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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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Belvedere Unfiltered
(70cl, 40%)
Belvedere Unfiltered is the result of using 100% "Single Estate" Dankowskie Diamond Rye to make vodka. This grain is baker's grade so not only can you make vodka out of the stuff you can also bake a...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$60.64
The premium version of best-selling Russian Standard Vodka.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$29.85
Ciroc Coconut
(70cl, 37.50%)
The fresh, clear taste of Ciroc premium vodka, made with grapes that get harvested when they're frozen and distilled five times, mixed with the exotic flavours of coconut and a subtle hint of tropical...  More info
$45.97
Brecon Five Vodka is a lovely Welsh vodka from the folks that make Penderyn whisky. This is five-times distilled and charcoal filtired, made with pure glacier water and just a hint of barley spirit...  More info
$41.20
Belvedere Pure Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Polish Vodka distilled from only one particular strain of Rye. Absolutely smashing on its own, but this really does make a marvelous Vodka Martini.  More info
$48.09
Legend of Kremlin
(70cl, 40%)
Legend of the Kremlin vodka is superbly well packaged, super-premium Russian vodka made from top quality grains and soft spring water. It is actually supplied to the Russian parliament, such is the...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$49.54
Stolichnaya Red Label
(70cl, 40%)
The classic Stolichnaya Red Label vodka, filtered three times, once with quartz, then charcoal and then quartz again for a pure but original flavour profile.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$25.60
A delicious Polish vodka, this is made with Raspberries and Blackcurrants and a hint of rose petals. They make Belvedere Black Raspberry by taking flavours from the peels, the juice and the flowers…  More info
$50.69
Smirnoff Red 3l
(300cl, 37.50%)
A full three litres of Smirnoff Red label. Behold its majesty, marvel at its size. This is the world's bestselling vodka, and it is thrice distilled and ten times filtered.  More info
$108.21
Ciroc Vodka 1l
(100cl, 40%)
A stunning French vodka, which comes with a hearty recommendation from none other than P Diddy (off of that P Diddy and the Fam), so you know it's good. This lovely spirit is distilled from grapes...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$64.73
Grey Goose L'Orange
(70cl, 40%)
French vodka flavoured with the essence of the orange. This is made with Champagne limestone filtered water. In 2001 this was awarded gold at the Beverage Packaging Global Award. They were right to...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$57.46
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
$45.63
This stunning flavoured vodka from 42 Below is made with Manuka honey, a type of honey which is made by allowing bees to collect from the Manuka tree. This vodka is entirely made in New Zealand and is...  More info
$38.13
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
$60.66
Passion Fruit Flavoured Vodka from San Francisco Based producer Skyy.  More info
$34.44
Distilled 6 times and filtered 4 times, this premium grain vodka comes in a variety of designs. The bottles are fashioned in Milan whilst the spirit is produced at a Dutch distillery under the...  More info
$79.67
Pinky Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Pinky Vodka is a beautifully packaged vodka flavoured with rose petals, violets and wild strawberries.  More info
$47.28
Smirnoff Black
(70cl, 40%)
Smirnoff Black is a special vodka made in copper pot stills, distilled from Russian grains, and filtered through silver birch charcoal. Very smooth and supple.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$28.58
What did V Gallery use to crush the mangoes for their tasty Mango Crush Vodka? We like to imagine it's great big hammers like Gallagher.  More info
$31.18
Grey Goose Magnum
(150cl, 40%)
A magnum of delicious Grey Goose vodka, made with French wheat from La Beauce which is distilled in a five step process with artesian spring water which is filtered through Champagne limestone.  More info
$157.61
Volk Vodka
(75cl, 40%)
Following Russian traditions and recipes, Volk Vodka is filtered 8 times in different ways, including through charcoal and quartz. It is produced and bottled in Moldova.  More info
$33.75
Smirnoff Blue
(70cl, 45%)
A super premium vodka from Smirnoff. Blue is triple distilled and beautifully presented.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$33.54
Using a blend of potato varieties grown in Poland and pure Polish water, Vestal have produced a supremely flavoursome vodka. Vestal greatly value the aromas and flavours from the vodka, and this is...  More info
$52.13
Belvedere Pink Grapefruit is made with real fruit, and pure Polish vodka. The result is a crisp, flavousome fruit vodka, released in 2010.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$50.69
The newest addition to the Davina Hani Polish vodka family is a sweet young fellow that was built in part by bees. That's right. The Linden honey which makes this flavoured vodka so sweet was made by...  More info
$29.79
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