As distasteful a drink as vodka is, when you have allergies that prevent you from drinking anything else then you must simply get used to it. Come to love it almost. Sometimes I wonder whether I was Russian in a past life because the only alcohol my allergies permit me to imbibe is vodka, because it is grain-based not fruit or sugar-based. I can’t even drink it with juice: if I’m to have a drink then I have to take vodka straight, otherwise I will get horrific allergic reactions.
So, having become something of a vodka connoisseur, I have to say that Absolut Vodka is among the best vodka I have ever tasted. There is a Lithuanian vodka, a local specialty, which was actually the best, but since that is not available anywhere but Lithuania, I will happily settle for the second best. I’ve tried Grey Goose, not impressed. Smirnoff = glorified rubbing alcohol. Stoli, Skyy, Finlandia, not bad. But not great either. Of all the readily available vodkas, Absolut is my favorite. Of course it has that medicinal smell; what vodka doesn’t? And of course, it is quite strong coming in at 40 proof. But there is something I love about the taste of Absolut, or maybe it is just that I have become the most accustomed to drinking it, over other brands. Maybe acculturation is the key to loving vodka.
Another thing that I love about Absolut is their ridiculously clever advertisements. The creativity and the style adds to the drinking experience, because something of the creativity that goes into the marketing of the vodka I believe is indeed imbued into the alcohol itself. I won’t go so far as to say that Absolut is as magical a drink as Absinthe, but there is something unique about the Absolut Vodka experience.
Or, maybe I am just making the best of what my seriously limiting allergies allow me to consume. Certainly Absolut is making Istanbul just a little bit more bearable and in all honesty, I don’t know how I would be surviving in this horrible city without it.