The Taste of Vodka
Vodka is a strong alcoholic drink obtained by mixing the rectified ethyl alcohol from organic material with specially prepared (purified tap) water, followed by treatment of the water-alcohol solution of activated charcoal or modified starch and filtration. In small quantities in vodka are permitted various chemical flavor additives such as thickeners, vitamins, stabilizers, etc.
Obviously, the taste of vodka, or more precisely, the differences of taste are determined primarily by the type and quantities of specific impurities (other than ethanol and water) in different species or samples of vodka (as part of its strength). They affirm that the impurities are responsible for the main taste, which can be defined as "bitter taste" or "hot taste" for different kinds of vodka. This is confirmed by the fact that brands which consist of more pure alcohol and water are significantly less bitter (almost "like water"). Thus, in an appreciable extent a mild taste of vodka is a criterion of its purity, although there are special impurities which can in some way mask the bitter taste.
Does vodka have a taste or it is bitter? Those who claim that vodka has a special taste, are specifying that vodka from each individual bottle has a unique taste, or rather a flavor.
The bitterness of vodka is explained by different impurities, which remained in it because of incomplete cleaning. This is evidenced also by the sharp smell. Vodka of highest purification, i.e. vodka which contains almost nothing but water and ethanol, has a distinctive sweet flavor, distinctive of dilute alcohol solutions. During cleaning process with activated carbon, in vodka can appear "useful" impurities of aromatic ethers (apple, pear, etc.,) in small quantities. These substances greatly ennoble the taste and smell of the final product.
The true taste is manifested in the form of residual feeling in the mouth immediately after drinking a glass of vodka. The vodka sampling confirms that vodka vary in smell and taste and other sensations that it causes, which include tongue burning, or easy swallowing "like butter".
Vodka, as the rule, is consumed with a snack. Snacks can be cold (such as cucumbers or mushrooms) and hot (such as soup or borscht). On the menu and cook books there are special sections of appetizers and snacks. Also, vodka can be washed down with various drinks, such as natural juices, stewed or pickles, sodas with varying degrees of quality, and even beer.