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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.

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
$42.23

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
$24.49

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
$24.62

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
$37.21

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

Russian Standard Gold

70cl, 40%
Roust Inc

Russian Standard Gold combines the clean, classic mouth-feel of their high-quality winter wheat-based vodka with subtle flavours stemming from the inclusion of Siberian ginseng extracts - this is…  More info

Russian Standard Gold
$34.28

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
$37.69

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
$39.84

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
$45.89

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
$39.33

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)
$21.46

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
$31.51

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)
$37.91

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
$29.61

V Gallery Cucumber Vodka

50cl, 21%
V Gallery

This V Gallery Cucumber Vodka is a delicious flavoured vodka which has uses spirit that has been 5 times distilled. Technically, cucumbers are fruit, which makes this a fruit flavoured vodka. You…  More info

V Gallery Cucumber Vodka
$19.28

Polugar Classic Rye Spirit

70cl, 38.50%
Rodinov & Sons

A classic rye "breadwine" spirit from Polugar, based on a Russian Vodka recipe from over 100 years ago. Using coarse-milled rye grain which is triple distilled in copper pot stills, then clarified…  More info

Polugar Classic Rye Spirit
$69.91

The Jewel of Russia Classic Vodka

70cl, 40%
Jewel of Russia

A Russian vodka that prides itself on reviving the finest traditions - from a 300 year old bottle design and red wax seal to the use of hard winter wheat and rye and pure deep-well artesian water to…  More info

The Jewel of Russia Classic Vodka
1
$33.48

Green Mark Vodka (38%)

70cl, 38%
Topaz Distillery

A lower ABV bottling of Green Mark Vodka, a classic Russian spirit which bears the green mark used by the Glavspirttrest between the 1920s and 1950s as a sign of excellence and a seal of approval.  More info

Green Mark Vodka (38%)
$19.92

Poetic Licence Graceful Vodka

70cl, 40.40%
Poetic Licence

Want your vodka to be filled with grace? You'll want to try the Poetic Licence Graceful Vodka then. Made in Sunderland, this elegant treat is produced using 100% British wheat and is distilled 7…  More info

Poetic Licence Graceful Vodka
$39.28

Smirnoff Black

70cl, 40%
Smirnoff

Smirnoff Black is a special vodka made in copper pot stills, distilled from Russian grains, and filtered through silver birch charcoal. Very smooth and supple.  More info

Smirnoff Black
10
$22.20

Cariel Batch Blend Vodka

70cl, 40.70%
Cariel

This is made by blending what and barley spirit before dilution with purest spring water. Cariel vodka is a premium Swedish vodka with gentle sweetness and great balance.  More info

Cariel Batch Blend Vodka
3
$40.90

Iordanov Vodka - Silver Skull

70cl, 40%
Iordanov

Iordanov Vodka is made at one of the oldest distilleries in Germany, using 100% wheat and water from Vogelsberg highlands. It's distilled 5 times and charcoal filtered for purity, before being…  More info

Iordanov Vodka - Silver Skull
$54.34

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)
$28.39

Moskova Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Moskova

A beautiful Russian vodka made from the very best grains and demineralised water. A great all-rounder, Moskova is a great mixer…  More info

Moskova Vodka
$18.69

Aivy Blue: Triple Grain Vodka

70cl, 40%
Cariel

A delicious grain-based vodka from the Cariel company in Sweden, this is made with barley, wheat and rye. The master blender Peter Carslon applies his "melody and harmonies" philosophy to the vodka.  More info

Aivy Blue: Triple Grain Vodka
$30.73

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