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Does filtering cheap vodka actually make it taste better?

After a recent viral TikTok trend claimed that filtering cheap vodka through a Brita makes it taste like water, Christian Smith asks: is there any method to the madness?

Does filtering cheap vodka make it taste better?
Credit: TikTok/ Sydneyguy

Bartender TikTok has already thrown up some truly inventive and insightful content in 2022. Who could forget one bartender’s hack for when customers complain that their drink is too weak? Or the time one TikTok user revealed their ingenious second use for a bar spoon?

Anyway, the latest trend on the booze-related corner of vide-sharing giant TikTok centres around vodka. Specifically, vodka that falls on the cheaper end of the spectrum, and how one might go about making it taste a little better.

And so we come to the – not ‘new’ per se but made famous by TikTok – notion of filtering vodka through a Brita.

In fact, the idea was the subject of a Mythbusters episode filmed all the way back in 2006. But does filtering cheap vodka actually make it taste better? And what is the science behind the trend?

TikTok user Elliott Norris garnered more than five million views on a video that showed himself and a friend putting the idea into practise. They were both shocked by the results. “It tastes like nothing,” Norris said, while his friend added, “It tastes like water”.

@callmebelly you brita get yourself a brita #lifehack #lofehacks #brita ♬ Famous piano songs for comedy and cooking programs – moshimo sound design

Basically, the theory is that a Brita filter will cut out any impurities found in the vodka, which could alter the taste, clarity and texture of the resulting liquid. It is very important to note, though, that filtering vodka will not lead to it making you less drunk or change the chemical composition of the drink. So please drink responsibly and exercise all usual caution, even if the vodka doesn’t taste quite the same as it did before passing through the filter.

It’s also worth noting that the filtering trend doesn’t appear to actually make the vodka taste better per se, rather it alters the taste and appears to take some of the stronger flavour elements away (another reason to exercise caution with how much you drink).

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