National Vodka Day?! Yep. Who knew? It’s celebrated October 4, and since it falls on a Friday this year I guess that gives even more reason to raise a glass to the occasion! I’m not sure who determines these “days” or “months” but as a food and drinks editor, I receive many press releases about these occasions. October is also popcorn month, November is Sweet Potato Awareness Month, and in December we celebrate pears, to name a few. Vodka Day has to share the limelight—October 4 is also National Taco Day! Should that maybe fall at the same time as Margarita Day? Earlier this year I celebrated National Margarita Day in February. Well, a vodka cocktail can pair just as nicely with a taco.
While Wikipedia notes that Vodka Day has been celebrated on October 4 since at least 2009 in the United States, on the website devoted to the vodka “holiday” it notes the date “…seems well documented as National Vodka Day, we have not found the origins of why, but it works for us. No harm celebrating responsibly on other days as well.” Let’s drink to that!
What are you doing to celebrate? Perhaps you could start with the Rosemary Breeze cocktail by Kathy Casey. As a bar chef, Kathy has incorporated just about everything you can think of—from honeycomb to cucumbers to tropical fruit—into her cocktail creations, always using the kitchen as her inspiration. But her favorite accent to freshen up cocktails is herbs. In this recipe, which appeared in Drinks magazine, she added fresh rosemary for a sophisticated twist to the traditional Sea Breeze flavors of grapefruit and cranberry.
Here’s to National Vodka Day!
Makes 1 cocktail
2 lemon wedges
1 large fresh rosemary sprig
1 1/2 oz. ruby red grapefruit vodka
1/2 oz. cranberry juice
Garnish: fresh rosemary sprig
Place lemon wedges and rosemary in a cocktail shaker. Using a muddler or the back of a spoon, press down on lemons and rosemary a few times to release flavor and extract juice. Fill shaker with ice. Add grapefruit vodka and cranberry juice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a rosemary sprig.