Awhile back, Slashdot had a link to this story about an excellent science experiment. Of course, the best science experiments involve some kind of vice, and preferably some way to save money, so a story about turning cheap-ass Vodka into primo Vodka using a Brita filter ranks very highly. Important science like this must be replicated by multiple groups of scienticians to prove its veracity.

Step 1: Acquire the Ingrediants

The cheapest vodka we could find, at $5.65 for .75l

Belvedere – a confirmed primo vodka, at $30.99 for .75l

The Control – a deliciously crisp water filtered from a municipal source

Every science experiment needs a control of some kind, and I figured anyone who couldn’t tell the water from the vodka couldn’t be trusted anyway.

Step 1b: Qualify the ingredients

The cheap-ass vodka was not tasty

Just so we could prove the filtering had some effect, we made sure the nasty vodka was nasty. It was.

Step 2: Perform the experiment

The equipment

I took the filter from the Brita pitcher and shook it out to get rid of as much water as possible, and rinsed the stray carbon flecks from the pitcher.

The process

Filtering even just .75l takes a long time, and I’m impatient, so I did it while I was eating the delicious dinner my mom had made. She had made a significant investment in the experiment (she bought the Belvedere), so she had a vested interest in its outcome. The Belvedere said it was distilled four times, so I “distilled” the cheap-ass vodka four times in the Brita. Just to make things fair. Plus, on the “Oh My God It Burns!” site, they said their results flattened out at about five filterings, and – like I said – I’m impatient.

More equipment

We used a “sterilized” Coke cup to rotate the vodka from the bottom to the top of the Brita pitcher. I “sterilized” it with some tap water so as not to affect the taste of the science vodka. The Coke cup later doubled as a “vodka remover” so the Brita filter could go on providing crisp drinking water from a quality municipal source.

The measuring cup helped get the science vodka back into its original shatter-proof (to be read: plastic) bottle for chilling without too much spillage.

The wine glass wasn’t really part of the experiment, but what else are you going to do while you’re waiting for the vodka to chill?

Step 3: Conduct the experiment

I have to say, I was pretty worried about the experiment at this point. I’m not an experienced scientician, so I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my results, and the top of the Brita smelled like condensed rubbing alcohol. Not tasty!

The Experiment

Two hours later, the control water, the science vodka, and the primo vodka were all equally chilled. I poured each into one of three identical letters marked only with scientistic letters written on scraps from an envelope in the trash.

I had three unpaid volunteers test the glasses without prior knowledge of which was in each. They all correctly identified the first glass as water, so the scientistic control works! That’s some science for you.

That’s some tasty, smooth vodka!

Everyone liked the second glass. There was no harsh smell, and no harsh taste. That was some primo vodka!

Gah! It Burns!

The third glass was rank, compared to the second. It stang your eyes and smacked your nose, and made you cough when you drank it. That was some cheap-ass vodka!

Ha-ha! No, that was the Belvedere! The good vodka. Everybody guessed wrong!


Step 4: Analyze the results.

After I cleaned up the experiment, I asked my mom if I should throw the quad-filtered cheap-ass vodka away. “No way!” she said. “That’s some tasty vodka!” (Note: I’m paraphrasing.)

Later, we wondered what had been filtered out of the cheap-ass vodka. I decided it was the skank, but my mom asked what the skank was, exactly. That’s a good question.

I wonder if maybe some of the alcohol was filtered out – if now we have 40-proof vodka instead of 80, and that’s what makes it so smooth. We decided to conduct another experiment later (i.e. drink the vodka) to see if it had the same effects as the primo vodka, in addition to a delicious taste.

The important thing, though, is that cheap-ass vodka costs $5.65, and a Brita filter costs $14.99, if you buy it at full-price. That’s $20.64, already $10.35 cheaper than the primo vodka! But you should be able to “distill” about 50 bottles of cheap vodka with one filter, so the actual cost is probably something like $6.00 and 45 minutes of your time per bottle. That’s some tasty, cheap vodka!

Thanks to my Mom for her dramatic re-enactments!