Svedka is a Swedish vodka whose quality outpaces its price. First made by Guillaume Cuvelier in Lidköping, Sweden, in 1998, it arrived in the United States in 2007 through its American owner, Constellation Brands, and has since become the vodka of choice for many American drinkers. Taken by its winning combination of taste and cost, they made it one of the top-selling vodka brands in the United States.
While Svedka is only 22 years old, Sweden remains one of three countries considered the world’s oldest vodka makers, along with Poland and Russia. Svedka is made of Swedish winter wheat — four pounds needed for every bottle — and distilled five times. Like most vodkas, it is bottled straight as well as in a number of fruit forms. Among them are lemon, cherry, strawberry and peach. Straight Svedka contains 40 percent alcohol, while its flavored variations have 35 percent. And while some brands of vodka cost as much as $40–45 for a 750 ml bottle, Svedka ranges $15–20.
How best to enjoy Svedka? By itself and in as many additions and variations as your imagination allows.
To understand it in its natural state, begin with a small taste of Svedka straight. Chill a bottle in the freezer for a couple of hours or more. (It won’t freeze; it has too much alcohol to do that.) Pour a small amount in a chilled glass. Sip, slowly — very slowly — savoring each taste. The purpose is not to get drunk but to consider its flavors and enjoy every drop.
For mixing, the possibilities are virtually endless. Pour equal parts of a flavored Svedka and water or soda in a chilled glass and mix well. Garnish with citrus peels. Or combine 1 ounce each of Svedka vodka and rosé Svedka; 2 ounces grapefruit juice; and 1⁄2 ounce each of vanilla syrup, lemon juice and hibiscus tea. Shake and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice.
Perhaps, best of all, create your own Svedka original. Skål!
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