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Buy Vodka online or at our Newport, RI liquor store.

Vodka – vod·ka (noun) an alcoholic spirit of Russian origin made by distillation of rye, wheat, or potatoes (or pretty much anything)

Vodka is the most popular liquor in the United States and the Newport, RI market is no exception. At Bridge Liquors, we stock all sorts of vodkas from across the world. We carry most national brands like Smirnoff, Absolut, Belvedere, Ciroc, Chopin, Grey Goose, Ketel One, Skyy, Stolichnaya, and Tito’s. We also stock boutique and new entries to the market like Square One and Broken Shed, as well as local brands from Rhode Island and Massachusetts like Sons of Liberty, Keel and Triple 8.

Order Online For Pickup, Local Delivery Or Have It Shipped To You

How is it made?

First, the ingredients:

Vegetables or grains

Because it is a neutral spirit, devoid of color and odor, vodka can be distilled from virtually any fermentable ingredients. Originally, it was made from potatoes. Although some eastern European vodkas are still made from potatoes and corn, most of the high quality imports and all vodka made in the United States are distilled from cereal grains, such as wheat. Distillers either purchase the grain from suppliers, or grow it in company-owned fields.

Water

Water is added at the end of the distillation process to decrease the alcohol content. This is either purchased from outside suppliers or brought in from company-owned wells.

Malt meal

Because vegetables and grains contain starches rather than sugars, an active ingredient must be added to the mash to facilitate the conversion of starch to sugar. These particular converted sugars, maltose, and dextrin respond most effectively to the enzyme diastase that is found in malt. Therefore, malt grains are soaked in water and allowed to germinate. Then, they are coarsely ground into a meal and added during the mash process.

Yeast

A microscopic single-celled fungus, yeast contains enzymes that allow food cells to extract oxygen from starches or sugars, producing alcohol. In the manufacturing of alcoholic beverages, the yeast species Sacchasomyces cereviseal is used. It is purchased from outside suppliers.

Welcome to the process:

Mash preparation

  • 1 The grain or vegetables are loaded into an automatic mash tub. Much like a washing machine, the tub is fitted with agitators that break down the grain as the tub rotates. A ground malt meal is added to promote the conversion of starches to sugar.

Sterilization and inoculation

  • 2 Preventing the growth of bacteria is very important in the manufacture of distilled spirits. First, the mash is sterilized by heating it to the boiling point. Then, it is injected with lactic-acid bacteria to raise the acidity level needed for fermentation. When the desired acidity level is reached, the mash is inoculated once again.

Fermentation

  • 3 The mash is poured into large stainless-steel vats. Yeast is added and the vats are closed. Over the next two to four days, enzymes in the yeast convert the sugars in the mash to ethyl alcohol.

Distillation and rectification

  • 4 The liquid ethyl alcohol is pumped to stills, stainless steel columns made up of vaporization chambers stacked on top of each other. The alcohol is continuously cycled up and down, and heated with steam, until the vapors are released and condensed. This process also removes impurities. The vapors rise into the upper chambers (still heads) where they are concentrated. The extracted materials flow into the lower chambers and are discarded. Some of the grain residue may be sold as livestock feed.

Water added

  • 5 The concentrated vapors, or fine spirits, contain 95-100% alcohol. This translates to 190 proof. In order to make it drinkable, water is added to the spirits to decrease the alcohol percentage to 40, and the proof to 80.

Bottling

  • 6 Alcoholic beverages are stored in glass bottles because glass is non-reactive. Other receptacles, such as plastic, would cause a chemical change in the beverage. The bottling procedure is highly mechanized as the bottles are cleaned, filled, capped, sealed, labeled, and loaded into cartons. This can be done at rates as high as 400 bottles per minute.

When did vodka become popular?

It wasn’t until the 1930s that vodka was introduced to the United States by a member of the Smirnov family, owners of Russia’s largest distillery until the Revolution. It was slow going with little interest in the liquor in the 1930s. There was growth through the 1940s, but in the 1950s things turned around. A Hollywood bar called the Cock ‘n Bull introduced a cocktail called the Moscow Mule and the rest, they say, is history. Production went from 40,000 cases in 1950 to over a million in 1954.

As opposed to Eastern Europe, where the spirit is usually drunk neat, its popularity in the United States is from its use as a cocktail base.