Cask strength whisk(e)ys are great - however you need to understand them and to use them correctly.
Like the other commenters I make big differences in Scotch and American Whiskey. Scotches are showing just more their true nature - and most of the time CS malts are very special whiskies. However you need to add water - and more than the drop of water, you usually add to malts.
American Whiskies [Bourbons and Ryes] are great at higher strengths. If maybe not cask strength but higher strengths like 50% abv they are great on the rocks. Ice is diluting whiskey anyway and I usually feel, that a 40% or 43% whiskey is a let down. To have a stronger product from the beginning, will result in a much more concentrated [and I don't talk about strength - I talk about flavor] character.
This seems a bit like: hipsters hate hipsters...
I think food blogs are great, because you don't have to follow them. There is a wide variety. You don't like the style of one blogger - read another blog - you don't like any blog - so don't read any!
For the recipes, I can't really follow you - there are so many recipe databases in the web, which just feature a simple recipe or a very short introduction... you might have missed them out?
I think it is definitely a topic of live and let live...
The thread is quite old - but now we know maybe a bit more [with all this Heston Blumenthal in youtube :))
Cornstarch - I don't see that cornstarch is tenderizing the meat. Yeah, it will be a protective layer, which prevents, the chicken to overcook - but after all it is starch, which doesn't really change the structure of the meat.
Now bicarbonate of soda is very interesting. It is alkaline. Not sure about it, but the same as acid, it could actually change the fibers in the meat - strong alkaline solutions can do this - why not a bit weaker solution.
Marinating: I think most Chinese recipes are marinated. Marinating in soya sauce is analogue to brining [which is usually in a salty solution = soy marinade]. It not only flavors the meat, but also locks the water inside. This would actually lead to tender chicken.
Ginger is another tenderizer [especially known in Indo-Asia] - it has enzymes which breaks down meat.
And finally there is alcohol, which also breaks down meat. In Chinese cooking it is usually Shaoxin cooking wine.
I guess in a Chinese cooking it is the combination of the several elements. Often a marinate includes shaoxin, soya sauce, ginger and sometimes even citrus. No wonder, that the meat will be quite tender...
It might be a bit late... but just for those who found this thread late as me....
Vodka is a marketing spirit. So it is the marketing you'll swallow and not actually the real spirit.
it doesn't make sense, to break your mind very much, about the vodka taste. Think about more about the image.
The easiest thing, what you can do is, to grab a bottle of Smirnoff black - which is the company / brand / target group as normal Smirnoff, but is just a bit more premium [they say].
Definitely don't go for Cîroc, Zyr etc. - something "old fashioned" but imported which could work is Ketel One...