Good Vodka To Buy
Vodka is celebrated as the perfect mixer, often used to give standard drinks a little more kick. A measure of vodka in your cola or ginger ale, for example, is the ground floor on the elevator to discovering an entire skyscraper of vodka cocktails.
good vodka to buy
However, vodka is no longer just about simply adding alcohol to your apple juice, as producers look at adding character and flavour to their spirit, from the base product to the distillation method. The result is a new order of flavoursome vodkas that work as well in a naked martini as they do in a Moscow mule. To call vodka a flavourless spirit is now to do it a disservice: the flavours may be delicate, but these intricacies and the distinctions between them are to be celebrated.
Brendan Hodrien is a lifestyle writer who specialises in drinks reviews. He has written drinks round ups for a variety of publications, including The Independent, i and the Evening Standard, often specialising in whisky reviews. Here, he has picked the best vodkas, from big names such as Absolut, Chase and Ciroc, to interesting small producers and vintage bottles.
Inevitably, Ciroc was going to make this list. The French titan is unusual in that it's a vodka made from grapes as opposed to a grain. French grapes are made into a wine which is then five-times distilled to produce the vodka, which rose to superstar vodka fame when it was celebrated by music mogul Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs. Despite being made from grapes, Ciroc is known for its subtle citrus finish, at once crisp and clean. This is one to be served as an uber cold shot.
At least 3kg of potatoes go into making each bottle of Portobello Road vodka. This particular expression from the distillery, famed for its award-winning gin, involves steeping Colombian coffee beans in vodka-filled coffee pot stills for 24 hours before the liquid is then redistilled. The end result is a vodka with that morning coffee aroma, a scent which is carried through to a creamily smooth palate. This is a vodka crying out to be made into an espresso martini.
Produced in a small craft distillery at Mullion in Cornwall, Curio has explored the idea of flavouring its spirits using some fairly unconventional flavours: cardamom, samphire and also Peruvian cocoa nibs, which bring a powerful, earthy, chocolatey note to the vodka. The distillery has really bucked the trend of flavoured spirits, which has now begun to shake off its murky past of pungent shot glasses and lurid colours. This vodka makes for a very unusual, but quality base for an espresso martini.
Not all vodka comes from mainland Europe and this smoked edition, made in Hereford, is enhanced by delicate notes from ex-Scottish whisky casks from the island of Islay. It has a slight caramel colour to it, taken from the oak barrels in which it has laid slumbering for a number of months, resulting in a taste more akin to a mezcal than a vodka.
The chaps at Sipsmith set up their small operation in urban West London in 2009 to distill in traditional copper pot stills: the first people to do so in nearly two centuries in London. Another small team making a range of spirits, their now-famous gin is highly acclaimed, and so is their vodka. Distilled using their 300 litre still named Prudence, it is an English rose of a vodka.
Just what vodka is is as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Simply, it is a mixture of ethanol and water, a neutral spirit. When you look under the hood, vodka is plenty more: it is characterised by its base ingredients, it's the base of myriad popular liqueurs. To understand the complexities of vodka, it's essential to understand how this shottable, mixable and sippable spirit is made.
How you want to enjoy your vodka depends on the evening you want to have. Tonic paired with a citrus-hued vodka will make an incredibly refreshing drink. Higher purity vodkas, ones which have been distilled a number of times, are crisp, clean and enjoyable over ice or served straight from the freezer. The bow-tied elephant in the room is the Martini (shaken, not stirred), and here it is open season; if you prefer a creamier character, then deploy a potato vodka. If you want something more peppery for your sophisticated, serve then turn to a rye-based spirit.
We taste tested vodkas in a variety of ways: served neat and from the freezer, with tonic and, inevitably, in an array of cocktails. We were looking for smoothness (at the lesser end of the spectrum the spirit can taste like just that: raw alcohol diluted with a spot of water) and a distinct flavour profile, a character which would make you choose one vodka over another.
Looking for the best vodka for a Martini or the best addition to a Bloody Mary? Simply grab the additional ingredients, hunt down the perfect glass, and read on for the best vodka to pair it with.
For its price, Svedka is one of the best vodkas available. You can find the full Svedka price list in our review of the brand. You should also take a look at our review of New Amsterdam vodka if you want another great value bottle.
Named after the most expensive caviar in the world, it makes sense that Beluga offers top-quality vodka, too. The brand produces its vodka in western Siberia, Russia, using artesian water for the ultimate authentic taste.
Once distilled, Beluga adds honey, milk thistle, and oat to give flavoring before bottling its famous spirit. This super-premium vodka is impressively pure and smooth, with notes of vanilla, sage, white pepper, and cream.
As a brand, Hangar 1 likes to focus on attention to detail during every part of its distillation process. This small-batch vodka is produced in an old aircraft hanger near San Francisco in small Holstein Pot Stills and is a must-try for any vodka lover.
Ciroc uses grapes grown high in the Gaillac region of France and distills its vodka five times before bottling. It uses a cold fermentation process to ensure the best flavors and offers a refreshingly different and excellently crisp taste.
With its beautiful packaging and incredibly smooth content, Belvedere vodka is a top-shelf brand that should be enjoyed sparingly. Check our updated Belvedere Vodka price list by bottles to learn more about the brand.
Filtered seven times and bottled without any additives, Crystal Head deserves its position as an eye-catching vodka on the top shelf. See all the Crystal Head bottle designs in our review of the vodka brand.
Spirytus is often used to add to homemade fruit and herbal liqueurs or vodkas and to desserts. Its high alcohol base means that Spirytus certainly comes with a bite and should not be drunk without being heavily diluted first.
There are plenty of popular vodka-based cocktails to enjoy. Some common favorites are Cosmopolitan, Vodka Martini, Bloody Mary, Gimlet, The Moscow Mule, and White Russian. Or, keep it simple in a highball glass with a Vodka Soda or Vodka Tonic.
Yes, pure distilled vodka (and other distilled spirits like brandy, tequila, rum, whiskey, and gin) is theoretically considered gluten-free, even if made with glutenous grains such as wheat, barley, or rye.
The second most popular vodka in the world, Absolut is sold in 126 countries and has made a name for itself as a premium vodka without a premium price tag. Absolut is produced using only natural ingredients and is made from 100 percent Swedish wheat. The brand is known for its boldness and creativity, from its unusual-shaped bottle to its out-there marketing campaigns and variety of flavored bottles. It launched in New York in 1979 and has stuck to the same recipe throughout its entire production period. Absolut maintains its status as a unique vodka with cool and calm Scandinavian roots.
Owned by renowned designer Leon Verres, Billionaire Vodka is the most expensive vodka brand in the world. As well as being produced with an original Russian recipe, the spirit is filtered with diamonds. It comes decorated with almost two thousand diamonds set in gold and, despite the price tag, is sold out worldwide.
Hong Kong-based Dutch company Royal Dragon released The Eye of the Dragon with a determination to make it spectacular inside and out. This vodka is one of the smoothest on the market, thanks to its distillation process, and uses charcoal to distill the spirit five times. Outside, the bottle is covered with 50-carat intense yellow jewels with around 15,000 diamonds weighing 4.5 pounds (2 kilograms) of solid 18-karat gold. The dragon on top of the bottle is also studded with millions worth of diamonds.
Charcoal Filtered: Filtering with charcoal is thought to remove off-flavors in vodka after the distilling process before the spirit is bottled and sold. This helps to produce a more premium flavor with smoother notes.
When we put together this guide of the best vodka brands, we looked at all of the new vodka brands that have joined the market in recent years as well as those that have kept their title of success for a longer period of time. We looked at the process used for distilling the spirit, the number of times each bottle was distilled as well as any unique factors included during this process.
We took into account the quality of the grain, potato, or other base product used by each vodka brand as well as its sustainability and whether or not the alcohol was produced locally. Then, we factored in the price of each bottle, its purpose and versatility, and its range of flavors and aromas.
While the great debate over who really invented vodka (the Polish or the Russians) rages on, this Polish entry certainly deserves a spot in your freezer. Crafted from Dankowskie Gold rye and quadruple distilled, this ultra-premium vodka is the definition of the word "smooth."
Founded in Russia in 1864, this vodka remains the top world's top seller for its easy-drinking mouthfeel and neutral flavor profile (it's triple distilled and filtered ten times) that lets it pair effortlessly in any cocktail. If you're looking for a do-it-all vodka that will never let you down, this bottle can't be beat. 041b061a72