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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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Absolut Mandrin
(70cl, 40%)
A crisp and balanced Swedish flavoured Vodka. Absolut Mandrin is flavoured with mandarin, oranges and other citrus. There is no added sugar.  More info
$31.82
In celebration of its popularity among the crowd that live for the night-life (not vampires), the Night Edition of Stolichnaya features a glow in the dark label that you'll only be able to see at...  More info
$38.50
Produced in Sweden by the superb Aivy company, Aivy Red is a delicious flavoured vodka with intensely fruity flavours of lemon, lime and pomegranate.  More info
$33.28
Absolut Vanilia
(70cl, 40%)
A lovely fresh and clean vanilla flavoured vodka. Absolut Vanilia has a rich, buttery flavour with hints of cocoa and plenty of fresh vanilla.  More info
$31.82
Eristoff Black Vodka
(70cl, 20%)
Named for the Eristoff family, which originated in what is now Georgia. This is the Black variant, with a wild berry flavour.  More info
$27.69
Stolichnaya Vanil
(70cl, 37.50%)
Stoli Vanil is a vanilla flavoured vodka from Stolichnaya. Distilled from winter wheat and made with glacial water, it is flavoured with Madagascan and Indonesian vanilla beans.  More info
$31.70
Absolut Peppar
(50cl, 40%)
Very spicy and full bodied pepper vodka from Sweden. Made with pure, creamy Absolut vodka, Absolut Peppar makes a corking Bloody Mary.  More info
$21.87
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
$38.87
Smirnoff Blue
(70cl, 45%)
A super premium vodka from Smirnoff. Blue is triple distilled and beautifully presented.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$33.35
Naked Chase Vodka
(70cl, 42%)
A wonderful English vodka made with apples from their Herefordshire orchards. Naked Chase is a pure, fresh vodka, with a hint of apple on the nose.  More info
$55.85
Made to the recipe of a 500 year old witches potion from the Czech Republic, Babicka is a blend of vodka flavoured with wormwood and various herbs. It is named after 16th Century Czechoslovakian...  More info
$49.31
Volk Vodka
(75cl, 40%)
Following Russian traditions and recipes, Volk Vodka is filtered 8 times in different ways, including through charcoal and quartz. It is produced and bottled in Moldova.  More info
$41.59
Belvedere Unfiltered
(70cl, 40%)
Belvedere Unfiltered is the result of using 100% "Single Estate" Dankowskie Diamond Rye to make vodka. This grain is baker's grade so not only can you make vodka out of the stuff you can also bake a...  More info
$63.36
A chocolate and raspberry flavoured vodka from the stalwart Russian producers Stolichnaya. Fruity and very rich.  More info
$31.70
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
$162.12
Smirnoff Espresso
(70cl, 37.50%)
Coffee Vodka. Mmmmmm.  More info
$39.99
A South African vodka, distilled from molasses. Mainstay was awarded the Vodka Trophy at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2007.  More info
$35.48
Beluga Goldline
(70cl, 40%)
While regular Beluga Vodka is filtered 3 times, the Russian distillers go the extra mile with Beluga Goldline and filter it 5 times! Beluga Goldline also comes with a wax-sealed bottle and a hammer...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$184.73
Pinky Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Pinky Vodka is a beautifully packaged vodka flavoured with rose petals, violets and wild strawberries.  More info
$49.39
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
$84.18
Smirnoff Red 3l
(300cl, 37.50%)
A full three litres of Smirnoff Red label. Behold its majesty, marvel at its size. This is the world's bestselling vodka, and it is thrice distilled and ten times filtered.  More info
$113.06
Mekhong Thai Spirit
(70cl, 35%)
Often mistaken as a sort of Thai whisky, Mekhong is actually made of 95% molasses and 5% rice. A popular drink amongst the tourist of Thailand. "Michael, Michael, Michael... tell me about the Lady...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (2.0/5)
$36.86
Moskovskaya Osobaya is a Russian vodka which has been made using traditional Russian methods. Moskovskaya translates to Muscovite, which we assume is in reference to it's birthplace of Moscow, not the...  More info
$33.30
A delicious Polish vodka, this is made with Raspberries and Blackcurrants and a hint of rose petals. They make Belvedere Black Raspberry by taking flavours from the peels, the juice and the flowers…  More info
$52.96
This V Gallery Cucumber Vodka is a delicious flavoured vodka which has uses spirit that has been 5 times distilled. Technically, cucumbers are fruit, which makes this a fruit flavoured vodka. You...  More info
$32.58
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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.