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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.

Koskenkorva 013 Vodka

70cl, 40%
Koskenkorva

Made using continuous distillation, the spirit used from Koskenkorva 013 is said to be distilled over 250 times before it is bottled. As you can imagine, this creates an exceedingly high quality…  More info

Koskenkorva 013 Vodka
1
$28.69

Royal Dragon Elite Vodka

70cl, 40%
Dragon Spirits

Made from the finest organically-grown winter harvest rye grain, which is then five times distilled and placed in a pretty awesome bottle. Excellent over ice or in cocktails. Sadly, if you gather…  More info

Royal Dragon Elite Vodka
$46.39

Pincer Vodka

70cl, 38%
Pincer Vodka

A nicely packaged vodka, Pincer is infused with the flavours of Wild Elderflower, and Milk Thistle. The result is a creamy, herbal vodka, made with Scottish mountain water. The spirit has been…  More info

Pincer Vodka
3
$27.45

55 Above – Coconut

70cl, 35%
55 Above

This coconut-flavoured expression from the 55 Above range ought to be a good addition to any tropical cocktails you've been thinking of making. Try it with a chocolate-y liqueur and you could name it…  More info

55 Above – Coconut
$35.42

Davna Hani Linden Honey Vodka

50cl, 38%
Davna Vodka

The newest addition to the Davina Hani Polish vodka family is a sweet young fellow that was built in part by bees. That's right. The Linden honey which makes this flavoured vodka so sweet was made by…  More info

Davna Hani Linden Honey Vodka
$19.05

Stolichnaya Blue Vodka

70cl, 50%
Stolichnaya

The 100 proof version of Stolichnaya's vodka. Despite being so strong it still retains a surprising level of smoothness.  More info

Stolichnaya Blue Vodka
1
$28.11

St. George Green Chile Vodka

75cl, 40%
St. George Spirits

Looking for the perfect vodka for a Bloody Mary? You've found it. The St. George Green Chile Vodka packs a vibrant, evocative and subtly spicy punch. To make it, the Californian distillers fill their…  More info

St. George Green Chile Vodka
$44.66

Ciroc Amaretto Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Ciroc

Another delicious flavour of Ciroc Vodka - oh Puff Diddy, you are spoiling us! The Amaretto flavour features classic Ciroc vodka, made with French grapes, distilled five times and infused with…  More info

Ciroc Amaretto Vodka
$34.38

Chopin Rye Vodka

70cl, 40%
Polmos Siedlce

Chopin Rye Vodka is made with high-quality golden rye grown in the Podlasie region of Poland. It is distilled four times, blended with artesian well water and filtered five times, before it's…  More info

Chopin Rye Vodka
$37.95

East London Liquor Company Small Batch Grain Vodka

70cl, 40%
East London Liquor Company

An English vodka from the East London Liqour Company, based in the old glue factory in Bow Wharf, made with 100% British wheat spirit distilled using their copper pot still.  More info

East London Liquor Company Small Batch Grain Vodka
$25.21

Smirnoff Blue No 57 Export Strength (50%)

70cl, 50%
Smirnoff

Just like the classic Smirnoff Red Label, Smirnoff Export Strength is triple distilled and filtered ten times for its distinctive purity. Their blue label Export Strength variant, however, is bottled…  More info

Smirnoff Blue No 57 Export Strength (50%)
$27.37

St. George California Citrus Vodka

75cl, 40%
St. George Spirits

A bright, juicy Citrus Vodka from St George Spirits in California. They source Valencia oranges, Seville oranges and bergamot, all of which are infused separately into a non-GMO base spirit and…  More info

St. George California Citrus Vodka
$44.66

Stolichnaya Citros Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Stolichnaya

This deliciously tangy vodka from Stolichnaya is made with various citrus fruits, particularly lemons and limes. It works really well in a vodka and tonic, or as the base for a Cosmopolitan, in which…  More info

Stolichnaya Citros Vodka
$23.56

Crystal Head Aurora Vodka

70cl, 40%
Crystal Head

It's Crystal Head vodka, but not as you know it! This 'iridescent' skull, a design based on the Aurora Borealis (or Northern Lights), contains vodka made from Yorkshire wheat rather than Canadian…  More info

Crystal Head Aurora Vodka
$96.64

Killer Queen Vodka

70cl, 40%
RnR Brew Ltd

Killer Queen Vodka was released in honour of Freddie Mercury in 2014, 40 years after Queen hit the charts with their smashing single 'Killer Queen'. Freddie Mercury was quite the vodka fan according…  More info

Killer Queen Vodka
$29.56

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
$17.29

U'Luvka Magnum (1.75L)

175cl, 40%
U'Luvka

A massive bottling of U'Luvka Vodka, a neat Polish expression made using rye, barley and wheat. Handsomely presented in a rather curvy bottle. Whilst a normal magnum bottle would be 1.5 litres, this…  More info

U'Luvka Magnum (1.75L)
$81.93

Davna Bizon Grass Vodka

50cl, 40%
Davna Vodka

This vodka is made to a traditional Polish recipe using Hierochloe Odorata grass from Europe's only remaining primeval forest - this grass is better known as bison grass due to the fact that bison…  More info

Davna Bizon Grass Vodka
$17.23

U'Luvka Magnum Gift Pack with 6x Glasses (1.75l)

175cl, 40%
U'Luvka

A massive bottle of U'Luvka Polish vodka, made from rye, barley and wheat, along with six glasses and a booklet containing cocktail suggestions! Whilst a normal magnum bottle would be 1.5 litres,…  More info

U'Luvka Magnum Gift Pack with 6x Glasses (1.75l)
$116.08

Russian Standard Platinum Vodka

70cl, 40%
Roust Inc

The premium version of best-selling Russian Standard Vodka.  More info

Russian Standard Platinum Vodka
4
$24.41

Chase English Oak Smoked Vodka

70cl, 40%
Williams Chase

A very limited run of just 1,000 bottles, Chase make this superb vodka with English potatoes. The spirit is smoked with English oak for a exquisitely robust, evocative flavour.  More info

Chase English Oak Smoked Vodka
7
$40.56

Adnams North Cove Oak Aged Vodka

70cl, 50%
Adnams

A beautiful oak-aged vodka made with their Longshore barley vodka which is matured in both American and French oak barrels before bottling at a higher-than-average proof. Another surefire hit from…  More info

Adnams North Cove Oak Aged Vodka
$38.48

Siwucha Vodka

50cl, 40%
Siwucha

An 'incompletely rectified' polish Vodka. Siwucha translates literally as 'Hooch' or 'Rot-gut' (enticed yet?). An alternate (althogh perhaps less accurate) translation is 'Old Grey Lady', referring…  More info

Siwucha Vodka
2
$24.62

Smirnoff Red Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Smirnoff

Smirnoff Red is triple distilled and ten times filtered for purity. This is the world's best selling vodka.  More info

Smirnoff Red Vodka
1
$19.25

Sauvelle Vodka

70cl, 41%
Sauvelle

This stylish tipple is a French vodka from the Cognac region, crafted using French wheat and water from Gensac. Before bottling, Sauvelle is filtered over three types of wood, then bottled without…  More info

Sauvelle Vodka
1
$40.54

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