The word vodka is derived from the Slavic word 'Voda' which means water, and vodka is the diminutive form so it actually means 'little water'. Like the origins of the term whiskey, vodka once simply meant medicine liquid or any type of medicinal drink but over time became more specific. These days vodka is any neutral, unflavoured spirit that has been made using and form of agricultural crop which is then bottled at 37.5% or above. In reality the best vodkas are distilled many times and most are heavily filtered for purity and smoothness. There is a lot of variation in ingredients offering sublte but noticeable differences. Potato vodkas can be creamy and surprisingly smooth, whilst rye vodkas can be slightly minty and grape vodkas fruity and fresh. Russia and Poland are the leading vodka producing countries, but these days France, the UK, Sweden, Finland, Holland, the USA and many other countries make some very good vodkas.
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