While Vodka is clear, its history is murky. Reference to the spirit was first made in Poland, but many countries have adopted the Russian pronunciation “voda” over the polish “woda.” Ka of vodka is the diminutive that completes the noun, translating to “little water” in both languages. Vodka is generally known to be a neutral spirit made from any fermentable sugar, however, there are some exceptions when it is made in other countries. Locally, the prevailing style in America (also known as the western style) is smooth and clean. Eastern style vodkas can have a fuller body, subtle character, and lasting finish. Vodka is distilled to 190 proof or higher, before being reduced to a bottling strength of around 80 proof or 40% abv (alcohol by volume). Vodka is often processed after distillation with charcoal filtering. This high proof distillation and subsequent filtration gives vodka its neutral flavor characteristic.