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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.

RubyBlue Vodka

70cl, 40%
Hughes Craft Distillery

The RubyBlue Vodka is a small batch vodka from Ireland, made with potatoes harvested late in the season. Very subtle and light, with a touch of earthiness to it.  More info

RubyBlue Vodka
6
$31.44

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
$58.76

Mozart Chocolate Vodka

70cl, 40%
Mozart Distillerie

Previously known as Mozart Dry, Mozart Chocolate Vodka is made with a chocolate macerate created with cacao and vanilla, which is distilled to create a wonderfully clear, subtly drying vodka. Not as…  More info

Mozart Chocolate Vodka
1
$34.94

English Spirit Vanilla Pod Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
English Vodka Company

The English Vodka Company has sourced the very best vanilla pods and added them to its finest artisan vodka. The result is a superb vanilla vodka that’s sweet and devilishly drinkable.  More info

English Spirit Vanilla Pod Vodka
$37.50

Durham Vodka

70cl, 40%
Durham Distillery

Durham Vodka is triple distilled using the last few litres from their gin production process. This is then passed through their custom built filtration column , which is based on Lincoln County…  More info

Durham Vodka
$31.52

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
$35.73

Alchemia Wisniowa (Cherry)

70cl, 40%
Polmos Bialystok

Cherry flavoured vodka from the Alchemia range! Good quality Polish rye-based vodka and wild Polish cherries make this a juicy treat that goes well in mixed drinks (particularly with cola...).  More info

Alchemia Wisniowa (Cherry)
$28.05

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
$40.64

Ketel One Citroen Lemon Vodka

70cl, 40%
Ketel One

A Dutch lemon vodka, Ketel One Citroen is made with natural citrus, and is remarkably fresh. Based around the superb Ketel One vodka.  More info

Ketel One Citroen Lemon Vodka
$29.68

Michel Adam f. Vodka

70cl, 40%
Wielkopolska Wytwornia

This luxury vodka has been created under the careful eye of Michel Adam Lisowski, the Polish-born president of FashionTV. It is four-times distilled in Poland before being bottled.  More info

Michel Adam f. Vodka
$35.43

T.E.A. Jasmine Vodka

70cl, 40%
T.E.A.

A Jasmine Vodka from the T.E.A. range, which stands for Tea Enriched Alcohol. Using a sugar beet base spirit, the producers subtly flavour their vodka with Jasmine silver tip tea to give it some…  More info

T.E.A. Jasmine Vodka
$44.01

Chase Vodka

70cl, 40%
Williams Chase

Made by the same guys that make Tyrells potato crisps (from the dinky potatoes that can't be made into crisps). Chase vodka was featured on the BBC TV programme 'Oz and James drink to Britain'.  More info

Chase Vodka
9
$38.04

Grey Goose La Poire

70cl, 40%
Grey Goose

Produced with essence of Anjou pears, blended by the Maitre de Chai with Grey Goose vodka. This is a sophisticated, well-balanced fruit vodka.  More info

Grey Goose La Poire
$42.65

Absolut Cherrys

70cl, 40%
Absolut Company

The kaleidoscopic selection of Absolut Vodka flavours grows one larger with the addition of their Cherrys expression. Made with no added sugar, only natural ingredients, this high quality Swedish…  More info

Absolut Cherrys
$23.29

Snow Queen Vodka

70cl, 40%
Snow Queen

A stunning vodka named for the Snow Queen of Kazakhstan. Her father was organic wheat and her mother was pure water from the mountains. This vodka is distilled five times, and offers a smooth, supple…  More info

Snow Queen Vodka
5
$35.75

Blackwoods Botanical Vodka

70cl, 40%
Blackwoods

Blackwoods Botanical Vodka is distilled five times before it is infused with botanicals using bonification to give it a refined flavour profile. The four botanicals used are meadow sweet, sea pink,…  More info

Blackwoods Botanical Vodka
$30.56

Skorppio Vodka (With Scorpion)

70cl, 37.50%
Rodrigo Rodriguez

Get over here and check out Skorppio Vodka. It's five times distilled from single grain in England, and each bottle contains a real, no foolin', edible scorpion.  More info

Skorppio Vodka (With Scorpion)
$28.45

Brecon Five Black Vodka

70cl, 43%
Penderyn

Brecon Five Vodka is a lovely Welsh vodka from the folks that make Penderyn whisky. This is five-times distilled and charcoal filtired, made with pure glacier water and just a hint of barley spirit…  More info

Brecon Five Black Vodka
1
$33.72

Absolut Raspberri

70cl, 40%
Absolut Company

Made from Winter wheat and pure water from a deep Swedish well. Absolut Raspberri is naturally flavoured with fresh raspberries.  More info

Absolut Raspberri
1
$22.68

Staritsky Levitsky Private Cellar Vodka

75cl, 40%
Staritsky Levitsky

Private Cellar is Staritsky Levitsky's top of the range offering for "the true vodka aficionado", crafted near the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine, close to the Polish border.  More info

Staritsky Levitsky Private Cellar Vodka
$61.33

Raspberry Vodka

50cl, 22%
Scots' Cheer Limited

A fruity vodka from Scots Cheer. This is smooth grain vodka infused with raspberries.  More info

Raspberry Vodka
$19.75

Iordanov Vodka - Union Jack Skull

70cl, 40%
Iordanov

This is a very stylish bottle of Iordanov Vodka, produced in Germany using 100% wheat and water from the Vogelsberg highlands. It was distilled five times and charcoal filtered before being bottled…  More info

Iordanov Vodka - Union Jack Skull
$54.47

Iordanov Vodka - Santa Claus

70cl, 40%
Iordanov

Iordanov is produced in Germany 100% wheat and water from the Vogelsberg highlands, distilled 5 times before being charcoal filtered and bottled. The vodka's bottles are very stylish indeed, being…  More info

Iordanov Vodka - Santa Claus
$53.83

Blackdown Christmas Pudding Vodka

50cl, 29.90%
Blackdown

Christmas. Pudding. Vodka. A does-what-it-says-on-the-tin festive treat from top Sussex spirits producer Blackdown!  More info

Blackdown Christmas Pudding Vodka
$36.29

Smirnoff Gold (Cinnamon)

70cl, 37.50%
Smirnoff

A cinnamon-flavoured edition of the world's best selling vodka complete with floating pieces of gold leaf. Perhaps they'd been watching Superbad and wondered why that gold flake vodka didn't exist,…  More info

Smirnoff Gold (Cinnamon)
$39.24

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