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Vodka

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发表于 6-29-2014 17:56:11 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 choi 于 6-29-2014 17:58 编辑

Wayne Curtis, The Absolut Truth; Vodka is the miracle that disinfects, runs automobiles and gets people drunk. Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2014
online.wsj.com/articles/book-review-vodka-by-victorino-matus-1403899543
(book review on Victorino Matus Vodka; How a colorless, odorless, flavorless spirit conquered America. Lyons Press, 2014)

Quote:

“From the get-go, he [Matus] pretty much tells us that, inside the bottle, little separates the brands. While vodka's base ingredient may vary—distillers can use potatoes, beets, grapes, corn or almost anything else fermentable—it's produced with such clinical efficiency and at such high proof and purity that only small differences remain, no matter how many times the label claims it was distilled. The small differences are due in large part, Mr Matus suggests, to the trace amounts of additives, like sugar or glycerine, which manufacturers are allowed to add without declaration.

“Mr Matus casts his gimlet eye over a range of brands * * * and recounts how they've found their place in the crowded vodka ecosystem. Most did this by controlling their image.

“Smirnoff was the first vodka to become a global brand. It was created in 1864 by Pyotr Smirnov, a former serf who made, Mr Matus writes, a ‘vodka of unprecedented purity using fresh ingredients’ and became one of Russia's richest men. After some post-revolution hopscotching about, the brand—with the spelling changed to a more English-friendly Smirnoff—was licensed in 1938 to Heublein, the Connecticut-based manufacturer of A1 Steak Sauce. Heublein took a neutral spirit and made it fashionable through marketing].

“Then along came Sweden-based Absolut. It did the unthinkable in the 1980s: turning plebeian vodka into a luxury product.

“Absolut ruled the market; it was the premium vodka. Then came upon something to knock it off its stride: a super-premium vodka.

“Sidney Frank, the liquor impresario who brought Jägermeister to America, wagered that if consumers thought a $20 bottle of vodka was good, they would think that a $30 bottle was better. He was right. He created Grey Goose, selling it in an elegant, long-necked bottle that set it apart from Absolut's stub and playing up his vodka's refined French origins in ads (it's made from grapes and distilled near Cognac). Absolut and tonic was out; Grey Goose and tonic was in.

Note:
(a) gimlet (tool)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimlet_%28tool%29
(sectional heading: Used as a Metaphor)

(b) quotation 3.
(i) For Pyotr, see Peter (given name)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_(given_name)
(Russian: Pyotr and two other names)
(ii) Smirnov (surname)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smirnov_(surname)
(the most common surname in Russia; Derived from an adjectival nickname smirnyy (in archaic form smirnoy), that means "quiet, still, meek, gentle")
(iii) Heublein
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heublein
(originally a restaurant in Hartford, Connecticut founded in 1862 by Andrew Heublein, a German American entrepreneur; In 1906 the business gained the rights to distribute (and later produce) A1 Steak Sauce [which hailed from UK] for the US market)

(c) Grey Goose
(i) Grey Goose (vodka)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_Goose_(vodka)
(originally founded by Sidney Frank [1919-2006; American] before its 2004 sale to Bacardi)
(ii) For grey goose the bird, see Anser (bird)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anser_(bird)
(genus)

(d) "Mr Matus refers to an infamous blind taste test of nearly two-dozen high-end vodkas conducted by the New York Times in 2005. The test's organizer, perhaps a bit mischievously, slipped in a bottle of low-rent Smirnoff among the pricey, top-shelf contenders. It won in a walk.”

low-rent (adj; First Known Use 1957): “low in character, cost, or prestige <low–rent thugs> <a low–rent movie> <a low–rent literary form>”
www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/low-rent
(e) "'Ketel One on the rocks' * * * Bartender friends tell me it's not uncommon for someone to order 'a Grey Goose and Ketel One,' not aware that he (and it is always he) has just ordered a drink of two vodkas.”

Ketel One
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketel_One
(a liquor brand of the Nolet Distillery in Schiedam, the Netherlands)

(f) “‘Vodka’ is at its best when Mr. Matus is visiting distilleries, as when he spends some time jawing with Tito Beveridge, maker of Tito's Handmade Vodka in Austin, Texas.”
(i) The surname Tito is “from the Latin personal name Titus, which was borne by a disciple of St. Paul who became bishop of Crete.”
(ii) jaw (vi): “to talk especially abusively, indignantly, or long-windedly <jawing with the referee>”
www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jaw

(g) "'Vodka is America's spirit,' says Maura McGinn, the global head of spirits for Campari America, the owners of Skyy Vodka. And by the end of 'Vodka,' it's hard to disagree—not just in the sales figures but also in its conquests.”

SKYY Spirits
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SKYY_Spirits
(an American spirits maker; launched in 1992 and founded by Maurice Kanbar in San Francisco)
(h) There is no need to read the rest.
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