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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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Xero Pear Vodka
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Ciroc Pineapple
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A small batch of wasabi-flavoured vodka from Winchester Distillery's Twisted Nose range. This boldly-flavoured spirit is made with freshly-grated wasabi, as well as six other botanicals, which are all...  More info
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Do you feel like your bottle of super-premium Beluga Noble Russian Vodka, an expertly made and impressively flavoursome vodka, deserves a fancy little box to present the wonderful bottle. Well, here...  More info
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Zorokovich 1917 Vodka
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Ketel One Oranje
(70cl, 40%)
Top quality orange-flavoured Dutch vodka from Ketel One's range, made with essences from Valencia oranges grown in Brazil and Florida, as well as Mandarin oranges from Italy. Tasty served neat or over...  More info
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Eristoff Lime
(70cl, 20%)
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A Polish vodka from Debowa, which even includes a strip of wood resting in the spirit, similar perhaps to bison grass vodka. Creamy, refreshing and quite flavoursome.  More info
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The Chase distillers have been maturing a portion of their first batch of vibrant, zesty Marmalade Vodka in a Cognac cask for the last four years, and now it's ready to enjoy! The maturation has...  More info
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A limited edition gift pack from The Lakes Distillery in Cumbria, containing a bottle of The Lakes Vodka as well as a certificate of authenticity, all in a snazzy little box. The perfect gift for...  More info
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The Lakes Vodka
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High strength Polish vodka from Belvedere, this is distilled from Polish rye, and it comes packaged in an extremely stylish bottle…  More info
Belvedere 1X Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Stylish and very "cool"-looking vodka from Belvedere, this is distilled with Guarana, ginger, ginseng, fruits, herbs and spices. The packaging was designed in collaboration with Andre Saraiva.  More info
User Rating: 
A stunning vodka distilled from wheat, East Anglian malted barley and oats. It is crafted by Fergus Fitzgerald, Adnams' master brewer, who makes a beer wash from the grains, which is fermented to...  More info
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Kulov Vodka
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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.