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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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Ketel One Oranje 1l
(100cl, 40%)
A beautiful Dutch orange vodka from Ketel One. This is made by infusing Ketel One vodka with natural essences from Mandarin oranges from Italy and Velencia oranges from Brazil and Florida.  More info
$78.55
Belvedere (RED) 1.75l
(175cl, 40%)
A very special charity vodka from Belvedere. This stunning Polish rye vodka was produced with (RED), and a proportion of the profits from every bottle sold will go to AIDS charities around the world...  More info
$98.34
Rectified spirit from Poland, this is perfect for making liqueurs and the like, but at 96%, it must be treated with caution.  More info
$38.98
42 Below Kiwi Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
42 Below is a New Zealand vodka flavoured with the native fruit, Kiwi. The result is a great mixing spirit with a tangy, peppery, fruity taste.  More info
$35.12
The famous vodka from Finland made using six-row barley and glacial spring water. This vodka has been flavoured with blackcurrants for a fruity twist.  More info
$28.43
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
$43.74
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
$55.54
Flavoured with juicy, tangy Gala Apples, this fresh-tasting Russian vodka from Stolichnaya works superbly well in cocktails, or with tonic and plenty of ice.  More info
$30.29
Absolut Ruby Red
(70cl, 40%)
A rather tasty fruit vodka from Absolut. This was launched in June 2006, and is flavoured with grapefruit. Delicious!  More info
A very spicy, intense vodka from Belvedere, this was especially created for use in a tasty Bloody Mary, and is made by a maceration of seven key ingredients: black pepper, horseradish, bell pepper...  More info
$53.68
Debowa White Oak
(70cl, 40%)
Made in Poland, Debowa White Oak is a traditional, delicately flavoured Polish vodka which was created as a sipping spirit. Very good stuff...  More info
$33.42
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
$122.93
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
$112.48
Wyborowa Lemon Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Wyborowa Lemon is a Polish vodka flavoured with Lemons and their essential oils. Brilliant in cocktails of in a vodka and tonic.  More info
$28.17
Koskenkorva Blueberry
(70cl, 37.50%)
Finnish vodka, flavoured with sweet, subtle notes of blueberry. Koskenkorva is made using continuous distillation, resulting in a high quality spirit. Create a twist on classic vodka cocktails or...  More info
$32.07
Koskenkorva Lingonberry
(70cl, 37.50%)
The lingonberry is often used in jams and other traditional treats, but Koskenkorva would rather use it in their vodka than put it on their toast, an idea that we can certainly get behind...  More info
$31.96
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
$41.74
This English vodka is flavoured by infusing and also re-distilling the vodka with Colombian coffee beans to create a vodka with a distinct coffee aroma and flavour.  More info
$45.52
A 1.5 litre version of Kalinska Imperial vodka. This is a cheap and cheerful mixer distilled from molasses.  More info
$45.60
Batch 6 of the always scrummy Case Rhubarb Vodka, made by adding the pink fruit/vegetable/whatever rhubarb is to the final distillation and macerate it in the final distillate.

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$55.66
Vodka 7000
(75cl, 40%)
Vodka 7000 comes from the High West distillery (a Utah based company which recently produced a slew of delicious whiskeys). This was named after the altitude of the distillery, which is 7000 feet...  More info
$59.30
This is a collectible bottle of Ukrainian vodka, flavoured with lemons, as you can clearly ascertain from the lemons on the label. It was produced in the 1990s.  More info
$74.99
Koskenkorva Nordic Berry
(70cl, 37.50%)
Nordic Berry-flavoured Koskenkorva Vodka, an excellent, high-quality spirit made with the glacial water and specially selected grain. The berries were harvested from Scandinavian forests and have...  More info
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$31.39
Koskenkorva 013 Vanilla
(70cl, 37.50%)
The top-quality Finnish vodka, Koskenkorva 013, which has been flavoured with vanilla, giving the pure spirit a sweet, smooth palate.  More info
$39.81
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
$68.99

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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.