National Vodka Day occurs annually on October 4, and is a celebration of the most popular distilled spirit in the United States—a title vodka has held since replacing bourbon in the 1970s as America’s most frequently purchased liquor.
Vodka originated in Poland in the early Middle Ages, and soon traveled with merchants to nearby Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, and other nearby countries which are recognized today as the “Vodka Belt.”
Vodka is distilled from a variety of sugars and starches, including rye, wheat, potatoes, soybeans, rice, and sugar beets. The most popular variety of vodka is unflavored, and many premium vodka brands boast double, triple, or even quadruple distilled varieties for a clean, smooth taste.
It’s that same clean, clear profile that makes vodka an excellent canvas for other flavors. Countless flavored vodkas have been introduced over the past decade, with profiles as varied as hibiscus, vanilla, cilantro, raspberry, cucumber, mandarin, and chili pepper.
In the countries of the Vodka Belt, vodka is usually enjoyed neat—and often freezer chilled. In other parts of the world, vodka’s neutral profile—and its innumerable flavored varieties—make it a staple in many classic cocktails.
If you’re planning your own celebration of National Vodka Day this year, you can’t go wrong with a classic vodka martini. For something more contemporary, we like this sophisticated take on a Cosmopolitan, which allows citrus-flavored vodka to shine. You could even go all in, and create your own infused vodka!
Whether you enjoy a Bloody Mary at brunch, or try your hand at a Lunar Eclipse, celebrate our nation’s most imbibed spirit this October 4 on National Vodka Day!
National Vodka Day is typically celebrated