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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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Purity Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
An organic vodka from Sweden, made from wheat and barley. It is made in a pot still, in very small batches and, unusually for a vodka, comes unfiltered! It is very fruity and thick, with hints of...  More info
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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
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(70cl, 20%)
Named for the Eristoff family, which originated in what is now Georgia. This is the Black variant, with a wild berry flavour.  More info
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Potocki Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
A Polish Rye Vodka - very smooth, but not to the point of flavourlessness (is that even a word?). The producers recommend drinking the vodka Chilled but not Frozen in order to preserve the more...  More info
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Luksusowa Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
A very tasty and very creamy triple distilled vodka from Poland, made from Potatoes. Its name, Luksusowa, is Polish for "luxury vodka", so you know it's good.  More info
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Belvedere Unfiltered
(70cl, 40%)
Belvedere Unfiltered is the result of using 100% "Single Estate" Dankowskie Diamond Rye to make vodka. This grain is baker's grade so not only can you make vodka out of the stuff you can also bake a...  More info
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Ciroc Coconut
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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 tropical...  More info
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Stolichnaya Elit
(70cl, 40%)
A classic ultra premium Russian vodka, Stolichnaya Elit is made using freeze filtration, which was patented by the SPI Group (one of the world's largest drinks companies, and also the owners of...  More info
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Heavy Water Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
An ultra-premium vodka from Sweden, distilled from wheat and deep artisan well water. Heavy Water is bottled in heavy French glass and offers up a wonderful flavour.  More info
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$42.67
Chase Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
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Produced in Georgia by the renowned Eristoff company, Golden Caramel is a superb flavoured vodka made with caramel and a hint of vanilla. It can be enjoyed neat, or in a variety of cocktails.  More info
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Beluga Gold Line
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While regular Beluga Vodka is filtered 3 times, the Russian distillers go the extra mile with Beluga Gold Line and filter it 5 times! Beluga Gold Line also comes with a wax-sealed bottle and a hammer...  More info
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DQ Vodka
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DQ Vodka is made with Swedish winter wheat, and comes packaged in one of the most stunning bottles we've ever seen. It looks a bit like something you'd plug into a space ship to fuel it (like in Event...  More info
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That's right, Dan Ackroyd's award-winning vodka that comes in a crystal skull head is now the official vodka of the Rolling Stones' 50th Anniversary! As such, it's now available in this austere gift...  More info
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Stolichnaya Gold
(70cl, 40%)
The classic Stolichnaya Gold is a great Russian vodka made from wheat and rye. In 2008 Stoli Gold was awarded a Gold medal at The Vodka Masters, it is an incredibly smooth vodka, and is really great...  More info
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$33.07
Smirnoff Red Vodka 1.5l
(150cl, 37.50%)
A magnum bottle of the world's top selling vodka, Smirnoff Red. A good mixer at a very good price.  More info
$47.28
Mmmm, toffee fudge flavoured vodka from V Gallery. It's like liquid pick-a-mix!  More info
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$24.50
Chase Rhubarb Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
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