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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.

Russian Standard Gold

70cl, 40%
Roust Inc

Russian Standard Gold combines the clean, classic mouth-feel of their high-quality winter wheat-based vodka with subtle flavours stemming from the inclusion of Siberian ginseng extracts - this is…  More info

Russian Standard Gold
$34.28

Polmos Pepper Vodka - 1960s

75cl, 45%
Polmos Warszawa

1960s Pepper Vodka from Polmos! Warming and eminently collectible Polish vodka, possibly great with steak? Preferably not a 1960s steak though.  More info

Polmos Pepper Vodka - 1960s
$217.59

Royal Dragon Imperial Vodka Jeroboam 3l

300cl, 40%
Dragon Spirits

This is a 3 litre jeroboam bottle of Royal Dragon Imperial Vodka, made with five-times distilled winter rye. It also has 23-carat gold leaves from Switzerland floating in it, which is pretty cool,…  More info

Royal Dragon Imperial Vodka Jeroboam 3l
$302.20

Square One Basil Vodka

70cl, 40%
Square One

Produced in America by the Square One company, this is an extraordinary flavoured vodka made with the pure essences of four different varieties of basil: Genovese, Thai, Lemon and Sweet. It's also…  More info

Square One Basil Vodka
$39.69

Stolichnaya Razberi

70cl, 37.50%
Stolichnaya

Stoli Razberri is Russian vodka distilled from wheat and flavoured with raspberries.  More info

Stolichnaya Razberi
$23.56

Absolut Elyx

70cl, 42.30%
Absolut Company

Produced using grain exclusively from the Råbelöf estate in Sweden, Absolut's Elyx is a premium expression from the esteemed vodka specialists. They distil this single estate vodka using a hand…  More info

Absolut Elyx
2
$44.13

Leopold's Silver Tree Vodka

70cl, 40%
Leopold Bros

A small batch American vodka. This is made in numbered batches, distilled from potatoes, malted summer wheat and malted barley. Each batch is limited to 5 cases, distilled under the careful eye of…  More info

Leopold's Silver Tree Vodka
$41.11

Belvedere 007 Collectors Edition 1.75l

175cl, 40%
Belvedere

A 1.75 litre collectible bottle of Belvedere Vodka - produced in Poland using one particular type of rye grain and distilled four times to achieve it's excellent mouth-feel and subtle flavour…  More info

Belvedere 007 Collectors Edition 1.75l
$130.10

Smirnoff Espresso

70cl, 37.50%
Smirnoff

Coffee Vodka. Mmmmmm.  More info

Smirnoff Espresso
$21.74

Debowa Sliwa (Plum) Vodka

70cl, 40%
Dębowa

A nice little plum flavoured vodka here from top Polish producer Debowa. It's made using exclusively Polish ingredients.  More info

Debowa Sliwa (Plum) Vodka
$31.30

Debowa Crystal Oak

70cl, 40%
Dębowa

Made with a special selection of plant extracts and with an ancient distillation method, Debowa Crystal Oak is a smooth, premium Polish vodka.  More info

Debowa Crystal Oak
$32.61

Chopin Wheat Vodka

70cl, 40%
Polmos Siedlce

A neat, wheat variation on the popular Chopin Vodka, made with 100% Polish wheat. Excellent mouth-feel and flavour profile, with clean hints of baking bread and honey.  More info

Chopin Wheat Vodka
$40.47

Corsair Vanilla Bean

75cl, 40%
Corsair

From the very creative Corsair distillers in American comes a Vanilla Bean Vodka, which they produce using whole vanilla beans. Packed with bold, earthy vanilla notes...  More info

Corsair Vanilla Bean
$42.73

Moskovskaya Osobaya Vodka

70cl, 38%
Moskovskaya

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 its birthplace of Moscow, not the…  More info

Moskovskaya Osobaya Vodka
$21.56

Debowa Orzech (Walnut)

70cl, 40%
Dębowa

Debowa's Polish vodkas are usually made with oak, but this addition to the range is all about delicious walnut!  More info

Debowa Orzech (Walnut)
$31.51

Finlandia Cranberry

70cl, 37.50%
Finlandia

As one of the few berries that grow up north near the Arctic, cranberries are used a lot Finnish food and drink, just like apples in Somerset. This is why real cranberries go into making the…  More info

Finlandia Cranberry
$23.60

Eristoff Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Eristoff

A triple distilled Georgian vodka, named after Prince Eristoff, and based on his personal recipe, created in 1806.  More info

Eristoff Vodka
3
$19.41

Imperial Collection Gold

70cl, 40%
Imperial Collection

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…  More info

Imperial Collection Gold
2
$42.30

Gem Diva Premium Vodka

70cl, 40%
Distil Company

There are stylish vodkas, and then there is Gem Diva. This Scottish vodka is made with wheat and is distilled multiple times to achieve its desired purity - it comes presented in a bottle which…  More info

Gem Diva Premium Vodka
$125.59

Absolut Apeach

70cl, 40%
Absolut Company

Absolut Apeach is a wonderfully crafted Swedish vodka with an incredibly fresh peach flavour.  More info

Absolut Apeach
$22.35

Debowa Black Oak

70cl, 40%
Dębowa

Debowa Black Oak is a Polish vodka that has been infused with coffee, chocolate and cinnamon. We assume that Debowa used those three flavours not because the alliteration, but because they taste…  More info

Debowa Black Oak
1
$34.70

Vladivar Imperial Vodka 1.5l

150cl, 37.50%
Whyte & Mackay

A magnum bottle Vladivar, a thrice distilled, charcoal filtered Scottish vodka from Whyte and Mackay.  More info

Vladivar Imperial Vodka 1.5l
$36.60

Arbikie Chilli Vodka

70cl, 43%
Arbikie

Arbikie "Smoky & Smooth" Chilli Vodka combines their excellent potato vodka with, well, chillies obviously. Warming and silky, it's probably far safer than anything from those antisocial nutters at…  More info

Arbikie Chilli Vodka
$47.72

Chase Gooseberry Vodka

70cl, 40%
Williams Chase

Limited edition Gooseberry Vodka from Chase in Herefordshire, made with their stunning potato-based vodka and locally grown gooseberries! Vibrantly fruity with a hint of tartness, the Chase…  More info

Chase Gooseberry Vodka
1
$48.75

Cold River Blueberry Vodka

75cl, 40%
Maine Distilleries

To make this excellent Blueberry vodka, they take small Wymans and Maine blueberries, which have a much more intense flavour. Then they steep them for a few days in alcohol, and they filter the…  More info

Cold River Blueberry Vodka
$57.46

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