3 Cocktails to Celebrate National Vodka Day

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who enjoy imbibing now and again, the end of the year is certainly worth celebrating. Last month, we raised our glass to National Bourbon Heritage Month, and in November, gin will take center stage. But chances are you probably prefer America’s “most popular libation,” vodka, which means today is for you—happy National Vodka Day! We’ve got a few takes on some classic vodka drinks, plus some perfect book pairings.

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Moscow Mule

We’ve all heard of this one (it’s delicious), but what’s the history? The Moscow mule was invented in 1940s Los Angeles, the result of a joint and mutually beneficial brainwave between a U.S. importer of Smirnoff vodka, a maker of ginger beer (who also owned the Cock’n’Bull pub and restaurant on the Sunset Strip), and a lady lamenting her poor copper mug sales. And you thought you had great brainstorms when you went to the pub…

2 ounces vodka

4-6 ounces ginger beer

½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

Lime wedge and/or mint sprig, for garnish.

Fill a Moscow mule mug (or a Collins glass if you failed to support this copper mug lady’s endeavors) with ice. Pour in the vodka, and fill nearly to the top with ginger beer, and then the lime juice to finish it off. Garnish was the lime wedge or decorate with the spent lime shell; maybe toss a sprig of mint in there, too.

PAIRED WITH: Amor Towles’ new release A Gentleman in Moscow. Hole yourself up in a corner with this delicious drink and pretend you’re stuck in a luxury hotel.


Kate’s Shrew-Driver

At the end of The Taming of the Shrew, Katherina’s made the bumpy transition from cranky single girl to a supposedly obedient wife. We’d like to imagine that Kate is happy at least once a week as she’s serving these cold, ironic Shrew-drivers up to her married girlfriends at her Wednesday morning Book Club Brunch.

Superfine sugar

1 ½ ounces limoncello

1 ½ ounces lemon-flavored vodka

5 ounces fresh orange juice

4-6 dashes grapefruit or lemon bitters (depending on your mood)

Lemon wedge and slice

Rim a highball glass with the lemon wedge and dip the rim in sugar. Fill the glass halfway with ice. Pour in the limoncello, vodka, and orange juice. Stir in the bitters. Garnish with a lemon slice.

PAIRED WITH: Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini. American Housewife by Helen Ellis, #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso, Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett. Or anything by Betty Friedan. 


Bloody Mary

Another classic, this time with a fair number of origin stories. One of the lesser known tales surrounds a fellow named Earnest Hemingway. Doctors had forbidden Hemingway to drink and his wife, Mary, took the interdiction seriously and put him under close watch. Stealth and cunning were needed to get Hemingway his drinks that I can only assume he believed had medicinal properties. So the bartender at the Ritz Paris’ Petit Bar devised the ingenious mixture, a drink packed full of alcohol that could not be detected on the writer’s breath.

16 ounces vodka

16 ounces tomato juice

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 ½ ounce fresh lemon juice

Celery salt, to taste

Cayenne pepper, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

Large lump of ice

Makes one pitcher, so share it.

“If you get it too powerful weaken with more tomato juice. If it lacks authority add more vodka.” – Ernest Hemingway.

PAIR IT WITH: Monsters Among Us by Linda Godfrey. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (though maybe after reading this one, you’ll put down that drink…).

giphy-vodka


post by Keely Platte

These recipes and stories were pulled from Drinks by Adam McDowell, Shakespeare, Not Stirred by Caroline Bicks and Michelle Ephraim, and To Have and Have Another by Philip Greene.

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