The name vodka derives from the russian deminuative for water. This alcoholic beverage is made from agriculturally fermented ethanol from grain or potatoes. The alcohol content in the EC has to be at least 37.5 percent by volume, the usual content is 40 percent, occasionally up to 56 percent. By rectification and/or filtration over charcoal the destillate is released from the congener substances as far as possible (only traces of methanol are remaining). Thus, beside ethanol, only small amounts of methanol are usually present. The main producing countries are Russia, Poland, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Danmark.
A polish speciality is Zubrowka, a vodka flavoured with bison grass in the bottle which results in a yellowish colour and a particular taste.
Vodka is drunken ice-cooled purely or on ice, however, it is a component of longdrinks and cocktails, like the famous Bloody Mary.