If it even need be said: while pizza certainly deserves a day, and steak frites should probably have its own day…no one needs to spend an entire 24 hours every year paying honor to the radish, the cucumber, or the flaxseed (okay, there isn’t actually an official day for the latter—but we’ve a sneaking suspicion that The Flax Council of Canada is busy plotting one as we write this).
Vodka we must admit, we pay tribute to virtually every day of the year. But this Sunday, October 4, is officially National Vodka Day—and one guesses that its falling on a Sunday this time around means that headlines will be blaring the news of a bloody mary mix shortage by this coming Monday. But, well…we’ve suffered too many sodium overloads to make that mistake again.
The good people at Belvedere, thankfully, have come up with something significantly more zeitgeisty (read: concerned for your ongoing health) for our 2020 V-Day celebrations, involving ingredients like carrot, turmeric, miso, and even Moroccan mint tea. But more on that later.
But it comes in the midst of a fascinating, long-time-coming announcement regarding the beloved clear spirit. Earlier this year, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)—people we always, erm, look to for advice on partying—changed its ruling on vodka, from its definition of being, “without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color,” to one that in fact genuinely does possess those very same characteristics. Belvedere—long regarded as Poland’s finest / most luxurious vodka—naturally, has long opposed such a classification. So they are enjoying a particular sort of “we told you so” moment.
To further emphasize the point, a short while ago they introduced the concept of “terroir” to the art of fine vodka sipping, with a pair of artfully crafted expressions that tap into the unique terrain of the mother country. Indeed, Belvedere Smogory Forest is made from the rare Diamond Dankowskie Rye from its namesake village in Western Poland; and Belvedere Lake Bartężek is culled from the eponymous estate in the Masurian Lake District to the northeast.
Both decisively upend the notion of vodka lacking the complexities of fine tequilas or whiskies.
As for National Vodka Day, despite ongoing pandemic conditions, we strenuously recommend heading to an outside table at your fave epicurean haunt, to enjoy a few expertly prepared vodka cocktails (and thus lending your support to the badly hurting hospitality business). But for those of you still more comfortable at home, Belvedere has been kind enough to share the secrets to conjuring your own version of their deliciously good-for-you new Super(food) Cocktails.
Drink up, and stay safe!
Belvedere Super Cocktail: Carrot (pictured top)
1.5 oz / 45 ml Belvedere Vodka
5 oz / 150 ml Fresh Carrot Juice
.75 oz / 20 ml Fresh Lemon Juice
.5 bar spoon Miso or Dashi Powder
.5 bar spoon Ginger or Ginger Syrup
1 dash Chili Flakes
.25 oz / 7 ml Honey Syrup
Carrot Stem / Chili Flakes
Shake all ingredients with two ice cubes. Strain into highball glass over fresh ice and garnish with carrot stem / chile flakes.
Belvedere Super Cocktail: Turmeric
1.5 oz / 45 ml Belvedere Vodka or Belvedere Ginger Zest
1 oz / 30 ml Fresh Lime Juice
.75 oz / 20 ml Honey Syrup
2 oz / 60 ml Moroccan Mint Tea
2 oz / 60 ml Ginger Beer
1 dash Turmeric
Spritz Orange Blossom Water (optional)
Place all ingredients into shaker except for soda water. Strain into highball glass and top with ginger beer. Garnish with mint sprig and spritz with orange blossom water.