Traditionally in Russia, vodka is one of the most popular spirits. It has even become one of the nation’s symbols of identity. The history of vodka is long and old, started in a monastery where a monk tried to find the “water of life” after it was learned that grape wine could not be produced in a country as cold as Russia. So wheat and rye were distilled until the purest alcohol was obtained and it was named vodka. Due to the composition, which is basically just water and ethanol, vodka has been used for many cocktails as the base ingredient. Its flavorless and lack of smell characteristic is perfect to be mixed with all other beverages and liquids. One of the mixed drinks with vodka that we are about to discuss here is called the Blue Russian. What is it and does it have any benefits for our health?
Is Vodka Safe for Our Health?
Since vodka is the base spirit, which naturally takes the most part of a cocktail, it would be best to talk about the beneficial points of it first. High quality vodka is said to be safer for human’s body, since dyes and flavors are traditionally not used in its manufacture like how whiskey and cognac are made, for example. Experts say that in cognac you can find burnt sugar, fusel oils and aldehydes. In whiskey – dyes (sugar color) and flavor stabilizers. When produced massively, these spirits will end in poor quality. In addition, cognac and whiskey contain a lot of ethanol, which provokes rapid intoxication.
It would seem that in this regard, vodka is safer. However, in its manufacturing, some other deadly alcohols for humans (methanol) could be used; the taste and smell are not different from ethanol. Vodka that is falsified in this way will turn into a life-threatening liquid. But even vodka that is made in accordance and well manner with all the right rules does not allow classifying it as a form of alcohol that is absolutely harmless to the liver. The regular use of this alcoholic beverage, even in small quantities, inevitably leads to the development of alcohol dependence, alcoholic hepatitis and even cirrhosis of the liver. Therefore, it is best to buy alcohol in specialized stores, where the probability of a benign alcohol product is much higher.
What Are the Benefits of Vodka?
In the earlier time, vodka was used a lot of times as a medicine to cleanse the wounds and other anti-bacterial purposes. Beauty experts even use vodka to be applied to the skin. But how about when it is drunk and enters the blood stream? Despite all the scientific facts that show how alcohol can destroy the body, vodka actually has benefits for the body – if consumed accordingly.
1. If you drink 50 ml of vodka per day, then an alcoholic drink will only benefit the human blood vessels. It is proved that in small doses, vodka helps to increase the elasticity and firmness of blood vessels and capillaries.
2. Perhaps many of us have seen films when in the field people underwent some kind of quick surgery, the patient would be given an alcoholic drink first. Vodka provides an analgesic effect, as it accelerates blood circulation, inhibits the central nervous system, and relaxes blood vessels (temporarily).
3. If you drink vodka at an early stage of a cold, then it would prevent the cold from developing. There are many ways to prepare home-made “medicines”; particular effectiveness is noted in the combination of vodka with pepper, ginger root or natural honey.
Vodka-Based Cocktails in Many Colors
Every mixed drink that involves vodka is usually named “Russian” to give a quick info of the base spirit. There are a lot of cocktails under this name and, uniquely, in many colors too. Here are some of them:
- White Russian; made with vodka, coffee liqueur (usually Kahlua) and cream.
- Black Russian; vodka and coffee liqueur served on ice.
- Red Russian; vodka and red beverages (could be tomato or cranberry juice, cherry liqueur, or strawberry soda) served on ice.
- Green Russian; vodka, melon liqueur and cream.
How About the Blue One?
Basically, all the colors achieved in vodka-based cocktails come from the additional beverages. The basic and original recipe for Blue Russian drink is 1 part of vodka, 1 part of Blue Curacao and cream, served over ice. Blue Curacao is a liqueur flavored with dried peel of the Laraha citrus fruit grown on the Dutch island of Curacao – hence the name. Unfortunately, the blue color is added since the pure form is colorless. The alcohol volume in a bottle of Blue Curacao is around 15-40%.
If you are after a lighter version of Blue Russian, then you can use Monin Blue Curacao – a syrup that tastes like the liqueur but contains no alcohol. Another recipe calls for 2 parts of vodka, 1 part of Rose’s Blueberry, 1 part of lime soda and cream, which can be another lighter alternative of the cocktail.
So, come to the initial question, what is the benefit of Blue Russian Drink for our health? If you take only a glass of the cocktail, approximately you will get 1 oz of vodka which is around 30ml – referring to the points we have mentioned above, 50ml of vodka a day is actually good for your blood vessels. But, you might want to consider the sugar and cream involved in the drink, too. Not to mention that the color is actually an additive. The orange peel extract from the Blue Curacao itself is rich in vitamin, so is if you choose to use the lime juice syrup.