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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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Ciroc Red Berry
(70cl, 37.50%)
Ciroc is a five-times-distilled vodka made from grapes which have been harvested when frozen. For this sweetly flavoured edition, it is blended with essences of raspberries and strawberries to give it...  More info
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Ciroc Vodka
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Ciroc is a five times distilled French vodka made with grapes that are harvested when frozen. This is a very fancy and chic premium vodka.  More info
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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
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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)
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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
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$69.82
Like your vodka dry and collectible? This shiny 1980s bottle of Cocalsa Brezloff Dry Vodka will be something you'll want to take a good look at.  More info
$188.49
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
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Cold River Vodka
(75cl, 40%)
Cold River is a creamy and very distinctive vodka made by the American company, Maine Distilleries. They grow the potatoes on their own farm, get the water from a nearby aquifer and even bottle it...  More info
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Cossack Vodka - 1974
(75cl, 37.50%)
J & J Vickers produced the wonderful Cossack Vodka not in Russia but in London. This rare bottling comes from 1974.  More info
$150.80
Cristalnaya Vodka
(70cl, 38%)
Cristalnaya is a fabulous Russian vodka with an intensely creamy, smooth palate. Distilled from top quality grains, and a secret blend of botanicals, this is triple-distilled and makes for a great...  More info
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Crystal Head Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
This is one of the most brilliant things ever to be, also one of the very finest celebrity-endorsed products we've ever seen. Created for the legendary Dan Aykroyd, Crystal Head Vodka is...  More info
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A superb vodka, made by Dan Aykroyd! That's right, this is the unofficial vodka of Ghostbusters! This amazing celebrity-endorsed vodka is distilled and filtered through 500 million year old crystals...  More info
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Crystal Head Vodka 3l
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Regard the magnificence that is a jeroboam bottle of Dan Aykroyd's Crystal Head Vodka. No, really, regard it. This is a 3 litre bottle of award-winning vodka, which is filtered through 500 million...  More info
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That's right, Dan Ackroyd's award-winning vodka that comes in a crystal skull head is now the official vodka of the Rolling Stones' 50th Anniversary! As such, it's now available in this austere gift...  More info
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This vodka is made to a traditional Polish recipe using Hierochloe Odorata grass from Europe's only remaining primeval forest - this grass is better known as bison grass due to the fact that bison...  More info
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A very tasty Polish fruit vodka, Davna Cherry is made by macerating cherries from the East and South of Poland for 2 weeks in top quality vodka. It is then rested for a full year in oak barrels before...  More info
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$27.80
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
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Debowa Crystal Oak
(70cl, 40%)
Made with a special selection of plant extracts and with an ancient distillation method, Debowa Crystal Oak is a smooth, premium Polish vodka.  More info
$42.38
Debowa Golden Oak
(70cl, 40%)
Debowa are talented vodka producers and they must have found some talented bees to help make their fabulous Debowa Golden Oak, an oak filtered vodka which has been infused with honey.  More info
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A 50cl bottling of Debowa Premium Vodka from Poland. Noteworthy because of the oak-themed bottle, which is unique and pretty darn cool, and because the vodka is made with natural plant extracts...  More info
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A fancy presentation of the Debowa Polish vodka, which is made with natural plant extracts for a unique flavour. This 50cl bottle comes with a built in swing stand for easy pouring. It also makes it...  More info
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Debowa Red Oak Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
A vibrantly colourful vodka from Poland, made by the very well respected company, Debowa. Red Oak Vodka combines the pure, natural flavours of their oak vodka with forest fruit extracts for a sweet...  More info
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Diamond Standard Vodka is made with Polish rye grain that is distilled four times and filtered four times too (once through diamonds, of course) for a high level of purity. The bottled even has a 25mm...  More info
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DQ Vodka
(100cl, 40%)
DQ Vodka is made with Swedish winter wheat, and comes packaged in one of the most stunning bottles we've ever seen. It looks a bit like something you'd plug into a space ship to fuel it (like in Event...  More info
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Element 29 is a delicious British vodka distilled from East Anglian wheat. The grains are mashed, malted and fermented in Manchester before seven distillations in a state-of-the-art tower. It was...  More info
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