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Friday, February 5, 2010

Mixing It Up at the Reitz:Vodka

A fellow student shakes it up at the Wednesday Vokda class 

Oh what a night! The “oh” is for the mini-hangover I woke up with this morning after week three of bartending class. I had a feeling this week would be a little intense. Our teacher, Wonton, whom you can spot hitting up Gator City after our “alcohol lesson,” pulled out vodka bottle after vodka bottle, giving us a little background about where each came from, how many times it was distilled (all vodkas are distilled at least three times before it is considered a true vodka), and offered his opinion about each one’s quality factor. To be honest, I don’t remember much of the historical aspect, but I can give you the lowdown on our multiple taste tests.

Wonton showed us how to make a Bloody Mary, the second drink ever made using vodka. He added ingredients a little out of the ordinary, including 1 1/4 jiggers of vodka (he used Level), tomato juice and swigs of Worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce, horseradish, salt and pepper. The concoction tasted like a seafood dish or a cocktail sauce you would use to dip shrimp in. 

My favorite alcohol was Vincent-Van Gogh Pineapple Vodka, mixed with pineapple juice and a splash of cranberry juice. If you like fruity drinks, this is one to try. I also really liked the chocolate martini. I made it with 1/2 a jigger of vodka (we used Pravda, one of Wonton’s favorites aside from Level, ZYR, EFFEN and Stoli Elit – all in the $25 to $30 range) and Dark Crème de Cacao cocktail mix.  It tasted similar to Serendipity’s frozen, hot chocolate with a splash of alcohol. Delicious!

Next week, we have a break from class (probably to subside our poor livers), but we thought it would be a great idea to gather everyone together for a little happy hour in the Reitz Union basement. If you want to see me practice my bartending skills or in Wonton’s words, “do my homework,” let’s just say I’ll see you there.

--Brooke Aronoff

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