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I’m not much of a vodka drinker. Not now, anyway. Sure, if I’m in a part of the world where vodka is the drink, I’m happy to go shot-to-shot with my hosts until (inevitably) I’m utterly defeated.

But when I’m back here in the USA weeks or even months can go by without a drop of the stuff passing my lips. When it does, it’ll usually be in a Bloody Mary—in which case I will nine times out of ten be strapped into a middle seat at 39,000 feet and half mad from the anticipation stoked by the drinks trolley as it squeak-squeaks oh so fucking slowly down the aisle.

Not that there’s anything wrong with it. A shot of good vodka straight out of the freezer does something no other spirit can, and there are occasions its neutrality is just the thing you need to soften another flavor in a drink or entice one out of hiding. But in general, I’ll go for gin or rum (if it’s the kind with actual flavor) or rye whiskey or, well, almost anything else.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Author: By David Wondrich