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Vodka: How a Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered America Hardcover – July 1, 2014
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"100 Million Years of Food" by Stephen Le
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“Make mine a double! I’ll be reading Vodka more than once, and I don’t understand how ‘Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless’ got into the subtitle of this vivid, pungent, and savory book.”
—P. J. O’Rourke
“Fantastic. Victorino Matus has written one of the most interesting books of the year. Vodka is a great story, and he tells it perfectly. I got so absorbed, I missed cocktail hour. Buy three copies.”
“An excellent book on a spirit remarkable for being unremarkable, Vodka is a brilliant social history, an incisive study of business and marketing, and a lot of fun to read.”
—Michael Ruhlman, New York Times–bestselling and James Beard– and IACP Award–winning author of The Soul of a Chef, The French Laundry Cookbook (with Thomas Keller), Charcuterie, and Ruhlman's Twenty.
“Vodka made me laugh, learn, think, and savor the journey. On every page, I thought: I want one now. Put this great book on its own shelf with a tall bottle of vodka next to it. You’ll love it.”
—Larry Miller, actor, comedian, and host of This Week with Larry Miller
“Matus’s book is anything but bland. He guides us through the history of how this colorless drink became the most popular tipple in America by mixing a cocktail of anthropological insight and reportorial legwork, dashed with a perfect measure of tongue-in-cheek wit.”
—Max Watman, author of Harvest and Chasing the White Dog
“With a business writer’s acumen, Victorino Matus carefully brings the cloudy world of the international vodka industry into focus. Both millionaire distillers and mom-and-pop operations invite him inside their world, where he explores super premiums, celebrity endorsements, the flavor craze, and the seamier side of the industry. Part history lesson and part marketing examination, Vodka will make you think twice the next time you look at a bottle of it.”
—Kevin C. Fitzpatrick, author of Under the Table
“Vodka comes alive in the hands of Victorino Matus, who blends historical background with pop culture and weaves together a cast of characters ranging from the czars of Russia and James Bond to Dan Aykroyd and P. Diddy. This book will please casual readers and cocktail geeks alike. Reading Vodka might not be as satisfying as drinking it—but it comes close!”
—Mark Spivak, author of Iconic Spirits and Moonshine Nation
“Matus casts his gimlet eye over a range of brands, from tiny craft distillers to industry giants, and recounts how they've found their place in the crowded vodka ecosystem…And by the end, it's hard to disagree—not just in the sales figures but also in its conquests. Haters will still say there's no craft in vodka, that it's an industrial product. But Mr. Matus convinced me there's true craft here…Vodka didn't conquer America; America conquered vodka.” – The Wall Street Journal
“The whole book is a tour de rires of the American vodka industry. Mr. Matus, with a feature reporter’s eye and a nice, light touch, shows us Vodka USA in all its glory...Literary merits aside, this is a beautiful book. It smells good, too…One can only hope more publishers follow this example.” – The Washington Times
“Vodka is one part intriguing history lesson, one part reporting, and one part percipient marketing study. Suffusing his book with an easy charm and engaging wit, Matus draws the reader in as he charts vodka’s origins and its rise to become America’s top-selling spirit.” --The Federalist
About the Author
More About the Author
Victorino is a graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, where he met his wife Kate. They and their two children live in Arlington, Virginia.
Aside from The Weekly Standard, he also blogs at www.vicmatus.com.
Top Customer Reviews
This book is a great read! The book takes you through the history of vodka and how the drink made its way to America from Russia. The book is fun, makes you thirsty for more , and makes you wanna try different brands of vodka even if it's not your normal drink. The writer gives you an inside look of the owners of Ketel One, Tito's , Grey Goose, Skyy, Crystal Head vodkas just to name a few, to the secrets of advertisement and how much money is made by these vodka companies. The book lets you know who is making the millions to billions. How this writer makes his way through the industry of Vodka is intriguing, and how he got the inside secrets to this industry and stories from the owners of the different brands is impressive. You Gotta read it to find out for yourself.
This history not only explored the origins of the liquor, but gave a timeline of the rise of vodka from a marginal product in the American market to one of the most requested spirits on the American market. Matus leads through the marketing triumphs that first brought a colorless and flavorless liquor to the public eye and pallet, not to mention to the top shelves of bars across the country.
Although an interesting feat of salesmanship, the book failed to keep me entertained for lengthily periods. I put it down many times, picking it up later to continue the saga. More informative than intriguing.
Matus tells his story with verve, wit, and a unique passion for food and drink. But you don't have to be a foodie or an alkie—sorry, mixologist—to read "Vodka." Business-minded teetotalers also have something to look forward to, since this is more than a history of drinking. It's a history of marketing. I am proud to display "Vodka" on my bar, and proud to call the author a friend. He better buy me a bottle of Smirnoff for this review.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A lovely book about my favorite spirit. It goes through it's history up to today! Great read!Published 2 months ago by Chad Joo
This is a fantastic book about the history of vodka wtitten in a fun, witty and engrossing way. Highly recommended.Published 17 months ago by Christine
I am glad I picked this book up! It was an entertaining read through the history of Vodka. I highly recommend it!Published 17 months ago by Todd Palladino
Great read! Vodka provides unique insights on how some great brands have been built in a category which blends legacy with innovation.Published 18 months ago by Dave Waluk
This is an outstanding book that meets beyond my expectation. You don't have to be a Vodka drinker (in fact I don't drink) to enjoy reading this book. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Dolores Lim