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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.

Imperial Collection Silver

70cl, 40%
Imperial Collection

Imperial Collection Silver is part of the increased range, now available in the UK from this premium Russian vodka producer.  More info

Imperial Collection Silver
$28.93

Sputnik Rose Vodka

70cl, 40%
Sputnik

By combining their vodka with Damask rose oil, Sputnik have created a subtly fragrant vodka. Notes of Turkish Delight and a touch of floral sweetness.  More info

Sputnik Rose Vodka
$28.85

Helsinki Cranberry Vodka 50cl

50cl, 40%
Helsinki

A wonderful Ukrainian vodka with an authentic, fresh Cranberry flavour. Great in a Cosmopolitan!  More info

Helsinki Cranberry Vodka 50cl
$32.01

The Lakes Vodka

70cl, 40%
The Lakes Distillery

From The Lakes Distillery in Cumbria comes The Lakes Vodka, which is made with water from the River Derwent (the very same River Derwent which was mentioned in William Wordworth's book, The Prelude!)…  More info

The Lakes Vodka
$36.17

J.A.Baczewski Blackberry

50cl, 38%
J.A. Baczewski

With a history that goes back to the 18th century, J.A. Baczewski know a thing or two about producing drinks - especially vodka, which provides the base of this blackberry liqueur.  More info

J.A.Baczewski Blackberry
$21.46

Cold River Blueberry Vodka

75cl, 40%
Maine Distilleries

To make this excellent Blueberry vodka, they take small Wymans and Maine blueberries, which have a much more intense flavour. Then they steep them for a few days in alcohol, and they filter the…  More info

Cold River Blueberry Vodka
$57.40

Debowa Orzech (Walnut)

70cl, 40%
Dębowa

Debowa's Polish vodkas are usually made with oak, but this addition to the range is all about delicious walnut!  More info

Debowa Orzech (Walnut)
$31.48

Debowa Crystal Oak

70cl, 40%
Dębowa

Made with a special selection of plant extracts and with an ancient distillation method, Debowa Crystal Oak is a smooth, premium Polish vodka.  More info

Debowa Crystal Oak
$32.58

Debowa Sliwa (Plum) Vodka

70cl, 40%
Dębowa

A nice little plum flavoured vodka here from top Polish producer Debowa. It's made using exclusively Polish ingredients.  More info

Debowa Sliwa (Plum) Vodka
$31.27

Belvedere 007 Collectors Edition 1.75l

175cl, 40%
Belvedere

A 1.75 litre collectible bottle of Belvedere Vodka - produced in Poland using one particular type of rye grain and distilled four times to achieve it's excellent mouth-feel and subtle flavour…  More info

Belvedere 007 Collectors Edition 1.75l
$129.97

Polmos Pepper Vodka - 1960s

75cl, 45%
Polmos Warszawa

1960s Pepper Vodka from Polmos! Warming and eminently collectible Polish vodka, possibly great with steak? Preferably not a 1960s steak though.  More info

Polmos Pepper Vodka - 1960s
$217.37

Eristoff Black

70cl, 20%
Eristoff

Named for the Eristoff family, which originated in what is now Georgia. This is the Black variant, with a wild berry flavour.  More info

Eristoff Black
$20.88

J.A. Baczewski Monopolowa Vodka

70cl, 40%
J.A. Baczewski

J.A. Baczewski Monopolowa is a potato vodka with a long history that dates back to 1782, when the Baczawski opened it's first distillery near Lvov. Over the years, the Austrian vodka has impressed…  More info

J.A. Baczewski Monopolowa Vodka
1
$28.21

Debowa Polish Oak Vodka Hunter Flask with 2x Glasses

70cl, 40%
Dębowa

Debowa Polish Oak Vodka presented inside an oak-look 'hunter' flask! You also get two shot glasses in this gift pack.  More info

Debowa Polish Oak Vodka Hunter Flask with 2x Glasses
$64.66

Cristalnaya Vodka

70cl, 38%
Cristalnaya

Cristalnaya is a fabulous Russian vodka with an intensely creamy, smooth palate. Distilled from top quality grains, and a secret blend of botanicals, this is triple-distilled and makes for a great…  More info

Cristalnaya Vodka
$20.22

Eristoff Vodka 1.5l

150cl, 37.50%
Eristoff

A 1.5 litre bottle of Eristoff vodka, a triple distilled vodka named for Prince Eristoff of Georgia in 1806.  More info

Eristoff Vodka 1.5l
3
$43.42

Beluga Vodka Transatlantic Racing Special Edition with Leather Case

70cl, 40%
Beluga

A special release from Belgua, produced to honour the Russian transatlantic racing team and their successes! This full 70cl bottle comes with a stylish leather presentation case.  More info

Beluga Vodka Transatlantic Racing Special Edition with Leather Case
$55.26

Ciroc Vodka 1.75l

175cl, 40%
Ciroc

A 1.75 litre bottle of Ciroc Vodka, made with French grapes which are harvested when frozen. Following this, the vodka is distilled five times to achieve the desired level of purity and fantastic…  More info

Ciroc Vodka 1.75l
$88.09

Absolut Mango

70cl, 40%
Absolut Company

A stunningly fruity, intense vodka from Absolut, flavoured with Mango. This was launched in 2007, and is juicy and full-bodied. We thoroughly recommend this in a lovely Summery cocktail.  More info

Absolut Mango
1
$22.61

RubyBlue Vodka - Whiskey Cask Finished

70cl, 40%
Hughes Craft Distillery

A limited edition release of RubyBlue Vodka, made in Ireland with a base of potatoes, which has interestingly been finished in whiskey casks! Only 700 bottles were produced.  More info

RubyBlue Vodka - Whiskey Cask Finished
1
$47.05

Wratislavia Vodka

50cl, 40%
Wratislavia

Don't you just love when a bottle is as beautiful as the spirit inside it? Wratislavia Vodka is a well made Polish vodka, filtered many times to obtain a pure, elegant palate. As if that wasn't…  More info

Wratislavia Vodka
4
$38.43

Russkaya Vodka

70cl, 40%
Russkaya Priviet

Made in Russia, Russkaya is a superb vodka distilled from wheat, rye and malted barley. It is made with naturally spring-softened water, and even undergoes filtration through both quartz and birch…  More info

Russkaya Vodka
$22.69

Imperial Collection Golden Snow

70cl, 40%
Imperial Collection

Made in Russia, Imperial Golden Snow is a super-premium vodka made with the pure, glacial water of Lake Ladoga. It is produced with a 12-stage purification process, and even comes with flakes of real…  More info

Imperial Collection Golden Snow
1
$47.10

Smirnoff Red 3l

300cl, 37.50%
Smirnoff

A full three litres of Smirnoff Red label. Behold its majesty, marvel at its size. This is the world's bestselling vodka, and it is thrice distilled and ten times filtered.  More info

Smirnoff Red 3l
$84.51

Grey Goose La Poire

70cl, 40%
Grey Goose

Produced with essence of Anjou pears, blended by the Maitre de Chai with Grey Goose vodka. This is a sophisticated, well-balanced fruit vodka.  More info

Grey Goose La Poire
$42.50

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