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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.

Hangar One Citron "Buddha's Hand" Vodka

70cl, 40%
Hangar One

This unsually named vodka from Hangar One is made with Buddha's Hand citrons, one of the oldest of the citrus fruits. Buddha's Hands are entirely made of pith, thus the fact you can't buy them in…  More info

Hangar One Citron
$37.53

Belvedere Pure Vodka 1.75l

175cl, 40%
Belvedere

Poland's best loved vodka, Belvedere, is distilled from a particular strain of Polish rye. It's delicious over ice, or in a Vodka Martini. This is the 1.75 litre size.  More info

Belvedere Pure Vodka 1.75l
$123.92

Breckenridge Vodka

75cl, 40%
Breckenridge

Breckenridge distillery is the highest in the world up at 9,600 feet! It is located in the Rocky Mountains (be sure to pack a spare pair of gloves). It is made using 100% Midwest corn and snowmelt…  More info

Breckenridge Vodka
$48.07

55 Above – Pure

70cl, 37.50%
55 Above

A potato-based vodka from British brand, 55 Above. As the name suggests, the distillers have aimed to create a pure, clean, elegant vodka here using their British potatoes. Ought to go well in…  More info

55 Above – Pure
$32.20

Belvedere Lemon Tea Vodka 1l

100cl, 40%
Belvedere

A refreshing, summer-y flavour of Belvedere - Belvedere Lemon Tea Vodka is made by steeping green tea, black tea, chamomile, lemongrass, honey, ginger, lemon and rosebud in their Polish vodka. A…  More info

Belvedere Lemon Tea Vodka 1l
$74.75

Brennen & Brown Vodka with a Hint of Cardamom & Plum

70cl, 38%
Brennen & Brown

A subtly flavoured vodka from Brennen & Brown in Cheltenham. The warming notes of cardamom appear first, swiftly followed by the sweetness of plum. Enjoy it over ice in the garden, perhaps somewhere…  More info

Brennen & Brown Vodka with a Hint of Cardamom & Plum
2
$38.58

Isfjord Premium Arctic Vodka

70cl, 44%
Isfjord

Isfjord Vodka is made with five times distilled wheat and blended with water from the icebergs of Greenland. Enjoy over ice (considering this is made partially with water from icebergs, you could…  More info

Isfjord Premium Arctic Vodka
$58.00

Zorokovich 1917 Vodka

70cl, 40%
Zorokovich

Zorokovich 1917 is a Ukrainian vodka which was born from a project by film-maker Dan Edelstyne inspired by his grandmother's memoirs found in his attic. The project saw him visiting Ukraine to find…  More info

Zorokovich 1917 Vodka
$42.94

Keglevich Vodka - 1949-1959

75cl, 40%
Stock S.p.A. di Trieste

A very old bottle of Keglevich Vodka, made by Stock in Trieste at some point between 1949 and 1959, presented in an interesting bottle that we think looks like a still (or perhaps we just think about…  More info

Keglevich Vodka - 1949-1959
$217.01

Ice One Baron Vodka

70cl, 40%
Ice One

Ice One Baron Vodka is a stylish French vodka, made of 100% French wheat and distilled five times before bottling at 40% ABV. It comes in a sleek blue bottle, which wouldn't look out of place on a…  More info

Ice One Baron Vodka
1
$34.91

Kalinska Imperial Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Kalinska

Kalinska Imperial is an English vodka distilled from molasses. It has a distinctive flavour, and is intended as a mixer.  More info

Kalinska Imperial Vodka
$22.03

English Spirit Vodka 54%

70cl, 54%
English Vodka Company

The English Vodka Company believes small is beautiful, and this is perfectly encapsulated by their premium small batch vodka. This one is bottled at 54%, and unlike most mass-produced vodkas, it’s…  More info

English Spirit Vodka 54%
2
$36.25

Black Queen Flavoured Vodka - Leather Box

70cl, 40%
Black Queen

A luxury Belgian wheat and grain flavoured vodka filtered four times. Black Queen don't seem to divulge exactly what their vodka is flavoured with, nor why it's taken on such a dark hue, but we're…  More info

Black Queen Flavoured Vodka - Leather Box
$179.62

Hangar One Vodka Straight Vodka

70cl, 40%
Hangar One

A smashing vodka from Californ-I-A, this was created by Jorg Rupf and Lance Winters. They used pot stilled viognier wine which is blended in a column still with wheat vodka. The result is perfectly…  More info

Hangar One Vodka Straight Vodka
1
$34.42

The Bay Seasoned Vodka

100cl, 40%
Philadelphia Distilling

A rather intriguing tipple from Philadelphia Distilling, The Bay Seasoned Vodka is flavoured using "Traditional Chesapeake Bay Seasoning", well known around America for giving tasty seafood an extra…  More info

The Bay Seasoned Vodka
$46.11

Xellent Vodka

70cl, 40%
Diwisa

Xellent is a Swiss vodka made from "bread-quality" rye grown at altitudes of up to 800 metres. They use pure glacier water to dilute their triple-distilled spirit down to 40% abv.  More info

Xellent Vodka
$44.40

Goldwasser Herb Vodka

50cl, 40%
Polmos Poznan

A herb-and-spice-flavoured Polish vodka, sweet and lively with notes of cinnamon running through its core. It's not just herbs and spices which have been added to this Polish treat - they've also…  More info

Goldwasser Herb Vodka
$25.55

Polmos Jozefow Cytrynowka Lemon

70cl, 40%
Polmos Jozefow

A Polish rye vodka flavoured with selected lemon peel and also lemon leaves. The result is a crisp and tasty lemon vodka.  More info

Polmos Jozefow Cytrynowka Lemon
$24.65

Cariel Batch Blend Vodka

70cl, 40.70%
Cariel

This is made by blending what and barley spirit before dilution with purest spring water. Cariel vodka is a premium Swedish vodka with gentle sweetness and great balance.  More info

Cariel Batch Blend Vodka
3
$40.78

Christiania Ultra Premium Vodka

70cl, 40%
Christiania

Christiania Vodka comes to us from Norway, based on a recipe said to originate over 400 years ago, in the court of Christian IV of Norway (whom the vodka is named after). It's made with Trøndelag…  More info

Christiania Ultra Premium Vodka
$44.54

42 Below Passionfruit Vodka

70cl, 40%
42 Below

Flavoured with Passionfruit for a tangy, sweet, fruity flavour, 42 Below Passion works wonderfully in a variety of cocktails.  More info

42 Below Passionfruit Vodka
$27.21

Monaco Vodka

70cl, 40%
Munich Distillers

Have a guess at where Monaco Vodka comes from... That's right, Germany! This is a stylish German vodka from Munich Distillers, who also have a bar in the same premises they distil their vodka, which…  More info

Monaco Vodka
$47.91

Alexander Colors Vodka

70cl, 38%
Bottega

The Alexander Colors Vodka is made in Italy by Bottega, a well known and talented spirits producer who obviously know their way around a still if this brilliantly pure spirit is anything to go by.  More info

Alexander Colors Vodka
$38.92

Boris Jelzin Strawberry Vodka

100cl, 37.50%
GCF

A strawberry-flavoured French vodka, from a brand named after the 1st President of Russia, Boris Yeltsin (he was President between July 1991 and December 1999). Serve cold with a sweet mixer of enjoy…  More info

Boris Jelzin Strawberry Vodka
$28.76

Stolichnaya Vanil

70cl, 37.50%
Stolichnaya

Stoli Vanil is a vanilla flavoured vodka from Stolichnaya. Distilled from winter wheat and made with glacial water, it is flavoured with Madagascan and Indonesian vanilla beans.  More info

Stolichnaya Vanil
$24.45

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