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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.

Debowa Oak Vodka (With Handle)

70cl, 40%
Dębowa

There's a strand of oak inside this bottle of vodka (with a massive wooden handle!), but the flavour and tint predominantly come from being infused with black elderflower and sustainable Polish oak.  More info

Debowa Oak Vodka (With Handle)
$38.31

Firestarter Vodka 7x Filtered 35cl

35cl, 40%
Colusvin

A 7 times filtered, Moldovan winter wheat based vodka here from the Firestarter range, presented in a 35cl glass bottle shaped like a fire extinguisher. Great for fun cocktails.  More info

Firestarter Vodka 7x Filtered 35cl
$19.99

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
$31.85

U'Luvka Vodka Gift Pack with 2x Glasses (10cl)

10cl, 40%
U'Luvka

A neat gift pack from U'luvka, featuring a 10cl bottle of their Polish vodka made with rye, barley and wheat, as well two rather interesting tasting glasses. The glasses have no flat bases, which…  More info

U'Luvka Vodka Gift Pack with 2x Glasses (10cl)
$21.69

Potocki Vodka

70cl, 40%
Potocki

Potocki is a high-quality Polish vodka produced using locally-sourced rye from the fields around the distillery in central Poland. The vodka is double distilled and bottled at 40% ABV without…  More info

Potocki Vodka
$39.75

Absolut Electrik 1l - Blue

100cl, 40%
Absolut Company

A limited edition litre bottling of Sweden's excellent Absolut Vodka. Their Elecrik edition sees the winter wheat-based vodka decked out in a very shiny bottle, which ought to look the business in…  More info

Absolut Electrik 1l - Blue
$46.38

Chopin Wheat Vodka

70cl, 40%
Polmos Siedlce

A neat, wheat variation on the popular Chopin Vodka, made with 100% Polish wheat. Excellent mouth-feel and flavour profile, with clean hints of baking bread and honey.  More info

Chopin Wheat Vodka
$40.26

The Original Manchester Vodka

50cl, 40%
The Zymurgorium

Distilled from a honey wash, this is a premium quadruple distilled vodka that's produced at The Zymurgorium in Manchester itself. Each stoneware bottle is filled, labelled, waxed and stamped by hand.  More info

The Original Manchester Vodka
$38.09

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
$53.56

Smirnoff Red Vodka 1.5l

150cl, 37.50%
Smirnoff

A magnum bottle of the world's top selling vodka, Smirnoff Red. A good mixer at a very good price.  More info

Smirnoff Red Vodka 1.5l
$37.61

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
$24.88

Paderewski Vodka

70cl, 40%
Old Distillery

A Polish grain-based vodka named after Ignactius Jan Paderewski, a well-loved pianist and diplomat - there's a monument to Paderewski in Warsaw's Ujazdów Park.  More info

Paderewski Vodka
$24.75

Grey Goose L'Orange

70cl, 40%
Grey Goose

French vodka flavoured with the essence of the orange. This is made with Champagne limestone filtered water. In 2001 this was awarded gold at the Beverage Packaging Global Award. They were right to…  More info

Grey Goose L'Orange
1
$42.68

Iordanov Vodka - USA Skull

70cl, 40%
Iordanov

A skull formed of crystals arranged in the stars and stripes pattern adorns the bottle of this Iordanov Vodka. It's produced at one of the oldest distilleries in Germany using 100% wheat and is…  More info

Iordanov Vodka - USA Skull
$54.93

Iordanov Vodka - Mexican Skull

70cl, 40%
Iordanov

Iordanov Vodka is produced at one of the oldest distilleries in Germany using 100% wheat as its base, as well as water from the Vogelsberg highlands. It's five times distilled and charcoal filtered…  More info

Iordanov Vodka - Mexican Skull
$54.93

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
$20.23

English Spirit Vodka 54%

70cl, 54%
English Vodka Company

The English Vodka Company believes small is beautiful, and this is perfectly encapsulated by their premium small batch vodka. This one is bottled at 54%, and unlike most mass-produced vodkas, it’s…  More info

English Spirit Vodka 54%
2
$36.75

Cold River Vodka

75cl, 40%
Maine Distilleries

Cold River is a creamy and very distinctive vodka made by the American company, Maine Distilleries. They grow the potatoes on their own farm, get the water from a nearby aquifer and even bottle it…  More info

Cold River Vodka
$59.91

Square One Basil Vodka

70cl, 40%
Square One

Produced in America by the Square One company, this is an extraordinary flavoured vodka made with the pure essences of four different varieties of basil: Genovese, Thai, Lemon and Sweet. It's also…  More info

Square One Basil Vodka
$40.12

The Vodka Advent Calendar (2015 Edition)

72cl, 39.20%
Drinks by the Dram

Advent calendars have always been exciting because they count down to Christmas! But why shouldn't they be exciting in their own right too? The unsatisfying lumps of chocolate found behind the…  More info

The Vodka Advent Calendar (2015 Edition)
$122.13

Aylesbury Duck Vodka

70cl, 40%
The 86 Company

Aylesbury Duck Vodka is a delightfully designed spirit from the great white north known as Canada. It's made with winter wheat sourced from farmers in the Western Rockies of Canada. After being…  More info

Aylesbury Duck Vodka
$36.03

Roberto Cavalli Orange Vodka

100cl, 40%
Roberto Cavalli

Fashion designer Roberto Cavalli is expanding his vodka range with some flavoured expressions! This is a 1 litre bottle of orange-flavoured Roberto Cavalli Vodka - very swish indeed.  More info

Roberto Cavalli Orange Vodka
$59.25

Legend of Kremlin (50cl)

50cl, 40%
ITAR

A riveting super-premium Russian vodka, Legend of Kremlin is made using high-quality grains and soft water from their own artesian well. One to sip and savour. This is a 50cl bottling.  More info

Legend of Kremlin (50cl)
$30.24

V Gallery Gift Set

20cl, 21%
V Gallery

A rather pleasing gift set of 4 x 5cl samples of V Gallery Vodka, including scrummy flavours like Toffee Fudge, Marshmallow, Mango Crush and Cucumber, all of which are five times distilled.  More info

V Gallery Gift Set
$20.51

Finlandia Cranberry

70cl, 37.50%
Finlandia

As one of the few berries that grow up north near the Arctic, cranberries are used a lot Finnish food and drink, just like apples in Somerset. This is why real cranberries go into making the…  More info

Finlandia Cranberry
$23.86

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