On strong alcohol in Russia accounts for 70-75% of total consumption. But if before vodka was the absolute leader, in recent years its share has slightly decreased due to cognac, whiskey, rum, and tequila. True, not everyone knows the difference between imported alcohol and native vodka. To fill this gap, I propose to compare whiskey and vodka by the most important indicators.
1. Technology. Vodka is a mixture of rectified (well-purified) ethyl alcohol and water. Fortress 40 degrees. In some grades of vodka, a higher strength and (or) the presence of aromatic additives is possible. Standardized technology has allowed establishing production in many countries, but in the world, vodka is considered a traditional Russian drink. In its pure form, it is drunk only in the territory of the former USSR. In Europe and the USA, vodka is considered an ideal base for cocktails, since it has neither smell nor taste.
Whiskey is an alcoholic beverage made from barley, rye or corn, obtained by combining (germinating cereals), fermenting them, distilling the wort and keeping the distillate in oak barrels for several years. The fortress ranges from 40 to 60 degrees. The taste depends not only on the quality of the raw materials, great importance is the skill of the distiller and the aging time in the barrels. Each region has its own requirements for production technology, there are no uniform standards. Whiskey is traditionally made in Ireland, Scotland, USA, Canada and Japan.
By the technology of production of whiskey is closer to moonshine, it is made only of several types of cereals, which increases the cost. In turn, alcohol for vodka is produced from any food starch-containing raw materials, for example, in a mixture with grain, potatoes, sugar beets, peas, etc. can be used.
2. Organoleptic properties. This refers to the color, smell and taste of the drink. Depending on the aging time in oak barrels, the whiskey color starts to light yellow and ends in brown. The taste varies from viscous dense to light floral, this is affected by raw materials and the region of production. The most “heavy” are island Scotch whiskey, their second name is “Scotch”.
Good vodka should be moderately strong, transparent, not taste and smell. Other requirements for its organoleptic indicators are not provided.
3. The culture of use. In this aspect, vodka and whiskey are fundamentally different. In Russia, it is customary to drink vodka during a feast in large doses. Its taste is not important, the main thing is the result, a good snack, and a cheerful company.
Whiskey is more suitable for connoisseurs of alcohol, who gather in a small circle in a quiet quiet place to spend time chatting or other interesting pursuits, such as playing cards. Whiskey is drunk from special glasses in small sips, trying to catch the peculiarities of flavor and taste. Dilute or have a snack it is not accepted, as this interferes with perception. After the tasting, whiskey is discussed, comparing the chosen brand with others.
For large noisy companies whose members are not experts in alcoholic beverages, vodka will do better. To a narrow circle of friends-connoisseurs, a bottle of good whiskey will help brighten up the rest, giving new impressions of tasting.
4. Harmful to health. There is no unified opinion on this score. One group of researchers believes that whiskey is more harmful than vodka, since it contains more extraneous impurities, for example, essential oils that are not retracted by distillation, and vodka is a rectificate, in which there is nothing but water and alcohol.
Their opponents refer to the work of Russian toxicologists under the guidance of Professor Nuzhny Vladimir Pavlovich, who heads the Research Institute of Narcology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. Scientists came to the conclusion that in excessive doses any alcoholic drinks are fatal, but vodka is the most harmful. The problem is precisely the absence of foreign impurities. Because of this, the body does not immediately recognize the danger, beginning to react with a delay, when the functioning of vital systems has already been disrupted.
Some micro impurities of distillate partially protect the body from the effects of pure ethyl alcohol and in small concentrations can even be useful. It is known that cognac expands blood vessels, whiskey – raises tone. Other impurities, such as hydrocyanic acid and fusel oils in grappa (chacha), create an additional burden for the body, they are harmful.
The same group of studies concluded that the rate of development of physical dependence of vodka is equal. With its regular use, alcoholism develops several times faster than cognac or whiskey.
The conclusion is supported by statistics. In countries where distillates (cognac, calvados, whiskey, bourbon, etc.) are preferred, these are Ireland, France and the USA, the number of alcoholics per 100,000 inhabitants is much lower than in those where rectified ethyl alcohol drinks are popular. Most of all vodka in its pure form is drunk in Russia, Ukraine and Finland.
5. Intoxication and a hangover. Subjective indicators, depending on the individual characteristics of the human body, they are difficult to analyze. Theoretically, with the same amount of drunk intoxication and the degree of hangover are determined by the concentration of outside substances in the drink. In this case, good vodka can be taken as a reference point, since it does not contain impurities.
But we know that, depending on the chemical structure, impurities in distillates are useful and harmful. This means a hangover from a good whiskey will be less than that of vodka, since the substances in it partially block the negative effect of alcohol. In the case of a bad whiskey, the situation is reversed – a rapid intoxication with a severe hangover the next day.
PS Everyone decides to drink vodka or whiskey himself. In many ways, the choice depends on the financial possibilities, the nature of the feast and the company. Both beverages are eligible to be on your table. The purpose of this article was to show the difference between them, and not to determine the best.