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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 100 Vodka
(70cl, 50%)
Classic Absolut Vodka, made in Sweden using water from a deep well in Åhus and winter wheat from the fields of southern Sweden, though this expression has been bottled at 50% ABV (or 100 proof, as it...  More info
$41.99
Absolut Pears
(70cl, 40%)
Absolut Pears is a delicious pear flavoured vodka from Sweden. This is made using continuous distillation and is incredibly pure tasting. Distilled from winter wheat and naturally flavoured with pear.  More info
$28.90
Wokka Fusion Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Wokka fusion vodka is a small batch vodka mixed with fine imported Japanese sake, and flavoured with Asian fruits.  More info
$58.63
A magnum bottle of the supremely luxurious Royal Dragon Imperial Vodka, made with winter rye which is five times distilled. It's also got 23-caret gold leaves floating inside it, which is rather apt...  More info
$176.76
From The Poshmakers comes The Secret British Vodka also known as AKA Vodka. Do you want to know why it's a secret? Too bad. That's a secret too.

What isn't a secret is that AKA Vodka is made with...  More info
$55.23
Broken Shed Vodka, which has since graduated from actually being made in a shed, is a premium vodka from New Zealand. It is made from whey spirit and natural spring water from the Southern Alps - and...  More info
$58.08
Killer Queen Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Killer Queen Vodka was released in honour of Freddie Mercury in 2014, 40 years after Queen hit the charts with their smashing single 'Killer Queen'. Freddie Mercury was quite the vodka fan according...  More info
$38.09
To make this excellent Blueberry vodka, they take small Wymans and Maine blueberries, which have a much more intense flavour. Then they steep them for a few days in alcohol, and they filter the...  More info
$71.87
Absolut Mango
(70cl, 40%)
A stunningly fruity, intense vodka from Absolut, flavoured with Mango. This was launched in 2007, and is juicy and full-bodied. We thoroughly recommend this in a lovely Summery cocktail.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$29.35
Russkaya Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Made in Russia, Russkaya is a superb vodka distilled from wheat, rye and malted barley. It is made with naturally spring-softened water, and even undergoes filtration through both quartz and birch...  More info
$30.05
Absolut Berry Acai
(70cl, 40%)
Absolut have launched this wonderful fruit-flavoured vodka made with Acai Berries. All jokes aside, this stuff is lovely, and it's made with European and North American blueberries, and Southwest...  More info
$30.58
Skyy Citrus
(70cl, 37.50%)
Citrus Flavoured Vodka from San Francisco Producer Skyy.  More info
$33.20
Alexander Colors Mint Vodka is an Italian vodka which is made with pure water from the Alps. Its mint flavours taste delightfully vivid and fresh.  More info
$50.29
A crisp, refreshing cucumber vodka made with organic American rye. Great in a Bloody Mary.  More info
$50.08
Absolut Apeach
(70cl, 40%)
Absolut Apeach is a wonderfully crafted Swedish vodka with an incredibly fresh peach flavour.  More info
$28.90
Ciroc Vodka 1.75l
(175cl, 40%)
A 1.75 litre bottle of Ciroc Vodka, made with French grapes which are harvested when frozen. Following this, the vodka is distilled five times to achieve the desired level of purity and fantastic...  More info
$132.36
Mekhong Thai Spirit
(70cl, 35%)
Often mistaken as a sort of Thai whisky, Mekhong is actually made of 95% molasses and 5% rice. A popular drink amongst the tourist of Thailand. "Michael, Michael, Michael... tell me about the Lady...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (2.0/5)
$25.91
Finlandia Cranberry
(70cl, 37.50%)
As one of the few berries that grow up north near the Arctic, cranberries are used a lot Finnish food and drink, just like apples in Somerset. This is why real cranberries go into making the fantastic...  More info
$28.50
Finlandia Lime
(70cl, 37.50%)
This is made with the essential oils of the lime, this is a brilliant citrus vodka from Finlandia.  More info
$28.81
Belvedere Cytrus
(70cl, 40%)
Belvedere Cytrus is a citrus flavoured Polish vodka. The lemons are grown in groves near Murcia in Spain and the limes are grown nearby in south east Spain. The vodka is flavoured with the peels...  More info
$53.82
Sacred Spiced Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Sacred Spiced is a superb spiced vodka which is vacuum-distilled by Ian Hart in Highgate Hill, London. It is flavoured with seven botanicals including nutmeg, angelica and distilled frankincense!  More info
$46.66
Cleveland Bay is a proudly British artisan vodka made to rival vodkas from Eastern Europe. Made using British potatoes, along with other fantastic ingredients from our lovely island, Cleveland Bay...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$69.26
Hangar One's Mandarin Blossom vodka is made with fresh tangerines and their flowers. The result is stunning, fresh and very intense.  More info
$45.42
Moskova Vodka
(70cl, 37.50%)
A beautiful Russian vodka made from the very best grains and demineralised water. A great all-rounder, Moskova is a great mixer…  More info
$24.07
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)
$35.76
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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.