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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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Finlandia Lime
(70cl, 40%)
This is made with the essential oils of the lime, this is a brilliant citrus vodka from Finlandia.  More info
$30.93
Faust Cranberry Vodka
(50cl, 40%)
Fantastic Polish vodka and dynamic cranberry make Faust Cranberry Vodka a proper hero in our books.  More info
$41.95
Cariel Vanilla Vodka
(70cl, 37.50%)
A vanilla flavoured Swedish vodka, Cariel is triple distilled from wheat, and flavoured with natural vanilla extract.  More info
$45.36
Breckenridge Vodka
(75cl, 40%)
Breckenridge distillery is the highest in the world up at 9,600 feet! It is located in the Rocky Mountains (be sure to pack a spare pair of gloves). It is made using 100% Midwest corn and snowmelt...  More info
$66.82
Koskenkorva 013 Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Made using continuous distillation, the spirit used from Koskenkorva 013 is said to be distilled over 250 times(!) before it is bottled. As you can imagine, this creates an exceedingly high quality...  More info
$38.51
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
$32.43
Marquis Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Polish Marquis Vodka is made from specially selected rye and distilled in Europe's tallest column stills at the famous Polmos Bialystok distillery.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$52.19
A wonderful Ukrainian vodka with an authentic, fresh Cranberry flavour. Great in a Cosmopolitan!  More info
$42.15
Stolichnaya Sticki Honey
(70cl, 37.50%)
This is a honey flavoured vodka from Stoli, ideal for giving a cocktail a sweet twist.  More info
$31.40
Cape North Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Like many distillers, Cape North have a fascination with purity when it comes to their vodka. They compare it to water, in that good water must be clean and fresh. They slowly distil their vodka in...  More info
$47.77
Finlandia Mango 40%
(70cl, 40%)
Fresh, fruity mango vodka from Finlandia. This has a great flavour and works very well in a variety of cocktails.  More info
$31.73
Chase Vodka Magnum
(150cl, 40%)
A magnum of the excellent Chase Vodka. This is complex stuff, and although it's great over ice, try it at room temperature too for the full range of flavours.  More info
$176.47
Eristoff Vodka
(70cl, 37.50%)
A triple distilled Georgian vodka, named after Prince Eristoff, and based on his personal recipe, created in 1806.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$24.96
Staritsky and Levitsky were two prominent Ukrainian cultural icons back in their day, probably a bit like Ant and Dec, but better. You'd be forgiven for not knowing them, seeing as this was over 100...  More info
$50.16
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
$131.62
Smirnoff Blueberry
(70cl, 37.50%)
A fantastically fruity Smirnoff. This is made with pot-still vodka, which is filtered through a whopping seven tons of charcoal. It is flavoured naturally with blueberry, and it works well in...  More info
$28.59
Absolut Apeach
(70cl, 40%)
Absolut Apeach is a wonderfully crafted Swedish vodka with an incredibly fresh peach flavour.  More info
$31.04
Hot? I'll give you hot. Type '250,000' into that search bar up there. Go on.  More info
$31.40
Adnams Barley Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
This starts off in the same way as Adnams beers. It is made by fermenting a sort of beer wash, using East Anglian malted barley. It is made in very small batches, and is distilled in a handmade copper...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$41.32
Finlandia Grapefruit
(70cl, 37.50%)
This Finnish vodka offers the subtle tanginess of fresh grapefruit, which makes it a wonderful addition to many cocktails.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$30.93
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
$68.58
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
$52.46
Finlandia Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
A very good vodka from Finland, Finlandia is a great premium vodka, made with glacial spring water.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$27.90
A triple distilled vodka, made from apples which are distilled in a pot still. To make just one bottle they use 300 apples! General John Stark came up with New Hampshire's motto: "Live free or die".  More info
$60.87
Ciroc Coconut
(70cl, 37.50%)
The fresh, clear taste of Ciroc premium vodka, made with grapes that get harvested when they're frozen and distilled five times, mixed with the exotic flavours of coconut and a subtle hint of tropical...  More info
$58.78
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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.