Once we hit forty, women only have about four taste buds left: one for vodka, one for wine, one for cheese, and one for chocolate.

Gina Barreca

Vodka is a curious drink isn't it, I mean let’s face it, it’s basically tasteless unless it’s sold as a flavoured version and in many parts of the world, usually the chilly parts, it’s consumed neat which means it’s basically a hit of alcohol.

It’s also been well and truly put in the shade over the last few years by it’s pretty sister, gin which in many ways is a similar product but with a bit of perfume and better public relations.

Vodka however, isn't going away anytime soon and I believe it could be on the verge of a new renaissance, perhaps even at the expense of the long predicted rum revolution.

Why? Well for a start it’s basic weakness is one of the things I love about it. Vodka is graded if you like, on it’s purity and while as I mentioned earlier it’s basically a tasteless product, you can line up dozens of them and detect interesting nuances and characteristics across the board and that makes it such an interesting base for cocktails.

Rum on the other hand is generally quite overpowering and becomes the dominant flavour in whatever way it’s served which is fine if you like rum.

Flavoured spirits have taken a strong position on the shelves lately, particularly gin and vodka but here again, the latter has the advantage because of its basic neutrality while flavourings added to gin have to combat the often overpowering main botanical, juniper.

Personally however, I prefer to add my own fruit to a drink and for me, vodka is at it’s best served simple with orange juice and ice. By way of a bonus, did you know that you can replace water with vodka in your pastry recipes to create a flakier finish?

Blackdown Sussex Vodka

A light floral nose with a crisp refreshing palate.

The Wine Reserve £30.99

Distil No 9 Ukrainian Vodka

A clean refreshing style with a lovely hint of spice on the finish.

Sainsbury’s £20.00