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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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Mayfair English Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Mayfair Vodka is distilled a grand total of six times from neutral grain spirit. Then a little bit is re-distilled in pot stills which creates a smoother more rounded style of small batch distilled...  More info
$47.81
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
$44.05
Boaka Vodka - 1970s
(70cl, 37%)
Produced for the Egyptian market, this Boaka vodka dates from the 1970s.  More info
$302.29
A classic Russian vodka from Stolichnaya. This is distilled from winter wheat and is filtered through quartz and charcoal, then quartz once more.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$31.44
This was launched in 1994, and is made with real cranberries for a tangy, fresh flavour which makes it a great addition to many cocktails.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$30.56
The word Stolichnaya translates as 'capital city' and the logo features a famous Moscow landmark. This bottling dates from the 1970s.  More info
$120.92
This is a tasty and highly collectible Russian vodka. Krepkaya is actually the Russian term to describe vodkas of 56%abv and over - just like this one. Very good in cocktails.  More info
$120.92
Made in Russia, Imperial Golden Snow is a super-premium vodka made with the pure, glacial water of Lake Ladoga. It is produced with a 12-stage purification process, and even comes with flakes of real...  More info
$65.50
Rhubarb is not only added for the final distillation but is then subsequently macerated in the final distillate, which is where the tremendous pink hue comes from. Yummers!

We're still waiting for...  More info
$59.84
Debowa Premium Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Made with natural plant extracts, Debowa Premium is a top-quality Polish vodka which comes packaged in a smart oak-themed bottle! Very good stuff.  More info
$59.70
Imperial Collection Gold is a super-premium Russian vodka which recently took two prestigious awards from the Vodka Masters Competition. It's a superb spirit which is made with the soft waters of Lake...  More info
$53.98
Produced by Licores Veracruz Distillers in Cordoba, Villa Lobos Platinum vodka is distilled to 55% abv, and it's very tasty indeed - full of character!  More info
$47.01
A creamy vodka from Poland made with potatoes. The potatoes are of the Vineta variety, which are grown in the Kaszebe region of Poland. Vestal vodka is made in a single distillation and it is really...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$35.00
Absolut Unique
(70cl, 40%)
Absolut Unique is a superb special edition Swedish vodka, so-named for the fact that each bottle is unique - painted with different shapes and colours.

NB. As the name suggests, each bottle is...  More info
$35.69
The English Vodka Company makes its raspberry vodka very simply: freshly picked fruit, washed and placed in a bottle full of 37.5% English Spirit Vodka. Then nature is left to take its course...  More info
$47.02
Effen Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
"Where's my Effen vodka?""No need for that language…"This Dutch vodka is made from premium wheat, and it is distilled at low temperatures before undergoing filtration through peat (which removes more...  More info
$44.87
This is the Mamont Vodka presented in a gift box. Mamont gets its name from mammoth remains found in the region where it is made. The bottle is a tusk shape for this very reason!  More info
$47.02
A wonderful gift set from Polish vodka makers, Chopin. This set includes a 20cl bottle of the standard Chopin potato vodka, as well as a 20cl bottle of their brilliant rye vodka, all handsomely...  More info
$74.16
A delicious pure-tasting Polish rye vodka, Belvedere is distilled four times! This giant 6 litre bottle comes with a light in it which is very cool. We've also included a picture of Brandy, the...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$479.89
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)
$39.63
A 50cl bottle of Chopin's delicious rye vodka and it comes with a traditional vodka glass for enjoying it! A great gift.  More info
$56.83
A special edition bottling of Belvedere premium vodka, who have teamed up with (RED) to raise proceeds for the Global Fund which finances programs to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.

50% of the profits...  More info
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
You read that right. It's rhubarb vodka from Hereford's finest vodka distillery, Chase. You know how much you like it in a crumble, now try the vodka. Or maybe combine the two... now there's an idea...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$57.35
A limited edition of 3000 bottles, this raspberry vodka is created with local Pixley raspberries, harvested as late as possible in order to extract as much natural sweetness as possible. They are...  More info
$60.46

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