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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.

Blackdown Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Blackdown

Although they are quite a new company, Blackdown certainly seem to know what they want to do and how to go about achieving it. The Blackdown Vodka, for example, made from 100% British wheat grain,…  More info

Blackdown Vodka
$36.47

I Spirit Vodka

70cl, 40%
I Spirit

Top quality Italian vodka which was introduced in 2009. The ingredients do suggest a reverence for Italy's spirit, using both grapes and grains to create the distillate, as well as spring water from…  More info

I Spirit Vodka
$42.84

Xero Pear Vodka

50cl, 40%
Xero

Xero Pear Vodka is made with a base of high quality Polish potato vodka, which is twice distilled before being shipped over to England to be infused with British pears for a naturally sweet…  More info

Xero Pear Vodka
$30.83

Polmos Wedkarska Vodka - Zlota Rybka

70cl, 40%
Polmos Warszawa

'Wedkarska' is Polish for 'fishing', whilst 'Zlota Rybka' means 'goldfish'! This vodka, produced by Polmos Warszawa, is flavoured with pepper to add a little extra warmth. The bottle itself…  More info

Polmos Wedkarska Vodka - Zlota Rybka
$65.75

Hangar One Mandarin Blossom Vodka

70cl, 40%
Hangar One

Hangar One's Mandarin Blossom vodka is made with fresh tangerines and their flowers. The result is stunning, fresh and very intense.  More info

Hangar One Mandarin Blossom Vodka
$35.49

The Lakes Vodka Limited Edition Gift Pack

70cl, 40%
The Lakes Distillery

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

The Lakes Vodka Limited Edition Gift Pack
$54.73

Element 29 Wheat Vodka

70cl, 40%
Green Box Drinks

Element 29 is a delicious British vodka distilled from East Anglian wheat. The grains are mashed, malted and fermented in Manchester before seven distillations in a state-of-the-art tower. It was…  More info

Element 29 Wheat Vodka
5
$32.08

Sacred Spiced Vodka

70cl, 40%
Sacred Spirits Company

Sacred Spiced is a superb spiced vodka which is vacuum-distilled by Ian Hart in Highgate Hill, London. It is flavoured with seven botanicals including nutmeg, angelica and distilled frankincense!  More info

Sacred Spiced Vodka
$36.47

Boris Jelzin Currant Vodka

100cl, 37.50%
GCF

Flavoured French vodka from the Boris Jelzin range - clean and elegant with a sweet touch of fruit at its centre.  More info

Boris Jelzin Currant Vodka
$29.37

Finlandia Mango 37.5%

70cl, 37.50%
Finlandia

Mangoes don't grow in Finland. Finlandia, however, make a pretty amazing mango flavoured vodka. How do they do it? They import them, of course! "The Tropics meet the Arctic" in this 37.5% bottling.  More info

Finlandia Mango 37.5%
$23.39

Faust Cranberry Vodka

50cl, 40%
Polmos

Fantastic Polish vodka and dynamic cranberry make Faust Cranberry Vodka a proper hero in our books.  More info

Faust Cranberry Vodka
$26.88

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
$37.90

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
$125.15

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
$48.55

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
$75.49

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
$38.96

Dannoff Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Dannoff

Dannoff Vodka is a good value-for-money expression produced in the capital of Latvia, Riga. It's made with a base of wheat grain, distilled four times to reach its desired purity and blended with…  More info

Dannoff Vodka
$22.85

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
$43.36

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
$219.15

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
$34.76

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
$46.56

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
$44.84

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
$25.80

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
$48.39

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
$39.30

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