vodka

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vodka

(vŏd`kə), traditional spirituous drink of Russia, the Baltic states, and Poland; it is now consumed internationally. The best vodka is distilled from rye and barley malt, but the cheaper corn and potatoes are commonly employed. The high alcoholic strength of over 90% is generally diluted before marketing. A characteristic of vodka is that it has little or no distinctive odor or taste.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vodka

 

a strong alcoholic beverage; a blend of rectified ethyl alcohol and water. Vodka (grain wine) was first produced in Russia in the late 14th century. It was made from rye, wheat, and barley. In producing vodka, a mixture of alcohol and water (sorting) is passed through activated charcoal and then filtered. Vodkas are manufactured with 40 percent, 50 percent, and 56 percent alcohol by volume. By adding herb, grain, root, and spice infusions to vodka, various liqueurs are produced. Other types of vodka are obtained from the distillation of fermented sweet liquids. Thus, grape vodka is produced from grape juice, and cherry vodka is derived from cherry juice.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

vodka

[′väd·kə]
(food engineering)
A colorless and unaged alcoholic beverage distilled from rye or wheat mash or sometimes from potatoes; it is highly rectified during distillation and thus is a very pure neutral spirit without a pronounced taste.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

vodka

an alcoholic drink originating in Russia, made from grain, potatoes, etc., usually consisting only of rectified spirit and water
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Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005