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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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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)
$49.85
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
$31.00
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
$28.40
The premium version of best-selling Russian Standard Vodka.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$31.07
Ultimat Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
This was once famous for being the most expensive vodka out there (so you know it's good!), Ultimat is packaged in a handmade cobalt blue crystal bottle, and it tastes sublime…  More info
$73.21
Fantastic and organic small batch vodka from Bainbridge Distillers in Washington State on America's west coast. Made with soft white wheat from fields west of Walla Walla, a fact we're including...  More info
$102.23
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
$71.14
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
$32.45
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
$62.70
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
$83.89
Snow Queen Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
A stunning vodka named for the Snow Queen of Kazakhstan. Her father was organic wheat and her mother was pure water from the mountains. Her brother was Borat. This vodka is distilled five times, and...  More info
$52.64
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
$42.88
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
$49.17
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
$164.04
The 100 proof version of Stolichnaya's vodka. Despite being so strong it still retains a surprising level of smoothness.  More info
$35.75
Luksusowa Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
A very tasty and very creamy triple distilled vodka from Poland, made from Potatoes. Its name, Luksusowa, is Polish for "luxury vodka", so you know it's good.  More info
$26.56
Chase Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Made by the same guys that make Tyrells potato crisps (from the dinky potatoes that can't be made into crisps). Chase vodka was featured on the BBC TV programme 'Oz and James drink to Britain'.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$51.22
U'Luvka
(70cl, 40%)
Excellent Polish vodka, U'Luvka, made from rye, barley and wheat. Rounded with lots of neat, flavoursome grains. Well worth trying.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$54.77
Sipsmith Barley Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Produced in the workshop previously used by the late, great Michael Jackson (whisky writer, not Moonwalker), this superb vodka is distilled from English Barley. Distilled in a marvellously compact pot...  More info
$43.13
Stolichnaya Gold
(70cl, 40%)
The classic Stolichnaya Gold is a great Russian vodka made from wheat and rye. In 2008 Stoli Gold was awarded a Gold medal at The Vodka Masters, it is an incredibly smooth vodka, and is really great...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$34.87
V Gallery Marshmallow Vodka uses 5 times distilled spirit to create a pure base for the sweet, soft marshmallow flavours to excite your palate. Yum!  More info
$32.45
While you might not see fields of pure snow in your garden every day in December, this Vodka Advent Calendar will introduce you to a whole host of fantastic vodkas from around the world instead!...  More info
$168.21
A very limited run of just 1,000 bottles, Chase make this superb vodka with English potatoes. The spirit is smoked with English oak for a exquisitely robust, evocative flavour.  More info
$56.44
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
$82.92
Beluga Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
A superb super-premium Vodka made using non-GM ingredients. It's quite rare that a vodka (or any white spirit for that matter) impresses us to the point of wanting to tell people about it. Beluga is...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$85.91
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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.