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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.

Vodka

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A vibrant vodka from the chaps behind Dr. J's Gin, made by re-distilling the vodka with Colombian coffee beans, as well as infusing the spirit with them too!  More info
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Finlandia Grapefruit
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This Finnish vodka offers the subtle tanginess of fresh grapefruit, which makes it a wonderful addition to many cocktails.  More info
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V Gallery Gift Set
(20cl, 21%)
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
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Dannoff Vodka
(70cl, 37.50%)
Dannoff Vodka is a good value-for-money expression produced in the capital of Latvia, Riga. It's made with a base of wheat grain, distilled four times to reach its desired purity and blended with...  More info
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The Absolut Craft range was introduced in 2012, comprising of three flavoured vodkas created for the renowned Swedish vodka brand by Nick Strangeway, mixology extraordinaire. These were originally...  More info
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Zorokovich 1917 Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Zorokovich 1917 is a Ukrainian vodka which was born from a project by film-maker Dan Edelstyne inspired by his grandmother's memoirs found in his attic. The project saw him visiting Ukraine to find...  More info
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Smirnoff Red Vodka
(70cl, 37.50%)
Smirnoff Red is triple distilled and ten times filtered for purity. This is the world's best selling vodka.  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$18.40
Ursus Vodka 1l
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Ursus is a clean, refreshing Dutch vodka, which you might know as the spirit at the heart of Ursus Roter. What are those polar bears doing on the label? Just chillin'...  More info
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Absolut Cherrys
(70cl, 40%)
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
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A very old bottle of Keglevich Vodka, made by Stock in Trieste at some point between 1949 and 1959, presented in an interesting bottle that we think looks like a still (or perhaps we just think about...  More info
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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
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Chopin Wheat Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
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
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Stolichnaya Sticki Honey
(70cl, 37.50%)
This is a honey flavoured vodka from Stoli, ideal for giving a cocktail a sweet twist.  More info
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Koskenkorva 013 Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
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
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$30.02
Ketel One Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
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
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
$28.46
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
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RubyBlue Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
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
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$29.87
42 Below Pure Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
A four times distilled New Zealand vodka. This is made using non genetically modified wheat and pure, clean Kiwi spring water. Great in cocktails…  More info
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This starts off in the same way as Adnams beers. It is made by fermenting a sort of beer wash, using East Anglian malted barley. It is made in very small batches, and is distilled in a handmade copper...  More info
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ATOM Supplies Ltd trading as Master of Malt. Registered office: North House, 198 High Street, Tonbridge, TN9 1BE. Registered in England & Wales. Company number 3193057, VAT number GB 662241553.