Saucy, what brand of vodka do you use for mixed drinks?
Grey Goose, Chopin and the ‘1’s - Ketle and Hangar are all real good and real expensive: real expensive for a subtle flavor that will ultimately overwhelmed by other ingredients is a bad combination for a drink or cooking. I use Monopolowa for mixed drinks, I doubt it would win in a blind tasting, it does possess a slight medicinal taste but it consistently wins the non-blind test, the one where you can see the price tag. Its victory is because it is less expensive than the premium brands and better than cheaper brands.
Not everyone loves their vodka - AJ Liebling, whose appetite blurred the line between gourmand and glutton, was a man whose appreciation of a good drink, meal, (boxing match, horse race or woman) was legendary, but he did not like vodka. Accusing the distillation of not looking, tasting or smelling like anything. Not content to insult the alcohol itself, he went on to disparage vodka drinkers by stating:
“those who like their alcohol in conjunction with the reassuring tastes of infancy – tomato juice, orange juice, chicken broth. It is the idea intoxicant for the drinker who wants no reminder of how hurt Mother would be if she knew what he was doing.”
Long time Fan, First Time Disagree(r)
Here, I dissent – I admire Liebling's thoughts and writing enough that I even went along with his description of boxing as the ‘sweet science’. This despite the fact there doesn’t seem to be anything sweet or scientific about pummeling someone. I like my cocktails sweet and acidic, especially after work and before dinner – I don’t find those flavors reminiscent of youth, I find them good now. As for vodka, like black pants or good jeans, it goes with everything. Well, maybe, technically, it doesn’t go with breakfast but enough people like to get their weekend days rolling with Bloody Marys that I can’t say that breakfast vodka is an absolute prohibition.
Not such a fan of the tomato juice, but grapefruit and vodka do have a natural affinity, and on those rare mornings I crave an AM drink, a Greyhound beats a breakfast beer. Nor does the Greyhound lose its charm in the evening, the acidic tartness of the citrus makes for a good aperitif.
For those folks who agree with Mr. Liebling, switch out the vodka with gin and you have Salty Dog. Tequila can also be substituted for the vodka - this adds a little dimension to the drink. When this is done in a Bloody Mary, the drink becomes a Bloody Maria, a Screwdriver transforms into a Tequila Sunrise (with an assist from Grenadine), but for a Greyhound – the drink doesn’t really have a name. Some call it a Giraffe, but like the Salty Dog, it makes sense keeping the drink in the same genus - I prefer calling grapefruit and tequila, the Chihuahua.
2 medium sized Grapefruit (Yields about 4 oz of juice)
2 oz Vodka, Gin or Tequila
3 ice cubes
Squeeze grapefruit, add juice, alcohol of choice and ice together and shake, shake, shake. Serve up in a stemmed glass. A splash of optional soda isn’t going to hurt anything.