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Vodka

Unquestionably a supremely popular spirit, Vodka is enjoyed around the globe thanks to its incredible versatility and, surprisingly, even its variation of flavour. Whilst typically enjoyed in the West as a means of adding spirit to mixed drinks, thanks to the superb quality and attention-to-detail found in craft Vodkas produced around the world, flavoursome premium Vodka is really burgeoning on the drinks scene.

As with anything universally popular, the origins of Vodka are hotly disputed, though most agree that its beginnings lie either in Poland or Russia. Ancient records date Vodka production in Russia centuries ago, with a number of early pharmaceutical lists referencing the “vodka of bread wine”. The earliest recorded use of the term “Vodka” was in 1405, in a set of Polish court documents in which it was placed alongside medicines and cosmetics.

In Eastern Europe and the Nordic countries, Vodka is traditionally consumed neat, differing from the Western world where it is usually mixed. The word itself derives from the Slavic “voda”, meaning water, etymologically linking the term with whisky (which comes from the Gaelic “uisge beatha”, the Scandinavian term Akvavit from the Latin “aqua vitae” and French “eau-de-vie” - all meaning water of life). It seems that a great number of spirits from around the world were once thought to be elixirs of life, containing mystical properties. Prior to the 1950s, Vodka was very rarely drunk outside of Europe, but thanks to its easily mixed flavour profile (and appearance), by 1975 sales of Vodka in America had surpassed those of bourbon.

Plain Vodka

Often fairly neutral in flavour, many commercial Vodkas can be mixed with pretty much anything. This is often due to numerous distillations and filtrations which popular vodkas (such as Smirnoff or Russian Standard) undergo, with advertising campaigns regularly flaunting a particular Vodka as being the “purest”.

Here at Master of Malt, however, we like our Vodka to be complex and bursting with flavour, and Vodka really can do both. It all begins with the base ingredient.

Poland, one of the motherlands of Vodka, tends to use either rye or potatoes. Popular rye vodkas include Belvedere or Wyborowa, and are notable for their bread-like sweetness and hints of spice. Potato vodkas on the other hand (brands such as Luksusowa, Chopin, or the English brand, Chase) tend to have a creamy, buttery, grainy character.

Scandinavian and Russian vodkas tend to be distilled from cereal grains such as wheat or barley. Sweden’s Absolut, for example, is a wheat vodka with a soft aniseed-like flavour with a little spice. For barley vodka, Finlandia, produced in Finland, offers nutty flavours and lasting spice.

For something completely different, France’s Ciroc is actually made of grapes, and is a rounded, fruity spirit.

Flavoured Vodka

Nowadays, the use of quality flavouring ingredients such as fruit and spice result in a variety of fine flavoured vodkas which allow for numerous fascinating and delicious mixed drinks.

For splendid examples of fruit-flavoured vodkas, try Davna Cherry Vodka or some of the fruity spirits in the English Vodka Company’s range.

For spicy vodka, Absolut Peppar works nicely in cocktails, or, if you’re feeling truly brave, have a sip of the exceedingly hot Naga Chilli Vodkas from The ‘Hot Enough’ Vodka Company.

Vodka

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Absolut Elyx 40%
(70cl, 40%)
Single estate vodka - You don't hear that phrase every day, do you? Well, here is the Absolut Elyx, a single estate vodka made with wheat taken exclusively from an estate in Råbelöf, whom have been...  More info
$59.56
Limited edition Gooseberry Vodka from Chase in Herefordshire, made with their stunning potato-based vodka and locally grown gooseberries! Vibrantly fruity with a hint of tartness, the Chase Gooseberry...  More info
$69.30
Made with their artisan vodka, the English Vodka Company pops a handful of freshly picked and washed raspberries into the bottle, and voilà! Raspberry Vodka! Simple, fruity and perfect on a warm...  More info
$57.87
Made with six-row Finnish barley and glacier water, Finlandia vodka is like drinking a piece of Finland itself (except, you know, in vodka form). This is an expression flavoured with blackcurrants...  More info
$39.26
Back in the 1980s, people thought the future would be full of stainless steel. By the 2000s, everything on this planet would be covered in gleaming silver (or, if you watched Tron too many times...  More info
$120.81
Kremlyovskaya Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Kremlyovskaya is a premium Russian vodka, triple distilled. This is known as the "toast of new Russia".  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$38.31
Mazowiecka Zytnia
(70cl, 40%)
Mazowiecka Zytnia is a rye vodka, the rye comes from Mazovia in east-central Poland.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (2.0/5)
$33.78
Smirnoff Red Vodka 35cl
(35cl, 37.50%)
A half bottle of Smirnoff Red. Three times distilled and ten times filtered for greater purity.  More info
$17.11
Eristoff Vodka 1.5l
(150cl, 37.50%)
A 1.5 litre bottle of Eristoff vodka, a triple distilled vodka named for Prince Eristoff of Georgia in 1806.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$64.80
Square One Vodka
(75cl, 40%)
An American vodka, and the only 100% American rye vodka on the mountains. Square One is produced in Idaho, and is diluted with water from deep aquifers at the base of the Teton Mountains.  More info
$48.57
A 1.5 litre version of Kalinska Imperial vodka. This is a cheap and cheerful mixer distilled from molasses.  More info
$48.98
Kalinska Imperial Vodka
(70cl, 37.50%)
Kalinska Imperial is an English vodka distilled from molasses. It has a distinctive flavour, and is intended as a mixer.  More info
$36.29
Zorza Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Premium Vodka - excellent on the rocks, or sipped neat.  More info
$58.39
Produced in America by the Square One company, this is an extraordinary flavoured vodka made with the pure essences of four different varieties of basil: Genovese, Thai, Lemon and Sweet. It's also...  More info
$51.93
Beluga Goldline
(70cl, 40%)
While regular Beluga Vodka is filtered 3 times, the Russian distillers go the extra mile with Beluga Goldline and filter it 5 times! Beluga Goldline also comes with a wax-sealed bottle and a hammer...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$183.54
Reyka Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Reyka is an Icelandic vodka, distilled from wheat and barley. It is also the world's first "green" vodka, it being made from glacial water and distilled using sustainable energy from geothermal heat.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
Made with real gold flakes and contained in a gorgeous bottle that's meant to look like the peak of an alpine mountain, Studer Swiss Gold Vodka is absolutely beautiful. It's the sort of thing you...  More info
$102.54
Mamont Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
This is the first batch of Mamont - a 5 times distilled Siberian vodka, filtered through Siberian rock. There are just 6,000 cases in the world, and the bottle is shaped to look like a mammoth's tusk.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$46.98
The 5th batch of Chase Rhubarb Vodka, made by adding rhubarb for the final distillation and macerating it in the final distillate to give it a wonderful pink colour.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$72.65
Chopin Potato Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Potato vodka is the secret of a good Vesper Martini - James Bond's own concoction. Chopin is four times distilled from Polish potatoes and named for Frederic Chopin.  More info
$62.97
Thunder Toffee Vodka
(70cl, 29.90%)
Thunder is made from triple distilled grain vodka and completely natural toffee syrup - nothing artificial in here.

It's best served cold as a shot over ice or perhaps an experimental cocktail...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$33.71
Karlssons Gold
(70cl, 40%)
This was created by Börje Karlsson, the Master Swedish Blender who came up with Absolut vodka's unique recipe. This particular vodka is distilled from new potatoes and, unusually for vodka, is only...  More info
$53.09
This English vodka is flavoured by infusing and also re-distilling the vodka with Colombian coffee beans to create a vodka with a distinct coffee aroma and flavour.  More info
$48.89
Produced in Georgia by the renowned Eristoff company, Golden Caramel is a superb flavoured vodka made with caramel and a hint of vanilla. It can be enjoyed neat, or in a variety of cocktails.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$28.39
English Spirit Vodka
(70cl, 37.50%)
This very small batch vodka is made in Cambridgeshire by the the chaps at the English Vodka Company. Their still, named Fanny, is dinky, just 200 litres, and this allows the distillers to closely...  More info
$41.95

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ATOM Supplies Ltd trading as Master of Malt. Registered office: North House, 198 High Street, Tonbridge, TN9 1BE. Registered in England & Wales. Company number 3193057, VAT number GB 662241553.