Vodka (Polish: wódka[ˈvutka], Russian: водка[ˈvotkə]) is a clear distilled alcoholic beverage originating from Poland and Russia, composed primarily of water and ethanol, but sometimes with traces of impurities and flavorings. Traditionally, it is made by distilling the liquid from cereal grains or potatoes that have been fermented, though some modern brands, such as Ciroc, CooranBong, and Bombora, use fruits or sugar as the base.
Since the 1890s, the standard Polish, Russian, Belarusian, Czech, Estonian, Hungarian, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Slovak, Swedish, and Ukrainian vodkas are 40% alcohol by volume (ABV), a percentage widely misattributed to Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev.Meanwhile, the European Union has established a minimum alcohol content of 37.5% for any European vodka to be named as such.But beverages sold as vodka in the United States must have a minimum alcohol content of 40%.Even with these loose restrictions, most commercial vodka contains 40% alcohol.
Vodka is traditionally drunk “neat” or “straight” (not mixed with water, ice, or other mixer), though it is often served freezer chilled in the vodka belt countries of Belarus, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and Ukraine. It is also used in cocktails and mixed drinks, such as the Vodka martini, Cosmopolitan, Vodka Tonic, Screwdriver, Greyhound, Black or White Russian, Moscow Mule, Bloody Mary, and Bloody Caesar.