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Expert Advice For Improving Cheap Vodka

pouring vodka shots
pouring vodka shots - Invizbk/Getty Images

Not all vodka is created equal. For every beloved brand there are numerous options that can be described as mediocre (if one is being generous with their language). That's why Daily Meal contacted Molly Horn, manager of Cocktail Strategy and Spirits Education at Total Wine & More. Horn leveraged her impressive expertise to offer tips on how to enhance a lackluster bottle of vodka, and her first tip involves storage.

Horn recommends storing the offending bottle in the freezer, which can "enhance the texture." Freezing vodka can actually make it thicker, which is key to achieving the rich, silky mouthfeel that marks a quality brand. From there, Horn suggests incorporating the vodka into a flavorful mixed drink, "Bloody Marys, Screwdrivers, Greyhounds, and the like will help." Keep in mind that the perfect Bloody Mary recipe includes flavor-packed ingredients like Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt, and black pepper. These ingredients can mask some of the harsh aspects of cheap vodka, which will make the booze a lot more palatable.

Read more: 10 Of The Healthiest Beers You Can Drink

What To Do If You End Up With A Bad Bottle

Bloody Mary with garnishes
Bloody Mary with garnishes - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

There are some vodka brands that are downright treacherous on the palate. Rescuing these brands with the freezer-storage and basic mixed drink method advocated by Molly Horn might not be possible. In this case, Horn encourages you to really lean into powerful flavors when creating a Bloody Mary. Her suggestion, "Infuse it with peppercorns, jalapeños, or if you really like spice, habaneros," as spicy elements will take center stage in the mixed drink for a more enjoyable experience.

If these ingredients strike you as too outlandish to include in an alcoholic beverage, remember that Bloody Marys can be garnished with cold pizza, as well as pepperoncini, shrimp, and beef sticks. If that seems like a bridge too far, stick with the spicier ingredients. Hot peppers and other forms of spice can obscure flavors, which might be a good thing if you're struggling with an aggressively bad bottle of vodka. Of course, being selective about the vodka you buy is the best course of action.

Expert Tips On Selecting A Quality Vodka

man shopping in liquor store
man shopping in liquor store - Vasil Dimitrov/Getty Images

With so many great vodka brands to choose from, finding the right bottle is often challenging. To this end, Molly Horn offers some helpful pointers on how to identify a subpar vodka to avoid buying it. She recommends checking out "what the base material is or where the water is sourced from" when trying to determine quality. For instance, some brands use sugar beets instead of potatoes or corn, which can lead to quality issues. However, Horn encourages vodka enthusiasts to sample brands whenever possible.

When sampling a vodka, pay close attention to the texture. Molly horn explained, "If the texture on the palate is harsh and leaves your mouth feeling like it was stripped, it's likely not the highest quality vodka." Conversely, good vodka has a smooth texture and may even impart a minor sweetness, as opposed to that notorious stinging sensation that accompanies lower quality brands of booze. With Horn's advice, you'll never suffer through a harsh bottle of vodka again.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.