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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 Night Vision Luminaire 1.75l

175cl, 40%
Grey Goose

Not just vodka, super premium winter wheat French vodka. Not just super premium winter wheat French vodka, 1.75 litres worth of super premium winter wheat French vodka! Not just 1.75 litres worth of…  More info

Grey Goose Night Vision Luminaire 1.75l
$155.04

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
$24.54

Beluga Vodka Transatlantic Racing Special Edition

70cl, 40%
Beluga

A special edition bottling of Russian vodka from Beluga, produced in honour of the Russian transatlantic sailing team and their successes in competitions.  More info

Beluga Vodka Transatlantic Racing Special Edition
$51.18

Skyy Premium Vodka

70cl, 40%
Skyy

A premium vodka from America, this is distilled using four column stills, before undergoing a triple filtration. Skyy is made with Californian water.  More info

Skyy Premium Vodka
3
$21.24

Grey Goose Jeroboam

300cl, 40%
Grey Goose

A jeroboam bottle of Grey Goose, a hugely popular French vodka made with soft winter wheat, distilled in a five-step process and blended with spring water which is naturally filtered through…  More info

Grey Goose Jeroboam
$308.92

Square One Cucumber Vodka

70cl, 40%
Square One

A crisp, refreshing cucumber vodka made with organic American rye. Great in a Bloody Mary.  More info

Square One Cucumber Vodka
$39.78

Roberto Cavalli Vodka Chameleon Edition

70cl, 40%
Roberto Cavalli

A limited edition bottling of fashion designer Roberto Cavalli's vodka, presented in a bottle which looks to be different colours dependent on the light and the angle at which you view it - hence the…  More info

Roberto Cavalli Vodka Chameleon Edition
$60.43

English Spirit Old Fashioned English Toffee Vodka

50cl, 26.50%
English Vodka Company

Something for those with a sweet tooth, this is an Old Fashioned Toffee flavoured English Spirit Vodka, made with a recipe that includes five caramelised sugars. Excellent in a coffee, a pudding or a…  More info

English Spirit Old Fashioned English Toffee Vodka
$26.00

Russian Standard

70cl, 40%
Roust Inc

Russian Standard vodka has been distilled to the Tsar's "premium quality standard" since 1894. It is a classic Russian vodka.  More info

Russian Standard
8
$20.47

Aivy Red Lemon, Pomegranate and Lime Triple Flavoured Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Renaissance Brands BV

Produced in Sweden by the superb Aivy company, Aivy Red is a delicious flavoured vodka with intensely fruity flavours of lemon, lime and pomegranate.  More info

Aivy Red Lemon, Pomegranate and Lime Triple Flavoured Vodka
$23.87

Absolut Vanilia

70cl, 40%
Absolut Company

A lovely fresh and clean vanilla flavoured vodka. Absolut Vanilia has a rich, buttery flavour with hints of cocoa and plenty of fresh vanilla.  More info

Absolut Vanilia
$22.41

Ketel One Vodka

70cl, 40%
Ketel One

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

Ketel One Vodka
3
$27.64

Absolut Pears

70cl, 40%
Absolut Company

Absolut Pears is a delicious pear flavoured vodka from Sweden. This is made using continuous distillation and is incredibly pure tasting. Distilled from winter wheat and naturally flavoured with pear.  More info

Absolut Pears
$22.68

Finlandia Grapefruit

70cl, 37.50%
Finlandia

This Finnish vodka offers the subtle tanginess of fresh grapefruit, which makes it a wonderful addition to many cocktails.  More info

Finlandia Grapefruit
3
$22.76

Ultimat Vodka

70cl, 40%
Ultimat

This was once famous for being the most expensive vodka out there (so you know it's good!), Ultimat is packaged in a handmade cobalt blue crystal bottle, and it tastes sublime…  More info

Ultimat Vodka
$51.49

Odessa Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
G&J Distillers

Odessa Vodka is a Ukrainian style vodka, named after the major seaport city in the south of the country. For extra purity, the vodka is filtered, and then filtered again, and then once more. Third…  More info

Odessa Vodka
$20.24

Chase Islay Whisky Cask Aged Vodka

70cl, 46%
Williams Chase

Cask aged vodka from the Chase distillers in Herefordshire. This limited edition release was left to rest in a cask which previously held whisky from the renowned Laphroaig distillery, imparting…  More info

Chase Islay Whisky Cask Aged Vodka
$46.32

Kulov Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Kulov

Cool off with Kulov, that's their slogan. And nothing cools us down better than a glass of vodka, apart from lemonade, mmm yummers. This is pure tasting, and it works well in cocktails.  More info

Kulov Vodka
$21.64

Anno Elderflower & Vodka Spirit Drink

70cl, 29%
Anno

From the Anno Distillers in Kent comes a rather refreshing spirit drink, which puts the gorgeous notes of elderflower in centre stage. Anno Elderflower & Vodka sees the distillers vapour infusing…  More info

Anno Elderflower & Vodka Spirit Drink
$37.78

Chase Extra Peated Islay Whisky Cask Aged Vodka

70cl, 46%
Williams Chase

An extra peated edition of Chase's Islay Whisky Cask Aged Vodka. The distillers in Hereford have experimented with casks that previous held peated whisky before, with some wonderfully intriguing…  More info

Chase Extra Peated Islay Whisky Cask Aged Vodka
$48.46

V Gallery Mango Crush Vodka

50cl, 21%
V Gallery

What did V Gallery use to crush the mangoes for their tasty Mango Crush Vodka? We like to imagine it's great big hammers like Gallagher.  More info

V Gallery Mango Crush Vodka
$19.32

Smirnoff Lime

70cl, 37.50%
Smirnoff

Smirnoff Lime is crisp and tangy. It is made using pot still vodka, which is filtered through seven tons of charcoal!  More info

Smirnoff Lime
$21.49

Roberto Cavalli Vodka

70cl, 40%
Roberto Cavalli

Yep, that's right. Roberto Cavalli. The Fashion Designer. Can't really be bothered to finish this tasting note, I think I'm just going to hop in my car (upholstered by Benjamin Netanyahu), and drive…  More info

Roberto Cavalli Vodka
1
$48.46

Sherematov Vodka

70cl, 40%
Smeets N.V.

The two headed eagle on the label of this Sherematov Vodka, a triple distilled vodka from Belgium, has two crowns, on for each head. Very smart. Originally produced for Pascoe & Associates Ltd.  More info

Sherematov Vodka
$27.39

Boris Jelzin Vodka

100cl, 37.50%
GCF

A French vodka named after the 1st President of Russia, Boris Yeltsin (he was President of Russia between July 1991 and December 1999), presented in a 1 litre bottle. Should be good for mixed drinks.  More info

Boris Jelzin Vodka
$27.82

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