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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.

Crystal Head Aurora Vodka

70cl, 40%
Crystal Head

It's Crystal Head vodka, but not as you know it! This 'iridescent' skull, a design based on the Aurora Borealis (or Northern Lights), contains vodka made from Yorkshire wheat rather than Canadian…  More info

Crystal Head Aurora Vodka
$96.54

Russian Standard Platinum Vodka

70cl, 40%
Roust Inc

The premium version of best-selling Russian Standard Vodka.  More info

Russian Standard Platinum Vodka
5
$26.36

Stolichnaya Hot Jalapeño Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Stolichnaya

Hot? I'll give you hot. Type '250,000' into that search bar up there. Go on.  More info

Stolichnaya Hot Jalapeño Vodka
$23.53

Arbikie Potato Vodka

70cl, 43%
Arbikie

From the Arbikie Distillery, which overlooks the Lunan Bay in Angus in the Scottish Highlands, comes their super-premium Potato Vodka. It's made using three types of potato - Maris Piper, King Edward…  More info

Arbikie Potato Vodka
8
$50.58

Chopin Rye Vodka

70cl, 40%
Polmos Siedlce

Chopin Rye Vodka is made with high-quality golden rye grown in the Podlasie region of Poland. It is distilled four times, blended with artesian well water and filtered five times, before it's…  More info

Chopin Rye Vodka
$37.91

Stolichnaya Elit

70cl, 40%
Stolichnaya

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

Stolichnaya Elit
$48.02

Royal Dragon Imperial Vodka

70cl, 40%
Dragon Spirits

Dragon. Vodka. Automatically cool.  More info

Royal Dragon Imperial Vodka
7
$66.41

Chase Vodka

70cl, 40%
Williams Chase

Made by the same guys that make Tyrells potato crisps (from the dinky potatoes that can't be made into crisps). Chase vodka was featured on the BBC TV programme 'Oz and James drink to Britain'.  More info

Chase Vodka
9
$37.42

Beluga Noble Russian Vodka Gift Pack with 3x Glasses

70cl, 40%
Beluga

Beluga Noble is a top-notch Russian vodka which is triple filtered and very subtly flavoured with a touch of honey and extracts of milk thistle and oat. If you're planning on gifting Beluga Noble to…  More info

Beluga Noble Russian Vodka Gift Pack with 3x Glasses
$43.20

Motörhead Vödka 40th Anniversary Special Edition

70cl, 40%
Grapes Svenska

If Motörhead single malt and Motörhead Shiraz aren't for you, perhaps Motörhead Vödka is what you've been waiting for? This is a 40th aniiversary edition of this Swedish vodka made from wheat grown…  More info

Motörhead Vödka 40th Anniversary Special Edition
$48.24

Luksusowa Vodka

70cl, 40%
Luksusowa Branded Vodka

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

Luksusowa Vodka
2
$20.33

Firestarter Vodka 7x Filtered 1l

100cl, 40%
Firestarter

A litre bottling of Firestarter vodka, made with Moldovan winter wheat and filtered 7 times. As ever, this is presented in a fire extinguisher-shaped bottle, making it a great party piece.  More info

Firestarter Vodka 7x Filtered 1l
$40.46

Mozart Chocolate Vodka

70cl, 40%
Mozart Distillerie

Previously known as Mozart Dry, Mozart Chocolate Vodka is made with a chocolate macerate created with cacao and vanilla, which is distilled to create a wonderfully clear, subtly drying vodka. Not as…  More info

Mozart Chocolate Vodka
1
$34.82

Royal Dragon Imperial Vodka Magnum

150cl, 40%
Dragon Spirits

A magnum bottle of the supremely luxurious Royal Dragon Imperial Vodka, made with winter rye which is five times distilled. It's also got 23-caret gold leaves floating inside it, which is rather apt,…  More info

Royal Dragon Imperial Vodka Magnum
$137.00

Masons Yorkshire Vodka

70cl, 42%
Masons

Masons Yorkshire Vodka was released around the same time in 2015 as the Yorkshire Tea and Lavender variations of Masons Dry Yorkshire Gin. Perfect for those vodka-based cocktails you've been thinking…  More info

Masons Yorkshire Vodka
$44.23

Two Birds Salted Caramel Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Union Distillers

A salted caramel-flavoured vodka from the Two Birds selection. Salted caramel continues to be a big, delicious 'thing' in the world of cooking, so we're sure you won't have a hard time finding a…  More info

Two Birds Salted Caramel Vodka
$36.08

Angels Tears Vodka

100cl, 40%
Angels Tears Vodka

A high quality vodka from Georgia made with Georgian wheat and glacial water from the Bakuriani mountains.  More info

Angels Tears Vodka
$108.69

Absolut 100 Vodka

70cl, 50%
Absolut Company

Classic Absolut Vodka, made in Sweden using water from a deep well in Åhus and winter wheat from the fields of southern Sweden, though this expression has been bottled at 50% ABV (or 100 proof, as it…  More info

Absolut 100 Vodka
$32.55

Belenkaya Lux

70cl, 40%
Synergy

With a name that means "clearest and purest", you're going to be expecting big things from Belenkaya Lux Russian vodka. It goes through a rigorous filtration process which includes being filtered…  More info

Belenkaya Lux
1
$21.68

42 Below Feijoa Vodka

70cl, 40%
42 Below

A new lower ABV version of 42 Below's Vodka made with this Kiwi Fruit (not Kiwi-fruit).  More info

42 Below Feijoa Vodka
$28.49

Kalashnikov Quality Vodka

70cl, 40%
Glazov Distillery

We're not sure if this is a quality vodka named Kalashnikov or a vodka of Kalashnikov quality. As it was also released in a limited edition AK-47 shaped 1 litre magnum edition complete with gun case,…  More info

Kalashnikov Quality Vodka
$28.00

Koskenkorva 013 Vodka

70cl, 40%
Koskenkorva

Made using continuous distillation, the spirit used from Koskenkorva 013 is said to be distilled over 250 times before it is bottled. As you can imagine, this creates an exceedingly high quality…  More info

Koskenkorva 013 Vodka
1
$28.66

Red Army Vodka

120cl, 40%
Bartex

A 1 litre bottle of Pepesza Vodka from Poland, shaped like a Tommy Gun and a 20cl 'grenade' of herbal liqueur! The set also includes 6x shot glasses and dog tags. This is probably not what The Clash…  More info

Red Army Vodka
$120.70

V Gallery Marshmallow Vodka

50cl, 21%
V Gallery

V Gallery Marshmallow Vodka uses 5 times distilled spirit to create a pure base for the sweet, soft marshmallow flavours to excite your palate. Yum!  More info

V Gallery Marshmallow Vodka
3
$19.26

Adnams Longshore Premium Vodka

70cl, 48%
Adnams

A really rather delectable wheat vodka from Adnams Brewery, this stuff is made by Fergus Fitzgerald, the master brewer, who makes a beer wash from East Anglian malted barley, wheat and oats. These…  More info

Adnams Longshore Premium Vodka
1
$36.03

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