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11 Things You Didn’t Know About Vodka

Vodka being poured into a shot glass

Vodka is a colourless distilled liquor without a definite aroma or taste, and can range from 40 to 55 percent in alcoholic content. Thanks to its highly neutral composition, vodka goes great with richer tasting food such as steak, caviar, cheese, pickles, and smoked salmon.

A highly versatile spirit, vodka can surprisingly be incorporated into our daily lives in more ways than just the perfect cocktail. If you’re wondering how, continue reading to learn the 11 things that you didn’t know about vodka!

Two glasses of clear liquid and ice cubes on a cutting board

Things You Didn’t Know About Vodka History

1. The Word “Vodka” Is Derived From Slavic

Just like whisky, vodka is a word with international roots. “Vodka” comes from the Slavic word “voda” which means water. This is because vodka is primarily made up of water and ethanol. Other vodka derivatives included the Polish “wódka,” and Russian “aqua vitae” (meaning water of life).

2. Vodka Was Used As Medicine in the 11th Century

In the 11th century, it was common to purchase vodka from a pharmacy! This is because vodka used to be sold as a “wonder drug” that could cure a variety of ailments, like infertility and the plague.

3. Vodka Originated In Europe

While the exact origin of vodka is still unknown, we can be sure that it was first produced in both Poland and Russia in the 9th century. The first recorded vodka distillery was located in Khylnovsk in Russia in 1174, with the average spirit containing about 14% alcoholic content.

4. Vodka Wasn’t Always Flavourless

The vodka flavour we know now is raw and relies on its natural flavours to taste good. In the 8th century, impurities were often left behind during the distillation process. In an attempt to mask this, vodka producers would often throw spices or fruit into the mix.

Things You Didn’t Know About Vodka Uses

5. Vodka Can Still Be Used As a Disinfectant

In the case that you’re ever out of rubbing alcohol, you could use vodka as an alternative. For bug bites, scrapes, and minor cuts, you can pat a small amount on it to prevent the onset of infection. Another medicinal use of vodka is relieving toothache. Naturally, the best solution for a toothache would be to go to a dentist, but if you can’t book an appointment immediately, you can resort to a splash of vodka to minimize the discomfort and disinfect the affected area.

6. Vodka Can Make Your Clothes Smell Fresh

Doing the laundry isn’t a fun task. We can’t deny, though, that a basket full of freshly washed clothing can be therapeutic.

Bacteria buildup on towels and sheets is common, so, if you want to eliminate foul odour or bacteria from these items, you can spritz some vodka onto your clothes and leave them to dry. Vodka doesn’t leave stains nor does it have a smell that clings, but to be absolutely sure, it’s better to do a spot test before spraying it all over your favourite dresses and shirts.

7. Vodka Can Be Used As A Cleaning Agent

It is important to get rid of mould in your home in order to maintain the quality of indoor air. However, using harsh chemicals isn’t so great for the lungs. Luckily, we can combine the power of vodka, a recycled spray bottle, and a toothbrush to create a safer alternative. All you have to do is pour some vodka into a spray bottle and spritz some onto the mould. Let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes and scrub it away with an old toothbrush.

8. Vodka Can Make Your Hair Shiny

We know the struggle of using every miracle serum or leave-in treatment on the cosmetic market and not having your hair become shiny and healthy.

When all else fails, vodka will bring your hair back to life. Yes, vodka can bring out the vitality of your precious locks. Grab your favourite shampoo (12-ounce size), pop the lid open, and pour in a jigger of vodka. This mixture will give you healthier and more lustrous hair than your shampoo and conditioner ever could.

9. Vodka Can Be Corrected After It Has Been Distilled

You might think that it’s game over for vodka when the flavour doesn’t come out quite on point after the distillation process, but that’s where you’re wrong. Vodka can be corrected or “finished” after this procedure by being mixed with moderate levels of sugar, glycerin, or citric acid.

10. Vodka Can Give Back to the Community

One of the greatest things about vodka is that it can serve as a gateway to help a wide range of great causes. Spirit of York is one of the most-loved distilleries in Canada, and while all our spirits taste amazing, we are most proud of our community spirit.

In an effort to give back to the community, Spirit of York dedicates 10% of profits to local and sociocultural organizations in Toronto. So, if you’re passionate about The AGO, Canadian Opera Company, The National Ballet of Canada, The 519, or The Power Plant, among others, Spirit of York sees their value and gives them a helping hand.

A Cosmopolitan cocktail

11. Vodka Is the Perfect Base For Cocktails

Vodka is incredibly versatile because of its almost flavourless profile – an exact reason why it has become a powerful force when it comes to mixing cocktails. When incorporated into a cocktail, it’ll boost the flavour dramatically without overpowering the mixture. Vodka is popularly used in delicious cocktails, like the Cosmopolitan, which is a vibrant burst of zestful goodness.

100% Ontario-Grown Rye Vodka from Spirit of York

From grain-to-glass, Spirit of York vodka is derived from 100% Ontario-grown rye, a specially sourced strain of distiller’s yeast, and crystal-clear water from Springwater, Ontario – the purest water in the province.

Whether you like your vodka dry, on the rocks, or shaken in a cocktail, you can find unparalleled quality and flavour at Spirit of York. Now offering online shopping from the comfort of your home, delivered right to your door!

If you have any other favourite vodka uses, let us know on Instagram!

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