|Boyd and Blair|
I don't really drink vodka. I think of vodka as fire water; no taste just fire. The law requires all vodkas be double charcoal filtered. How can there be any difference in taste if they are all double charcoal filtered? Doesn't the charcoal filter out all the taste? But I pride myself on being open minded. I was willing to try this vodka voted best non-Polish potato vodka. I like to support local businesses. After all, Pittsburgh is more local than Warsaw or Vladivostok.
Boyd and Blair distills two strengths of vodka, an 80 proof and a 151 proof. The distiller recommended using the 151 proof to create your own cordials, like Limoncella and Creme De Menthe. Both recipes are on their website.
The discussion on the radio show later turned to infusing vodka.
I remember the first time I saw infused vodkas, probably thirty / thirty-five years ago. It was on a visit to a fund raising bazaar at Saint Andrew's Russian Orthodox Church in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia. (My parents are Russian Orthodox. My paternal grandfather helped start St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox church nearly 100 years ago. Just two city blocks away, St. Nicholas relieved the overcrowding at St. Andrew's from the influx of eastern European immigrants at the turn of the last century.) At the bazaar there were four or five, five gallon glass bottled water jugs behind a table. Each was partially filled with a liquid and marked with its flavoring agent. Pepper, lemon and black tea were the flavors I remember. The more I listened to the radio show, the more I yearned to infuse vodka.
Before I started to infuse the vodka, I needed to taste this exceptional vodka. As I said earlier, I don't drink vodka so I had no experience with differentiating between good (read expensive) and bad (read cheap) vodkas.
|(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)|
I had a fresh loaf of French bread on the counter and spread on it a bit of blue cheese. The vodka paired well with the blue cheese and bread. That second sip of vodka produced visions in my head of Russians wearing big fur hats eating caviar, sour cream and onions on fresh rye bread interspersed with shots of vodka and deep laughter. I thought, "I could do this." It was working for me. I refrained, though. I had infusions to make with the best non-Polish potato vodka available.
©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved
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