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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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The Lost Distilleries Blend
St George Spirits
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Ardbeg Whisky Distillery
That Boutique-y Whisky Company
Chopin Potato Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Potato vodka is the secret of a good Vesper Martini - James Bond's own concoction. Chopin is four times distilled from Polish potatoes and named for Frederic Chopin.  More info
User Rating: 
$53.07
Wokka Fusion Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Wokka fusion vodka is a small batch vodka mixed with fine imported Japanese sake, and flavoured with Asian fruits.  More info
$55.97
Debowa Black Oak
(70cl, 40%)
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 great...  More info
$42.69
A fancy presentation of the Debowa Polish vodka, which is made with natural plant extracts for a unique flavour. This 50cl bottle comes with a built in swing stand for easy pouring. It also makes it...  More info
$60.05
Popular in Russian, Pertsovka is a flavoured vodka made with pepper and honey, which is sure to warm you up on a cold evening. This bottle comes from the 1970s.  More info
$142.79
Taziana Vodka - 1970s
(75cl, 40%)
This is a hard to find bottle of Taziana Vodka, distilled in the 1970s. There seems to be some sort of grain inside the bottle. We're pretty sure it's meant to be there.  More info
$142.79
Silver Rocks Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Produced in Poland, Silver Rocks is a delicious rye vodka with a sweet, faintly spicy flavour. Very good neat or in a Vodka Martini.  More info
User Rating: 
$40.13
A beautiful vodka, aged in French and American Oak barrels. In many ways this is much like a good grain whisky, and it offers up notes of vanilla, white chocolate and coconut. Simply incredible, and...  More info
$52.50
Absolut Elyx 40%
(70cl, 40%)
Single estate vodka - You don't hear that phrase every day, do you? Well, here is the Absolut Elyx, a single estate vodka made with wheat taken exclusively from an estate in Råbelöf, whom have been...  More info
$54.01
A wonderful gift set from Polish vodka makers, Chopin. This set includes a 20cl bottle of the standard Chopin potato vodka, as well as a 20cl bottle of their brilliant rye vodka, all handsomely...  More info
$65.68
This is the Mamont Vodka presented in a gift box. Mamont gets its name from mammoth remains found in the region where it is made. The bottle is a tusk shape for this very reason!  More info
$41.65
A limited edition of 3000 bottles, this raspberry vodka is created with local Pixley raspberries, harvested as late as possible in order to extract as much natural sweetness as possible. They are...  More info
$53.55
This is a collectible bottle of Ukrainian vodka, flavoured with lemons, as you can clearly ascertain from the lemons on the label. It was produced in the 1990s.  More info
$71.39
English Spirit Vodka
(70cl, 37.50%)
This very small batch vodka is made in Cambridgeshire by the the chaps at the English Vodka Company. Their still, named Fanny, is dinky, just 200 litres, and this allows the distillers to closely...  More info
$37.18
Vodka 7000
(75cl, 40%)
Vodka 7000 comes from the High West distillery (a Utah based company which recently produced a slew of delicious whiskeys). This was named after the altitude of the distillery, which is 7000 feet...  More info
$56.46
Effen Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
"Where's my Effen vodka?""No need for that language…"This Dutch vodka is made from premium wheat, and it is distilled at low temperatures before undergoing filtration through peat (which removes more...  More info
$39.74
Koskenkorva Blueberry
(70cl, 37.50%)
Finnish vodka, flavoured with sweet, subtle notes of blueberry. Koskenkorva is made using continuous distillation, resulting in a high quality spirit. Create a twist on classic vodka cocktails or...  More info
$30.54
Wyborowa Lemon Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Wyborowa Lemon is a Polish vodka flavoured with Lemons and their essential oils. Brilliant in cocktails of in a vodka and tonic.  More info
$26.82
Diamond Standard Vodka is made with Polish rye grain that is distilled four times and filtered four times too (once through diamonds, of course) for a high level of purity. The bottled even has a 25mm...  More info
$117.04
Debowa White Oak
(70cl, 40%)
Made in Poland, Debowa White Oak is a traditional, delicately flavoured Polish vodka which was created as a sipping spirit. Very good stuff...  More info
$31.81
Absolut Ruby Red
(70cl, 40%)
A rather tasty fruit vodka from Absolut. This was launched in June 2006, and is flavoured with grapefruit. Delicious!  More info
Debowa Crystal Oak
(70cl, 40%)
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
$40.13
This English vodka is flavoured by infusing and also re-distilling the vodka with Colombian coffee beans to create a vodka with a distinct coffee aroma and flavour.  More info
$43.34
Flavoured with juicy, tangy Gala Apples, this fresh-tasting Russian vodka from Stolichnaya works superbly well in cocktails, or with tonic and plenty of ice.  More info
$28.84
The famous vodka from Finland made using six-row barley and glacial spring water. This vodka has been flavoured with blackcurrants for a fruity twist.  More info
$27.07

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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.