Vodka is a distilled beverage composed primarily of water and ethanol, sometimes with traces of impurities and flavorings. Traditionally, vodka is made by the distillation of cereal grains or potatoes that have been fermented, though some modern brands use other substances, such as fruits or sugar.
Since the 1890s, the standard Polish, Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Czech vodkas are 40% alcohol by volume ABV (80 US proof), a percentage that is widely misattributed to Dmitri Mendeleev. The European Union has established a minimum of 37.5% ABV for any "European vodka" to be named as such. Products sold as "vodka" in the United States must have a minimum alcohol content of 40%. Even with these loose restrictions, most vodka sold contains 40% ABV. For homemade vodkas and distilled beverages referred to as "moonshine", see moonshine by country.
Vodka is traditionally drunk neat (not mixed with any water, ice, or other mixer), though it is often served chilled in the vodka belt countries (Belarus, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine). It is also commonly used in cocktails and mixed drinks, such as the vodka martini, Cosmopolitan, vodka tonic, Screwdriver, Greyhound, Black or White Russian, Moscow Mule, and Bloody Mary.
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