restaurateur Jen Agg.

Their complaint is pretty much identical to mine: that vodka is boring and tastes like nothing.

Take this bit from Agg’s conclusion:

But it’s not fair to compare a silly, boring drink like a vodka martini to a flavour bomb like The Manhattan. Even worse is the dirty vodka martini. If your desperation for flavour has you drinking olive brine, just drink gin. Please. Gin is vodka’s smarter, classier, more worldly older sister. Vodka wants to go clubbing and hook up with Johnny Redbull, that hot guy she met last week (who’s not actually that hot and wears too much cologne). Gin wants to have dinner, a little wine and really talk about stuff, like politics and indie rock.

So if your drink of choice is gin or rye or anything but vodka, you are doing the right thing by choosing a spirit based on its taste. If you’re a vodka sort, don’t worry too much, you are right in line with the masses. Just imagine how proud your grandchildren will be of you for toeing the vodka party line.

Hear, hear!

Incidentally, Agg chalks up vodka’s current popularity to an advertising push from Smirnoff in the ’60s: their “Smirnoff leaves you breathless” campaign. She’s right but leaves out that a big part of Smirnoff’s success came from getting their vodka inserted into the film version of Dr No.

That’s right, James Bond’s “vodka martini, shaken, not stirred” isn’t merely master-spy chic, it’s an early example of wildly successful product placement. One that changed the booze-scape for decades after.

(And for the worse, I might add. Thanks James.)

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5'10'' tall and he was born in a place. He's not there now. He's sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It's "Girl From Ipanema", thanks for asking. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.