Vodka: A Good-For-Nothing Spirit or a Go-To Staple?

(Image credit: Maureen Petrosky)

Personally, I think vodka has its time and place. I love a good Moscow Mule, and when I make a fruity juice cocktail (with something like grapefruit, for example) I think it’s a waste to use gin because the nuanced flavors get lost. You need a “blank slate” spirit and that’s how I think of vodka. Vodka remains popular among cocktail drinkers because it doesn’t have a strong flavor profile, so it’s an easy mixing spirit. (Also good for folks who are easing into cocktails.)

Recently, Michael Ruhlman wrote about a lemon cocktail that features vodka. He described vodka as “America’s go-to, boneless-skinless-chicken-breast default spirit” (with the caveat that he, too, likes it on occasion). 

Get Michael Ruhlman’s Recipe: The Lemon Drop

So, question: do you keep vodka around the house for mixing or do you prefer to take the plunge into more experimental, interesting spirits? Where do you stand with vodka?