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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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Dry Fly Vodka
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Eristoff Vodka 1.5l
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Kalinska Imperial Vodka
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FAIR. Vodka
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Russian Standard 1.5l
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Vodka, Insurance and Banking - that's what Russian Standard do. Now take a second, take a step back, and try and imagine the Macallan Credit Card, or the Health plan from Bombay Sapphire. Got to love...  More info
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Zorza Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Premium Vodka - excellent on the rocks, or sipped neat.  More info
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A delicious American vodka from top producers Square One, this is made with 100% organic American rye. It also includes ingredients such as pear, camomile, lavender and rosemary.  More info
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Smirnoff Lime
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Smirnoff Lime is crisp and tangy. It is made using pot still vodka, which is filtered through seven tons of charcoal!  More info
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Karlssons Gold
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This was created by Börje Karlsson, the Master Swedish Blender who came up with Absolut vodka's unique recipe. This particular vodka is distilled from new potatoes and, unusually for vodka, is only...  More info
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$49.67
Reyka Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Reyka is an Icelandic vodka, distilled from wheat and barley. It is also the world's first "green" vodka, it being made from glacial water and distilled using sustainable energy from geothermal heat.  More info
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Sipsmith Barley Vodka
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Imperia is a premium vodka from Russian Standard. This is filtered through quartz and charcoal for exceptional purity.  More info
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Heavy Water Vodka
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An ultra-premium vodka from Sweden, distilled from wheat and deep artisan well water. Heavy Water is bottled in heavy French glass and offers up a wonderful flavour.  More info
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A very stylish gift pack of U'Luvka Polish Vodka, made with rye, barley and wheat. Alongside the uniquely shaped bottle, there are two handsome glasses which have no bases, harking back to an old...  More info
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Three-time distilled vodka, made with high-quality grain and pure Alpine spring water by the Studer distillery in Switzerland. Presented in their distinctive round bottle with a glass mountain housed...  More info
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Potocki Vodka
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Smirnoff Red 3l
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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
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Smirnoff Black
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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
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Belvedere Vodka 6l
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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.