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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.

Chase Islay Whisky Cask Aged Vodka

70cl, 46%
Williams Chase

Cask aged vodka from the Chase distillers in Herefordshire. This limited edition release was left to rest in a cask which previously held whisky from the renowned Laphroaig distillery, imparting…  More info

Chase Islay Whisky Cask Aged Vodka
$46.22

Chase Marmalade Vodka

70cl, 40%
Williams Chase

A brilliant fruit vodka made with Seville Orange Marmalade. This is just fabulous stuff from Chase, and it works beautifully in cocktails.  More info

Chase Marmalade Vodka
5
$41.65

Chase Rhubarb Vodka

70cl, 40%
Williams Chase

Sweet, fruity Rhubarb Vodka from Chase in Hereford, now with a fancy bottle to match the rest of the Chase Vodka range. They make this gorgeous stuff by cooking the rhubarb, marinading it in their…  More info

Chase Rhubarb Vodka
$41.95

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
$37.95

Chase Vodka Magnum

150cl, 40%
Williams Chase

A magnum of the excellent Chase Vodka. This is complex stuff, and although it's great over ice, try it at room temperature too for the full range of flavours.  More info

Chase Vodka Magnum
$102.44

Chilgrove Vodka

70cl, 40%
Chilgrove

The chaps behind Chilgrove Gin have produced their own vodka too! Just like their gin, this features a base spirit made from distilled grapes and has been blended with natural mineral water filtered…  More info

Chilgrove Vodka
$35.80

Chopin Potato Vodka

70cl, 40%
Polmos Siedlce

Potato vodka is the secret of a good Vesper Martini - James Bond's own concoction. Chopin is four times distilled from Polish potatoes and named for Frederic Chopin.  More info

Chopin Potato Vodka
3
$44.08

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

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
$40.47

Christiania Ultra Premium Vodka

70cl, 40%
Christiania

Christiania Vodka comes to us from Norway, based on a recipe said to originate over 400 years ago, in the court of Christian IV of Norway (whom the vodka is named after). It's made with Trøndelag…  More info

Christiania Ultra Premium Vodka
$44.66

Christiania Ultra Premium Vodka 1.75l

175cl, 40%
Christiania

A 1.75 litre bottling of Christiania Ultra Premium Vodka, produced in Norway using Trøndelag potatoes. It's distilled six times, charcoal filtered and aerated, according to a recipe said to have…  More info

Christiania Ultra Premium Vodka 1.75l
$87.99

Ciro Frassineti Vodka - 1949-59

Frassineti

We think that this bottle of Italian vodka made by Ciro Frassineti in Bologna was produced between 1949 and 1959, putting it at over 50 years old! Unfortunately the label has sustained a tiny bit of…  More info

Ciro Frassineti Vodka - 1949-59
$217.59

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

Ciroc Apple

70cl, 37.50%
Ciroc

A delightfully sweet addition to the Ciroc range, unveiled in late 2015. Top quality vodka made with French grapes that are harvested when frozen, distilled 5 times and this time it's been flavoured…  More info

Ciroc Apple
$40.28

Ciroc Coconut

70cl, 37.50%
Ciroc

The fresh, clear taste of Ciroc premium vodka, made with grapes that get harvested when they're frozen and distilled five times, mixed with the exotic flavours of coconut and a subtle hint of…  More info

Ciroc Coconut
$34.07

Ciroc Peach

70cl, 37.50%
Ciroc

A peach of a flavoured vodka from Ciroc, advertised and enjoyed by the rap chap Sean Combs/Puff Daddy/P. Diddy. Made from a base of grapes which are harvested while frozen, then distilled 5 times for…  More info

Ciroc Peach
$32.57

Ciroc Pineapple

70cl, 37.50%
Ciroc

Ciroc Pineapple was unveiled in mid 2014 by P. Diddy on his Instagram, and now it's in the house! Made with a base spirit of French grapes which are harvested when frozen and distilled 5 times, this…  More info

Ciroc Pineapple
$35.79

Ciroc Red Berry

70cl, 37.50%
Ciroc

Ciroc is a five-times-distilled vodka made from grapes which have been harvested when frozen. For this sweetly flavoured edition, it is blended with essences of raspberries and strawberries to give…  More info

Ciroc Red Berry
$34.32

Ciroc Vodka

70cl, 40%
Ciroc

Ciroc is a five times distilled French vodka made with grapes that are harvested when frozen. This is a very fancy and chic premium vodka.  More info

Ciroc Vodka
$38.86

Ciroc Vodka 1.75l

175cl, 40%
Ciroc

A 1.75 litre bottle of Ciroc Vodka, made with French grapes which are harvested when frozen. Following this, the vodka is distilled five times to achieve the desired level of purity and fantastic…  More info

Ciroc Vodka 1.75l
$88.18

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
$52.99

Ciroc Vodka 3l

300cl, 40%
Ciroc

A jeroboam-sized bottle of Ciroc vodka, made with French grapes which are harvested when frozen and five times distilled. This is, of course, the ultra premium vodka for which famous rapper and…  More info

Ciroc Vodka 3l
$194.21

Cleveland Bay Premium Vodka

70cl, 40%
Cleveland Bay

Cleveland Bay is a proudly British artisan vodka made to rival vodkas from Eastern Europe. Made using British potatoes, along with other fantastic ingredients from our lovely island, Cleveland Bay…  More info

Cleveland Bay Premium Vodka
6
$53.28

Cocalsa Brezloff Dry Vodka - 1980s

98cl, 40%
Cocalsa

Like your vodka dry and collectible? This shiny 1980s bottle of Cocalsa Brezloff Dry Vodka will be something you'll want to take a good look at.  More info

Cocalsa Brezloff Dry Vodka - 1980s
$174.07

Cold River Blueberry Vodka

75cl, 40%
Maine Distilleries

To make this excellent Blueberry vodka, they take small Wymans and Maine blueberries, which have a much more intense flavour. Then they steep them for a few days in alcohol, and they filter the…  More info

Cold River Blueberry Vodka
$57.46

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