Every spirit is singular in its own way, none more so than vodka — for while we like our drinks to have tastes and smells, basic vodka has neither. In fact, U.S. federal regulations define vodka as a spirit “without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color.” Or, as defined by one Russian vodka enthusiast: “Vodka is not tasteless; it merely lacks flavor.”
But wait. Aside from vodkas whose labels tell us they are flavored with cherry, vanilla, raspberry, citrus or other additions, there are the subtle, elusive natural flavors found in pure super-premium vodka.
Vodka is distilled once from grains or potatoes in large continuous stills, run through charcoal to purify it and blended with water to cut the alcohol. Super-premium vodka, on the other hand, is made of higher quality grains, distilled in small copper stills several times, filtered through finer charcoal and reduced with special waters.
While Poland and Russia have been making vodka for a millennium, the rest of the world discovered it about 60 years ago. With its rakish charm, aura of elegance and ability to mix with anything, it quickly became the basis of the Moscow mule, bloody mary, screwdriver, salty dog and dozens of other drinks. Next, it took over where gin and whiskey once reigned, becoming the vodka martini, vodka Gibson, vodka Collins and vodka sour. It was all vodka all the way.
And then super-premium vodka hit the market. With its added refinements, it is smoother and silkier, with the subtlest hint of scent, flavor and individual character.
Among the highlights of the super-premium vodkas are Poland’s Belvedere, with its puff of vanilla, and the same distiller’s velvety Chopin. Russia sends us Stolichnaya Cristall, hinting of delicate floral aromas. Italy’s Mezzaluna is silken purity with a brush stroke of orange blossoms. Holland’s Ketel One is satiny and lightly floral. Add to them Canada’s Iceberg, California’s Charbay, Sweden’s Absolut, Holland’s Vox, Norway’s Christiania, Idaho’s Teton Glacier, Ireland’s Boru and France’s gossamer Grey Goose.
No surprise that price rises with quality. Regular vodka averages about $12 to $15. Super-premium costs $20 to $45. One taste will tell you why.
San Antonio celebrated 300 years of progress in May 2018. With a clear vision following that anniversary year, the Texan city set its sights firmly on 300 more. While commemorating this milestone, the city underwent a major overhaul to prepare for the next phase in its history.
IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.
When you think of a relaxing spa day, mountains, rivers and view of gorgeous landscapes pop in your head; a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of any city’s booming music and honking taxis. SoJo Spa Club and Hotel gives you the relaxing feeling of being away while still staying close to the busy center of Manhattan.
I was part of a group of travelers attending the Hamad International Airport Expansion presentation in Doha. Most arrived the day before, but due to a family commitment, I arrived the following day. A driver picked me up at the airport and drove me to the sleek and modern Mondrian Doha, designed by Marcel Wanders of the Netherlands. The 270-room property was the first sbe hotel in the Middle East. My luggage was scanned and put aside for a hand check and the guard removed the little sleep sound device I use to cover city noise when I sleep and travel. “No speakers allowed,” the guard said, but once I explained what the item was he allowed me to take it. From there, check-in was swift, and I received a packet of information about dinner and the week’s agenda.
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.
As ACI EUROPE and leading European aviation associations recently detailed a plan to make sustainable aviation a reality, Munich Airport continues its work toward climate neutrality. In 2019, MUC was one of the first airports in Germany to sign a Net Zero Carbon resolution alongside more than 200 other European airports in 2019. The pledge aims to deliver net zero airport CO2 emissions by 2050.
The Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, introduces new meeting offerings starting this month. Louisville’s only waterfront hotel recently underwent a property-wide $80 million renovation on all guestrooms, meeting spaces and new food and beverage concepts.
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
As the vaccine rolls out and travel begins to pick up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next international trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Madrid, Spain, with us.