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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.

Sacred Organic Vodka

70cl, 40%
Sacred Spirits Company

Produced by the award-winning microdistiller Ian Hart, this vodka from the Sacred company is made on Highgate Hill in London and it was certified organic by the Soil Association in 2009.  More info

Sacred Organic Vodka
2
$35.13

Glen's Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Glen Catrine Distillers

A Scottish vodka, distilled from sugar beet. It was originally named Grants vodka, before William Grant & Sons appealed to the Scottish Courts for the name to be changed.  More info

Glen's Vodka
31
$14.98

J.A.Baczewski Hazelnut Vodka

50cl, 38%
J.A. Baczewski

A hazelnut flavoured liqueur from experienced Austrian vodka distillers J.A. Baczewski. They use roasted hazelnuts as well as a touch of chocolate and their potato-based vodka to create this rather…  More info

J.A.Baczewski Hazelnut Vodka
$21.42

Ogilvy Vodka

70cl, 40%
Ogilvy Spirits

Ogilvy Potato Vodka comes to us via Ogilvy Farm up in Scotland, made with their own potatoes and their John Dore & Co. still - the whole production process is completed on site!  More info

Ogilvy Vodka
$42.13

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
$37.10

Stolichnaya Gold

70cl, 40%
Stolichnaya

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

Stolichnaya Gold
2
$26.35

Absolut Kurant

70cl, 40%
Absolut Company

What did you call me? Oh, you just asked for Absolut Kurant, my bad…This is a fruity and crisp Swedish vodka flavoured with natural blackcurrant extracts. The results are delectable!  More info

Absolut Kurant
1
$22.29

General John Stark Vodka

75cl, 40%
General John Stark

A triple distilled vodka, made from apples which are distilled in a pot still. To make just one bottle they use 300 apples! General John Stark came up with New Hampshire's motto: "Live free or die",…  More info

General John Stark Vodka
$43.87

T.E.A. Earl Grey Vodka

70cl, 40%
T.E.A.

A very aromatic and subtly sweet flavoured vodka from the T.E.A. range, made with a sugar beet base spirit and flavoured with earl grey tea and bergamot oil. This would make for an interesting Bloody…  More info

T.E.A. Earl Grey Vodka
$43.78

42 Below Pure Vodka

70cl, 40%
42 Below

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

42 Below Pure Vodka
$26.39

Karlssons Gold

70cl, 40%
Karlssons

This was created by Börje Karlsson, the Master Swedish Blender who came up with Absolut vodka's unique recipe. This particular vodka is distilled from new potatoes and, unusually for vodka, is only…  More info

Karlssons Gold
1
$38.85

Belvedere Cytrus

70cl, 40%
Belvedere

Belvedere Cytrus is a citrus flavoured Polish vodka. The lemons are grown in groves near Murcia in Spain and the limes are grown nearby in south east Spain. The vodka is flavoured with the peels,…  More info

Belvedere Cytrus
$39.40

Smirnoff Vanilla

70cl, 37.50%
Smirnoff

Smirnoff Vodka, triple distilled and known worldwide, flavoured with the essence of vanilla, which has imparted a sweet, subtly floral flavour profile to the back bar classic.  More info

Smirnoff Vanilla
$21.38

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
$42.56

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
$69.70

Juliet Immaculate Vodka

70cl, 43%
Juliet Immaculate Vodka

Juliet Immaculate Vodka is made in the south of England in small batches using English sugar beets as their base. They distil their vodka only once, using 200 litre copper pot reflux stills, and it's…  More info

Juliet Immaculate Vodka
$72.26

Belvedere Pink Grapefruit

70cl, 40%
Belvedere

Belvedere Pink Grapefruit is made with real fruit, and pure Polish vodka. The result is a crisp, flavousome fruit vodka, released in 2010.  More info

Belvedere Pink Grapefruit
4
$40.37

Adnams North Cove Oak Aged Vodka

70cl, 50%
Adnams

A beautiful oak-aged vodka made with their Longshore barley vodka which is matured in both American and French oak barrels before bottling at a higher-than-average proof. Another surefire hit from…  More info

Adnams North Cove Oak Aged Vodka
$38.37

Adnams East Coast Single Malt Vodka

70cl, 40%
Adnams

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…  More info

Adnams East Coast Single Malt Vodka
1
$30.65

Ghost Vodka - Silver

70cl, 40%
Ghost Vodka

Haunted vodka. Well, the distillery in Cambridge is said to be haunted at least, the spirit produced there from sugar beet is far from a horror though. We love the simple bottle design too, available…  More info

Ghost Vodka - Silver
$33.81

Stolichnaya Red Label

70cl, 40%
Stolichnaya

The classic Stolichnaya Red Label vodka, filtered three times, once with quartz, then charcoal and then quartz again for a pure but original flavour profile.  More info

Stolichnaya Red Label
3
$19.79

Absolut Berry Acai

70cl, 40%
Absolut Company

Absolut have launched this wonderful fruit-flavoured vodka made with Acai Berries. All jokes aside, this stuff is lovely, and it's made with European and North American blueberries, and Southwest…  More info

Absolut Berry Acai
$23.66

Valt Single Malt Vodka

70cl, 40%
Valt

Valt is a lovely Scottish vodka, made using a quintuple micro-distillation technique, which is unique to Valt. It is distilled from malted barley, and it is sweet and very creamy.  More info

Valt Single Malt Vodka
13
$31.01

NB London Dry Citrus Vodka

70cl, 40%
NB Distillery ltd

From the makers of the wonderful NB Gin comes NB London Dry Citrus Vodka. Yep, you read that right. This vodka is flavoured in the same way a London dry gin would be, then blended with water down to…  More info

NB London Dry Citrus Vodka
$30.98

Premium Krupnik Vodka

70cl, 40%
Krupnik

A classically styled Polish vodka from the Krupnik range, which you may be more familiar with from the well-loved Old Krupnik Honey Liqueur.  More info

Premium Krupnik Vodka
$23.76

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