The beverage with a thousand faces

The Toronto Star says we are living in the Age of Vodka:

“The entrenchment of vodka comes down to one part alcohol and one part advertising. The drink itself is not a complex spirit. To make it, you simply need a material that contains starch — anything like a grain, corn, carrot, potato or molasses. Essentially, the starch ferments, the resulting alcohol is distilled, then filtered. Lastly, water is mixed in, and the concoction is ready to drink — no aging required.

“As a drink, vodka’s outstanding feature is that it has none. Accordingly, companies hype their vodkas as either “the smoothest” or “the purest.” “No taste, no smell” went one Smirnoff campaign from the 1930s, back when the spirit was billed as “Smirnoff White Whiskey.”

“But with no distinguishing features, selling vodka becomes a bit of a trick. Marketing a product that tastes like nothing requires a certain amount of imagination, whereas if you have a product that tastes like something, you market whatever that something is.”

Just like selling sugar water … um, I mean cola.

(Link via Agenda.)