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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.

Pravda Vódka

70cl, 40%
Pravda

Pravda is a rye-based Polish water, made with a five-step distillation process, water from springs deep within the Carpathian Mountains and charcoal filtration. The bottle looks quite swish, too.…  More info

Pravda Vódka
$50.10

Maraska Cosmopolitan Vodka

100cl, 37.50%
Maraska

Three guesses what cocktail this Croatian vodka would be rather tasty in. Yes, it does seem that Maraska is giving you a hint about how to use their Cosmopolitan Vodka with its name, so go right…  More info

Maraska Cosmopolitan Vodka
$30.55

Black Death Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Black Death

Black Death Vodka is a rather intensely named vodka which dates back to the very early 1900s, when it was originally made in Iceland. It features a rather cheerful-looking skull on the label, with a…  More info

Black Death Vodka
$28.96

Snow Queen Vodka 1.5l

150cl, 40%
Snow Queen

A very clean tasting vodka from Kazakhstan. It is five times distilled from wheat and made with pure water from the ice-capped mountains.  More info

Snow Queen Vodka 1.5l
2
$94.98

Stolichnaya Chocolat Razberi

70cl, 37.50%
Stolichnaya

A chocolate and raspberry flavoured vodka from the stalwart Russian producers Stolichnaya. Fruity and very rich.  More info

Stolichnaya Chocolat Razberi
1
$23.56

The Jewel of Russia Classic Vodka

70cl, 40%
Jewel of Russia

A Russian vodka that prides itself on reviving the finest traditions - from a 300 year old bottle design and red wax seal to the use of hard winter wheat and rye and pure deep-well artesian water to…  More info

The Jewel of Russia Classic Vodka
1
$33.48

Smirnoff Raspberry

70cl, 37.50%
Smirnoff

A raspberry-flavoured vodka from the world-famous Smirnoff range. Big, juicy and sweet flavours abound - generously pour over crushed ice and enjoy!  More info

Smirnoff Raspberry
$20.14

Sputnik Horseradish Vodka

70cl, 40%
Sputnik

Bloody Mary anyone? Okay, so when compared to the micro-distilled vodka made using freshly grated horseradish we had recently at 69 Colebrook Row, this ain't quite as good. Mind you, that's a bit…  More info

Sputnik Horseradish Vodka
$20.99

Bainbridge Legacy Organic Vodka

75cl, 40%
Bainbridge Organic Distillers

Fantastic and organic small batch vodka from Bainbridge Distillers in Washington State on America's west coast. Made with soft white wheat from fields west of Walla Walla, a fact we're including…  More info

Bainbridge Legacy Organic Vodka
2
$77.17

Carmel Vodka - 1970s

76cl, 50%
Carmel Wine Growers Cooperative

This bottle of vodka was made in the 1970s by the Carmel Winery in Israel, whom are still producing wine even today! A rare, collectible piece.  More info

Carmel Vodka - 1970s
$116.06

Absolut Colours

70cl, 40%
Absolut Company

This is a bottling of Absolut Vodka from Sweden, decked out in the colours of the pride flag. This was produced in collaboration with the designer of the pride flag, Gilbert Baker, in support of the…  More info

Absolut Colours
$25.19

Polugar No.1 - Rye & Wheat

50cl, 38.50%
Rodinov & Sons

Polugar No. 1 is made with both rye and wheat grains, distilled in copper pot stills in the style of Russian vodka, or "breadwine" as it was referred to, from the 19th century.  More info

Polugar No.1 - Rye & Wheat
$33.64

Lanique Orange Vodka

70cl, 40%
Lanique

Orange flavoured vodka from the Lanique range, which is produced in Southern Poland. Great for mixed drinks which need a good kick of citrus at their core.  More info

Lanique Orange Vodka
$28.75

Beluga Noble Vodka with Branded Glass

70cl, 40%
Beluga

A spectacular Russian spirit, Beluga Noble Vodka is made using barley malt spirit and very subtly flavoured with honey, oat and milk thistle extracts. It maintains the classic, crisp, clean character…  More info

Beluga Noble Vodka with Branded Glass
$45.28

Pertsovka Pepper Vodka 50cl - 1970s

50cl, 35%
Stolichnaya

A pepper vodka produced for V/O Sojuzplodoimport, the Soviet organisation that Stolichnaya was also produced for before it all gets a bit confusing in the 1990s.  More info

Pertsovka Pepper Vodka 50cl - 1970s
$94.30

Polmos Jozefow Cytrynowka Lemon

70cl, 40%
Polmos Jozefow

A Polish rye vodka flavoured with selected lemon peel and also lemon leaves. The result is a crisp and tasty lemon vodka.  More info

Polmos Jozefow Cytrynowka Lemon
$24.72

Eristoff Gold - Golden Caramel

70cl, 20%
Eristoff

Produced in Georgia by the renowned Eristoff company, Golden Caramel is a superb flavoured vodka made with caramel and a hint of vanilla. It can be enjoyed neat, or in a variety of cocktails.  More info

Eristoff Gold - Golden Caramel
2
$20.18

Polugar No.3 - Caraway

50cl, 38.50%
Rodinov & Sons

A wheat and rye spirit from Poland, based on a classic Russian recipe, produced using copper pot stills. This edition of Polugar has been flavoured with the complex flavours of caraway, creating a…  More info

Polugar No.3 - Caraway
$43.32

Starka 25 Year Old Polish Vodka

70cl, 50%
Polmos Szczecin

This is a 25 year old Polish Vodka from the Starka range, produced by Polmos Szczecin. The Starka selection features a whole selection of impressively well-aged vodkas, even stretching up to 50 years…  More info

Starka 25 Year Old Polish Vodka
$212.27

Chase Juniper Vodka/Williams Chase Single Botanical Gin

70cl, 40%
Williams Chase

Much like that picture of a rabbit or a duck depending on which way you look at it, this release from Herefordshire distillers Williams Chase seems to be both a juniper-flavoured vodka and a single…  More info

Chase Juniper Vodka/Williams Chase Single Botanical Gin
$39.17

Bols Lemon Vodka Rogoschin - 1970s

70cl, 32%
Bols

This is a 1970s bottle of Lemon Vodka Rogoschin, produced by the Dutch distiller, Bols.  More info

Bols Lemon Vodka Rogoschin - 1970s
$116.06

Kryshtal Etalon Vodka

70cl, 40%
Minsk Kristall

A very pure-tasting Belarusian vodka, Etalon is purified and filtered many times. A good all-rounder…  More info

Kryshtal Etalon Vodka
$43.20

Smirnoff Vodka 1.18l - 1970s

118cl, 37%
Smirnoff

Considering the amount of Smirnoff that is drunk by all the discotheque and 'club' goers every Friday night, it's surprising that there's a 1970s bottle of this unmistakable vodka left. A rarity for…  More info

Smirnoff Vodka 1.18l - 1970s
$174.09

Absolut Level Vodka

70cl, 40%
Absolut Company

Level is Absolut's ultra premium vodka, it was launched in 2004 and is made from winter wheat. It is incredibly smooth, and was launched as a direct competitor to France's popular Grey Goose.  More info

Absolut Level Vodka
$34.66

Mazowiecka Zytnia

70cl, 40%
Polmos Siedlce

Mazowiecka Zytnia is a rye vodka, the rye comes from Mazovia in east-central Poland.  More info

Mazowiecka Zytnia
1
$25.36

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