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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.

500,000 Scovilles Naga Chilli Vodka 20cl

20cl, 40%
The 'Hot Enough' Vodka Co.

They've done it again. Those awful, awful people at The 'Hot Enough' Vodka Co. have conjured up another monster. A monster twice as terrifying and evil as before. They have summoned forth the 500,000…  More info

500,000 Scovilles Naga Chilli Vodka 20cl
3
$40.09

250,000 Scovilles Naga Chilli Vodka 50cl

50cl, 40%
The 'Hot Enough' Vodka Co.

They've have created another monster, summoned from the very bowels of hell, formed in a vile carboy filled with a horrid mound of Naga Jolokia chillies, steeped in grain vodka. It's packaged in a…  More info

250,000 Scovilles Naga Chilli Vodka 50cl
79
$40.09

100,000 Scovilles Naga Chilli Vodka

70cl, 40%
The 'Hot Enough' Vodka Co.

"The horror! The horror!" What have they done… I'll tell you what they've done, they've created a monster. The 'Hot Enough' Vodka Co. filled a carboy with vodka, and into it they poured so many Naga…  More info

100,000 Scovilles Naga Chilli Vodka
45
$40.09

Firestarter Vodka 5x Filtered

70cl, 40%
Colusvin

Get fired up about the awesome Firestarter Vodka! It's made with supreme winter wheat from Moldova and is five times platinum filtered, giving it an extremely smooth, pure palate. The rather exciting…  More info

Firestarter Vodka 5x Filtered
1
$29.55

Kauffman Soft Private Collection Vintage Vodka

70cl, 40%
Kauffman

Kept in a bottle that looks like a prototype of the Gherkin, this Kauffman Soft Private Collection has been distilled 14 times before being filtered twice, once through birch coal and then again…  More info

Kauffman Soft Private Collection Vintage Vodka
$72.94

Konik's Tail Vodka

70cl, 40%
Konik's Tail Ltd

A small batch Polish vodka made with three different grains. It is complex and very well balanced. It is named for Konik, which is a primitive Polish horse. Legend has it that just a glimpse of this…  More info

Konik's Tail Vodka
22
$39.33

Stolichnaya Chocolat Kokonut

70cl, 37.50%
Stolichnaya

Mixing coconut and chocolate isn't something incredibly new, because Bounty bars have been around for years. However, the Stolichnaya Vodka Chocolat Kokonut is the first time the sweet and earthy…  More info

Stolichnaya Chocolat Kokonut
1
$40.56

Sauvelle Vodka

70cl, 41%
Sauvelle

This stylish tipple is a French vodka from the Cognac region, crafted using French wheat and water from Gensac. Before bottling, Sauvelle is filtered over three types of wood, then bottled without…  More info

Sauvelle Vodka
1
$40.81

Black Cow Pure Milk Vodka

70cl, 40%
Black Cow

The creation of West Dorset dairy farmer Jason Barber, Black Cow claims to be the world's first pure milk vodka, made from nothing but pure whole milk. The whey is used for vodka whilst the curds go…  More info

Black Cow Pure Milk Vodka
12
$34.00

Beluga Noble Russian Vodka

70cl, 40%
Beluga

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

Beluga Noble Russian Vodka
5
$42.86

Balkan 176° Vodka

70cl, 88%
Balkan

The strongest vodka we have ever come across, Balkan 176 comes in a bottle with 13 different health warnings (including one in Braille), mainly because it's at 88% abv. It is produced in Serbia, and…  More info

Balkan 176° Vodka
4
$53.38

Beluga Allure Vodka with Leather Case

70cl, 40%
Beluga

Beluga Allure Russian Vodka is filtered multiple times before the distillers add a very small amount of fig extract and maple syrup, resulting in a classically clean but subtly sweet flavour profile.…  More info

Beluga Allure Vodka with Leather Case
$107.45

Snow Leopard Vodka

70cl, 40%
Polmos Lublin

A Polish vodka, Snow Leopard is premium vodka made in small batches. 15% of the profits go to wildlife charities to help protect the highly endangered Snow Leopard - there are only a few thousand…  More info

Snow Leopard Vodka
2
$39.29

U'Luvka

70cl, 40%
U'Luvka

Excellent Polish vodka, U'Luvka, made from rye, barley and wheat. Rounded with lots of neat, flavoursome grains. Well worth trying.  More info

U'Luvka
8
$39.94

Stolichnaya Blue Vodka

70cl, 50%
Stolichnaya

The 100 proof version of Stolichnaya's vodka. Despite being so strong it still retains a surprising level of smoothness.  More info

Stolichnaya Blue Vodka
1
$27.07

Ciroc Derek Zoolander Blue Steel

70cl, 40%
Ciroc

A really, really, really ridiculously good looking Blue Steel vodka for Derek Zoolander, launched with Mario Testino. It's so hot right now.  More info

Ciroc Derek Zoolander Blue Steel
$46.18

Crystal Head Vodka 1.75l

175cl, 40%
Crystal Head

A superb vodka, made by Dan Aykroyd! That's right, this is the unofficial vodka of Ghostbusters! This amazing celebrity-endorsed vodka is distilled and filtered through 500 million year old crystals…  More info

Crystal Head Vodka 1.75l
$114.30

Crystal Head Vodka

70cl, 40%
Crystal Head

This is one of the most brilliant things ever to be, also one of the very finest celebrity-endorsed products we've ever seen. Created for the legendary Dan Aykroyd, Crystal Head Vodka is…  More info

Crystal Head Vodka
4
$47.32

V Gallery Marshmallow Vodka

50cl, 21%
V Gallery

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

V Gallery Marshmallow Vodka
3
$19.40

Belenkaya Lux

70cl, 40%
Synergy

With a name that means "clearest and purest", you're going to be expecting big things from Belenkaya Lux Russian vodka. It goes through a rigorous filtration process which includes being filtered…  More info

Belenkaya Lux
1
$21.84

Arbikie Potato Vodka

70cl, 43%
Arbikie

From the Arbikie Distillery, which overlooks the Lunan Bay in Angus in the Scottish Highlands, comes their super-premium Potato Vodka. It's made using three types of potato - Maris Piper, King Edward…  More info

Arbikie Potato Vodka
8
$50.95

Belvedere Intense Vodka 1l

100cl, 50%
Belvedere

Belvedere Intense is a travel retail release of the famous Polish vodka, made with Dankowskie rye, double filtered through charcoal and bottled at a higher abv of 50%.  More info

Belvedere Intense Vodka 1l
$70.50

Wyborowa Exquisite Vodka

70cl, 40%
Polmos Poznan

Beautifully packaged ultra premium vodka from Poland, Wyborowa Exquisite is, in our opinion, one of the best premium vodkas from the "big boys" of vodka. Very creamy.  More info

Wyborowa Exquisite Vodka
2
$40.02

Royal Dragon Imperial Vodka

70cl, 40%
Dragon Spirits

Dragon. Vodka. Automatically cool.  More info

Royal Dragon Imperial Vodka
7
$66.91

Adnams Longshore Premium Vodka

70cl, 48%
Adnams

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…  More info

Adnams Longshore Premium Vodka
1
$36.29

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