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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.

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
$59.11

Corsair Vanilla Bean

75cl, 40%
Corsair

From the very creative Corsair distillers in American comes a Vanilla Bean Vodka, which they produce using whole vanilla beans. Packed with bold, earthy vanilla notes...  More info

Corsair Vanilla Bean
$42.62

Cossack Vodka - 1974

75cl, 37.50%
Moscow Distillery Cristall

J & J Vickers produced the wonderful Cossack Vodka not in Russia but in London. This rare bottling comes from 1974.  More info

Cossack Vodka - 1974
$173.60

Cristalnaya Vodka

70cl, 38%
Cristalnaya

Cristalnaya is a fabulous Russian vodka with an intensely creamy, smooth palate. Distilled from top quality grains, and a secret blend of botanicals, this is triple-distilled and makes for a great…  More info

Cristalnaya Vodka
$27.07

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
$96.38

Crystal Head Vodka

70cl, 40%
Crystal Head

This is one of the most brilliant things ever to be, also one of the very finest celebrity-endorsed products we've ever seen. Created for the legendary Dan Aykroyd, Crystal Head Vodka is…  More info

Crystal Head Vodka
4
$46.89

Crystal Head Vodka 1.75l

175cl, 40%
Crystal Head

A superb vodka, made by Dan Aykroyd! That's right, this is the unofficial vodka of Ghostbusters! This amazing celebrity-endorsed vodka is distilled and filtered through 500 million year old crystals…  More info

Crystal Head Vodka 1.75l
$113.26

Crystal Head Vodka 3l

300cl, 40%
Crystal Head

Regard the magnificence that is a jeroboam bottle of Dan Aykroyd's Crystal Head Vodka. No, really, regard it. This is a 3 litre bottle of award-winning vodka, which is filtered through 500 million…  More info

Crystal Head Vodka 3l
$307.42

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
$17.19

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
$19.00

Debowa Black Oak

70cl, 40%
Dębowa

Debowa Black Oak is a Polish vodka that has been infused with coffee, chocolate and cinnamon. We assume that Debowa used those three flavours not because the alliteration, but because they taste…  More info

Debowa Black Oak
1
$34.61

Debowa Crystal Oak

70cl, 40%
Dębowa

Made with a special selection of plant extracts and with an ancient distillation method, Debowa Crystal Oak is a smooth, premium Polish vodka.  More info

Debowa Crystal Oak
$32.52

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
$31.42

Debowa Military 50 Premium Vodka

50cl, 40%
Dębowa

Debowa Polish vodka presented in a bullet-shaped oak bottle complete with copper bullet head. Good taste.  More info

Debowa Military 50 Premium Vodka
$35.70

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)
$37.80

Debowa Orzech (Walnut)

70cl, 40%
Dębowa

Debowa's Polish vodkas are usually made with oak, but this addition to the range is all about delicious walnut!  More info

Debowa Orzech (Walnut)
$31.42

Debowa Polish Oak Vodka

70cl, 40%
Dębowa

A Polish vodka from Debowa, which even includes a strip of wood resting in the spirit, similar perhaps to bison grass vodka. Creamy, refreshing and quite flavoursome.  More info

Debowa Polish Oak Vodka
$38.92

Debowa Polish Oak Vodka Barrel (Black Hoops)

100cl, 40%
Dębowa

Polish oak vodka presented in an oak barrel! This one has black bands and contains 1 litre of vodka.  More info

Debowa Polish Oak Vodka Barrel (Black Hoops)
$69.31

Debowa Polish Oak Vodka Barrel (Black Hoops) - 3 Litre

300cl, 40%
Dębowa

Polish wódka presented in a larger oak barrel! This impressive barrel contains 3 litres of Debowa oak vodka.  More info

Debowa Polish Oak Vodka Barrel (Black Hoops) - 3 Litre
$216.06

Debowa Polish Oak Vodka Hunter Flask with 2x Glasses

70cl, 40%
Dębowa

Debowa Polish Oak Vodka presented inside an oak-look 'hunter' flask! You also get two shot glasses in this gift pack.  More info

Debowa Polish Oak Vodka Hunter Flask with 2x Glasses
$64.55

Debowa Polish Oak Vodka Map of Poland

50cl, 40%
Dębowa

A very cool presentation of Debowa's Polish Oak Vodka, this bottle comes adorned with the map of Poland pointing out the country's major cities! Awesome.  More info

Debowa Polish Oak Vodka Map of Poland
$46.96

Debowa Polish Oak Vodka with Bird Hut & 4x Glasses

70cl, 40%
Dębowa

The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that Debowa like to spread their wings when it comes to novel gift packs and presentation. Here you get what appears to be a perfectly serviceable Polish…  More info

Debowa Polish Oak Vodka with Bird Hut & 4x Glasses
$61.08

Debowa Polish Oak Vodka with Thermo-Barrel

70cl, 40%
Dębowa

Debowa's oak vodka complete with a thermo-barrel! Chill the bottle and then place it in the barrel, which will help keep it cool for up to 3 or 4 hours. It will also look like it's about to shoot out…  More info

Debowa Polish Oak Vodka with Thermo-Barrel
$60.11

Debowa Polska Extra

50cl, 40%
Dębowa

A 50cl bottling of Debowa Polska oak vodka, available in many different sizes and shapes. This edition is presented with a wooden sleeve.  More info

Debowa Polska Extra
$28.17

Debowa Premium Vodka Swing Stand

50cl, 40%
Dębowa

A fancy presentation of the Debowa Polish vodka, which is made with natural plant extracts for a unique flavour. This 50cl bottle comes with a built in swing stand for easy pouring. It also makes it…  More info

Debowa Premium Vodka Swing Stand
$48.67

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