Keeping vodka in the freezer is one of those things everyone somehow just ‘knows’ - its high alcohol content means it won’t freeze, and you’ve got a ready-chilled supply of lovely grain-based drink at all times, ready for whatever fate awaits it, be that James Bond-y or Drunken Bakers-esque. (Plus that’s where the mum in The O.C. kept her secret supply of sippin’ vodka when she fell off the wagon, and if it’s good enough for The O.C. - the first season of which is literally unimprovable television - it’s good enough for you, right?)
But no! You shouldn’t actually be keeping vodka in the freezer at all, unless you’re drinking quite rough vodka (which, well, we’ve all done).
François Thibault, the Maître de Chai (cellar master) who developed the recipe for Grey Goose using the skills he’d developed working with cognac, says keeping a premium vodka like Grey Goose in the freezer does it a disservice.
He told Business Insider that drinking it that cold would mask the subtle flavours of the spirit, obscuring the more sophisticated flavours and aromas behind a wall of cold. He said that between 0° and 4° Celcius was better for the vodka and the drinker. (For reference, most freezers are kept at about -18°C, while most fridges are kept at around 4°C.)
If you’re drinking the dodgy stuff your pal Untrustworthy Timothy picked up at a boot sale, though, freeze away. The same thing that removes the subtle, exquisite flavours of a high-end vodka like Grey Goose thankfully also helps mask the aggressive, nasty, burning, flavours of Underpantsov, the flavours that taste of regret and ugliness, the ones that make you wonder, while shuddering, how a drink can taste like divorce.
Any vodka drank at room temperature is likely to be rough as houses (or, in Thibault’s word, “a little aggressive”), even high-end stuff. Stirring it through ice for twenty seconds and then straining it is what Thibault suggests, to get both the optimum temperature and an ever-so-slight dilution.
Happy drinking! Let’s be best friends!