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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.

Anno Elderflower & Vodka Spirit Drink

70cl, 29%
Anno

From the Anno Distillers in Kent comes a rather refreshing spirit drink, which puts the gorgeous notes of elderflower in centre stage. Anno Elderflower & Vodka sees the distillers vapour infusing…  More info

Anno Elderflower & Vodka Spirit Drink
$37.47

Ultimat Vodka

70cl, 40%
Ultimat

This was once famous for being the most expensive vodka out there (so you know it's good!), Ultimat is packaged in a handmade cobalt blue crystal bottle, and it tastes sublime…  More info

Ultimat Vodka
$51.07

Finlandia Grapefruit

70cl, 37.50%
Finlandia

This Finnish vodka offers the subtle tanginess of fresh grapefruit, which makes it a wonderful addition to many cocktails.  More info

Finlandia Grapefruit
3
$22.57

Absolut Pears

70cl, 40%
Absolut Company

Absolut Pears is a delicious pear flavoured vodka from Sweden. This is made using continuous distillation and is incredibly pure tasting. Distilled from winter wheat and naturally flavoured with pear.  More info

Absolut Pears
$22.50

Ketel One Vodka

70cl, 40%
Ketel One

A Dutch vodka produced at a distillery owned by a family-run business which was started in 1691. This was released in the UK in 1999 and has a great flavour profile.  More info

Ketel One Vodka
3
$27.42

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
$28.53

Absolut Vanilia

70cl, 40%
Absolut Company

A lovely fresh and clean vanilla flavoured vodka. Absolut Vanilia has a rich, buttery flavour with hints of cocoa and plenty of fresh vanilla.  More info

Absolut Vanilia
$22.23

Russian Standard

70cl, 40%
Roust Inc

Russian Standard vodka has been distilled to the Tsar's "premium quality standard" since 1894. It is a classic Russian vodka.  More info

Russian Standard
8
$20.31

English Spirit Old Fashioned English Toffee Vodka

50cl, 26.50%
English Vodka Company

Something for those with a sweet tooth, this is an Old Fashioned Toffee flavoured English Spirit Vodka, made with a recipe that includes five caramelised sugars. Excellent in a coffee, a pudding or a…  More info

English Spirit Old Fashioned English Toffee Vodka
$25.79

Roberto Cavalli Vodka Chameleon Edition

70cl, 40%
Roberto Cavalli

A limited edition bottling of fashion designer Roberto Cavalli's vodka, presented in a bottle which looks to be different colours dependent on the light and the angle at which you view it - hence the…  More info

Roberto Cavalli Vodka Chameleon Edition
$59.94

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
$35.22

Square One Cucumber Vodka

70cl, 40%
Square One

A crisp, refreshing cucumber vodka made with organic American rye. Great in a Bloody Mary.  More info

Square One Cucumber Vodka
$39.46

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
$306.43

Skyy Premium Vodka

70cl, 40%
Skyy

A premium vodka from America, this is distilled using four column stills, before undergoing a triple filtration. Skyy is made with Californian water.  More info

Skyy Premium Vodka
3
$21.07

Beluga Vodka Transatlantic Racing Special Edition

70cl, 40%
Beluga

A special edition bottling of Russian vodka from Beluga, produced in honour of the Russian transatlantic sailing team and their successes in competitions.  More info

Beluga Vodka Transatlantic Racing Special Edition
$50.77

Grey Goose Night Vision Luminaire 1.75l

175cl, 40%
Grey Goose

Not just vodka, super premium winter wheat French vodka. Not just super premium winter wheat French vodka, 1.75 litres worth of super premium winter wheat French vodka! Not just 1.75 litres worth of…  More info

Grey Goose Night Vision Luminaire 1.75l
$153.79

Debowa Excellent Vodka

70cl, 40%
Dębowa

A mild Polish vodka produced by the folk at Debowa, featuring their trademark strand of oak within the bottle.  More info

Debowa Excellent Vodka
$31.33

Ciroc Vodka 1l

100cl, 40%
Ciroc

A stunning French vodka, which comes with a hearty recommendation from none other than P Diddy (off of that P Diddy and the Fam), so you know it's good. This lovely spirit is distilled from grapes…  More info

Ciroc Vodka 1l
2
$52.69

Cariel Vanilla Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Cariel

A vanilla flavoured Swedish vodka, Cariel is triple distilled from wheat, and flavoured with natural vanilla extract.  More info

Cariel Vanilla Vodka
$23.97

Absolut Wild Tea

70cl, 40%
Absolut Company

A stupendous flavoured Swedish vodka from the Absolut company, this stuff is made with Chinese oolong tea and Swedish Elderflowers. The result is herbal and fragrant and wonderful in a variety of…  More info

Absolut Wild Tea
$23.67

Wyborowa Vodka

70cl, 40%
Polmos Poznan

The popular Polish vodka, Wyborowa, is made from rye, and it is twice distilled in pot stills. The name Wyborowa is polish for "Selected", so it must be good.  More info

Wyborowa Vodka
18
$21.20

Arbikie Potato Vodka

70cl, 43%
Arbikie

From the Arbikie Distillery, which overlooks the Lunan Bay in Angus in the Scottish Highlands, comes their super-premium Potato Vodka. It's made using three types of potato - Maris Piper, King Edward…  More info

Arbikie Potato Vodka
6
$50.34

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
$29.39

Skyy Infusions Passion Fruit

70cl, 37.50%
Skyy

Passion Fruit Flavoured Vodka from San Francisco Based producer Skyy.  More info

Skyy Infusions Passion Fruit
$25.61

Grey Goose Le Citron

70cl, 40%
Grey Goose

This is made with the zest of fresh lemons, and it is a brilliant fruit vodka with loads of flavour. Grey Goose use an essence of fresh lemons created by one of France's top fragrance houses.  More info

Grey Goose Le Citron
$43.46

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