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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.

Absolut Peppar

50cl, 40%
Absolut Company

Very spicy and full bodied pepper vodka from Sweden. Made with pure, creamy Absolut vodka, Absolut Peppar makes a corking Bloody Mary.  More info

Absolut Peppar
1
$17.32

Belvedere Bloody Mary Vodka

70cl, 40%
Belvedere

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

Belvedere Bloody Mary Vodka
$45.10

Dry Fly Vodka

70cl, 40%
Dry Fly Distilling

An award-winning vodka from the Dry Fly Distillers in Spokane, Washington, made with locally-grown soft winter wheat. Top quality vodka, perfect for neat-sippin' and cocktails. It was awarded a…  More info

Dry Fly Vodka
$42.71

Virtuous Vodka Ginger

70cl, 38%
Virtuous Vodka

A cloudy bottle of ginger goodness from organic spirit producer Virtuous Vodka.  More info

Virtuous Vodka Ginger
$43.29

Virtuous Vodka Raspberry

70cl, 38%
Virtuous Vodka

A raspberry flavoured vodka that'as not only organic but also supports African Apes.  More info

Virtuous Vodka Raspberry
$43.29

Boris Jelzin Vodka

100cl, 37.50%
GCF

A French vodka named after the 1st President of Russia, Boris Yeltsin (he was President of Russia between July 1991 and December 1999), presented in a 1 litre bottle. Should be good for mixed drinks.  More info

Boris Jelzin Vodka
1
$28.05

Sherematov Vodka

70cl, 40%
Smeets N.V.

The two headed eagle on the label of this Sherematov Vodka, a triple distilled vodka from Belgium, has two crowns, on for each head. Very smart. Originally produced for Pascoe & Associates Ltd.  More info

Sherematov Vodka
$27.63

Roberto Cavalli Vodka

70cl, 40%
Roberto Cavalli

Yep, that's right. Roberto Cavalli. The Fashion Designer. Can't really be bothered to finish this tasting note, I think I'm just going to hop in my car (upholstered by Benjamin Netanyahu), and drive…  More info

Roberto Cavalli Vodka
1
$48.87

Vorsov Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Forth Wines

A simple vodka, distilled and bottled for Forth Wines. It's got a chap riding a horse on the label, which is neat.  More info

Vorsov Vodka
$21.83

Kulov Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Kulov

Cool off with Kulov, that's their slogan. And nothing cools us down better than a glass of vodka, apart from lemonade, mmm yummers. This is pure tasting, and it works well in cocktails.  More info

Kulov Vodka
$21.82

Esbjærg Vodka

100cl, 40%
Boomsma

Esbjærg is a Dutch wheat-based vodka, which is charcoal filtered to achieve its desired purity and mouth-feel. The original recipe for Esbjærg actually comes from Denmark!  More info

Esbjærg Vodka
$31.54

Blackdown Christmas Pudding Vodka

50cl, 29.90%
Blackdown

Christmas. Pudding. Vodka. A does-what-it-says-on-the-tin festive treat from top Sussex spirits producer Blackdown!  More info

Blackdown Christmas Pudding Vodka
$36.60

Square One Vodka (70cl)

70cl, 40%
Square One

Made with 100% rye and water from the Teton Range of Wyoming, Square One is a top quality American vodka produced in Idaho.  More info

Square One Vodka (70cl)
$33.87

Grey Goose Jeroboam

300cl, 40%
Grey Goose

A jeroboam bottle of Grey Goose, a hugely popular French vodka made with soft winter wheat, distilled in a five-step process and blended with spring water which is naturally filtered through…  More info

Grey Goose Jeroboam
$311.53

Mainstay Premium Cane Vodka

75cl, 43%
Mainstay

A South African vodka, distilled from molasses. Mainstay was awarded the Vodka Trophy at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2007.  More info

Mainstay Premium Cane Vodka
2
$30.10

Vestal Blended Potato Vodka

70cl, 40%
Vestal

Using a blend of potato varieties grown in Poland and pure Polish water, Vestal have produced a supremely flavoursome vodka. Vestal greatly value the aromas and flavours from the vodka, and this is…  More info

Vestal Blended Potato Vodka
$42.71

Smirnoff Red 1l

100cl, 37.50%
Smirnoff

A litre bottle of Smirnoff Red - the world's best selling vodka. Thrice distilled and ten times filtered for purity.  More info

Smirnoff Red 1l
1
$32.98

Premium Krupnik Vodka

70cl, 40%
Krupnik

A classically styled Polish vodka from the Krupnik range, which you may be more familiar with from the well-loved Old Krupnik Honey Liqueur.  More info

Premium Krupnik Vodka
$21.41

NB London Dry Citrus Vodka

70cl, 40%
NB Distillery ltd

From the makers of the wonderful NB Gin comes NB London Dry Citrus Vodka. Yep, you read that right. This vodka is flavoured in the same way a London dry gin would be, then blended with water down to…  More info

NB London Dry Citrus Vodka
$31.41

Belvedere Pink Grapefruit

70cl, 40%
Belvedere

Belvedere Pink Grapefruit is made with real fruit, and pure Polish vodka. The result is a crisp, flavousome fruit vodka, released in 2010.  More info

Belvedere Pink Grapefruit
4
$40.92

Absolut Kurant

70cl, 40%
Absolut Company

What did you call me? Oh, you just asked for Absolut Kurant, my bad…This is a fruity and crisp Swedish vodka flavoured with natural blackcurrant extracts. The results are delectable!  More info

Absolut Kurant
1
$22.60

The Secret British Vodka also known as AKA Vodka

70cl, 40%
The Poshmakers

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

The Secret British Vodka also known as AKA Vodka
$43.31

Black Moth Truffle Vodka

70cl, 40%
Black Moth

A very unusual vodka, this is five times distilled, three time filtered and flavoured with Périgord truffles. It is very distinctive, and very soft. Beautiful.  More info

Black Moth Truffle Vodka
3
$51.75

T.E.A. Jasmine Vodka

70cl, 40%
T.E.A.

A Jasmine Vodka from the T.E.A. range, which stands for Tea Enriched Alcohol. Using a sugar beet base spirit, the producers subtly flavour their vodka with Jasmine silver tip tea to give it some…  More info

T.E.A. Jasmine Vodka
$44.38

Grey Goose La Poire

70cl, 40%
Grey Goose

Produced with essence of Anjou pears, blended by the Maitre de Chai with Grey Goose vodka. This is a sophisticated, well-balanced fruit vodka.  More info

Grey Goose La Poire
$43.01

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