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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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The Hot Enough Vodka Co
Origin Gin
Ardbeg Whisky Distillery
Tasting Sets
Batshit Mental Ideas
Maple Whiskey Liqueur
A triple distilled vodka, made from apples which are distilled in a pot still. To make just one bottle they use 300 apples! General John Stark came up with New Hampshire's motto: "Live free or die".  More info
$59.00
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
$35.07
Zorza Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Premium Vodka - excellent on the rocks, or sipped neat.  More info
$56.42
Absolutely stunning looking vintage vodka from Kauffman. This is distilled from the finest wheat from a single harvest. It's distilled an extraordinary 14 times before two filtrations; one through...  More info
$207.00
Kept in a bottle that looks like a prototype of the Gherkin, this Kauffman Soft Private Collection has been distilled 14 times before being filtered twice, once through birch coal and then again...  More info
$114.78
Balkan 176° Vodka
(70cl, 88%)
The strongest vodka we have ever come across, Balkan 176 comes in a bottle with 13 different health warnings (including one in Braille), mainly because it's at 88% abv. It is produced in Serbia, and...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$66.56
Distilling his vodka a whopping 14 times and filtering it twice was Dr. Kauffman's way to fulfil his aspirations of making a truly excellent spirit. This edition is titled Hard because it's more...  More info
$114.78
Blavod was created with the thought that you can choose to have your coffee either white or black, why should the same not apply to vodka? The result is this black vodka, distilled from molasses. The...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$31.02
Heavy Water Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
An ultra-premium vodka from Sweden, distilled from wheat and deep artisan well water. Heavy Water is bottled in heavy French glass and offers up a wonderful flavour.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$45.97
Purity Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
An organic vodka from Sweden, made from wheat and barley. It is made in a pot still, in very small batches and, unusually for a vodka, comes unfiltered! It is very fruity and thick, with hints of...  More info
$65.75
Chase Rhubarb Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Sweet, fruity Rhubarb Vodka from Chase in Hereford, now with a fancy bottle to match the rest of the Chase Vodka range. They make this gorgeous stuff by cooking the rhubarb, marinading it in their...  More info
$54.49
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
$99.08
A jeroboam (three litres) of this iconic quadruple-distilled Polish vodka, and if that wasn't enough if you press a button on the base of this massive bottle it illuminates allowing this vodka to...  More info
$257.80
A tasty rose petal flavoured Polish vodka, Lanique vodka is made using Attar of Rose, which, pound for pound, is worth more than gold! They make this to a 150 year old recipe, and the result tastes a...  More info
$40.45
Belvedere Vodka 6l
(600cl, 40%)
A massive 6 litre bottle of the beautiful Polish vodka, Belvedere, four times distilled from Polish rye. Very handsome, and perfect for any big parties! For scale purposes, we've included Brandy, the...  More info
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)
$70.21
Pincer Vodka
(70cl, 38%)
A nicely packaged vodka, Pincer is infused with the flavours of Wild Elderflower, and Milk Thistle. The result is a creamy, herbal vodka, made with Scottish mountain water. The spirit has been diluted...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$38.26
A wonderful vodka from Blackwoods, this is triple distilled over Nordic Birch charcoal and is also the first vodka ever to be "ice-filtered". It's how they distil it - ice cold, no mistakes. This...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$31.73
A really rather delectable wheat vodka from Adnams Brewery, this stuff is made by Fergus Fitzgerald, the master brewer, who makes a beer wash from East Anglian malted barley, wheat and oats. These are...  More info
$42.53
A limited edition salted caramel flavour bottling of Element 29, a British wheat vodka made with no filtration, only multiple distillations allowing its unique natural purity to shine through. The...  More info
$59.00
Chase Vodka 1l
(100cl, 40%)
A litre bottle of potato vodka from Chase, who also make Tyrell's crisps. Very creamy with a wonderful mouth feel. Great in a Vodka Martini.  More info
A South African vodka, distilled from molasses. Mainstay was awarded the Vodka Trophy at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2007.  More info
$34.07
Eristoff Vodka
(70cl, 37.50%)
A triple distilled Georgian vodka, named after Prince Eristoff, and based on his personal recipe, created in 1806.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$23.43
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
$47.25
A classic bottling of Principe Dimitri Romanoff Vodka, produced between 1949 and 1959. Well preserved and collectible.  More info
$233.48

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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.