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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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Eristoff Vodka
(70cl, 37.50%)
A triple distilled Georgian vodka, named after Prince Eristoff, and based on his personal recipe, created in 1806.  More info
User Rating: 
$23.75
Chase Vodka 1l
(100cl, 40%)
A litre bottle of potato vodka from Chase, who also make Tyrell's crisps. Very creamy with a wonderful mouth feel. Great in a Vodka Martini.  More info
$76.57
The English Vodka Company has sourced the very best vanilla pods and added them to its finest artisan vodka. The result is a superb vanilla vodka that’s sweet and devilishly drinkable.  More info
$47.54
Roberto Cavalli Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Yep, that's right. Roberto Cavalli. The Fashion Designer. Can't really be bothered to finish this tasting note, I think I'm just going to hop in my car (upholstered by Benjamin Netanyahu), and drive...  More info
User Rating: 
$69.04
This V Gallery Cucumber Vodka is a delicious flavoured vodka which has uses spirit that has been 5 times distilled. Technically, cucumbers are fruit, which makes this a fruit flavoured vodka. You...  More info
$24.50
Absolut Blue
(70cl, 40%)
Absolut Vodka is a classic tasting vodka distilled from winter wheat. The recipe is over 30 years old and the bottle design is based on an 18th century medicine flask.  More info
User Rating: 
$25.73
Absolut Level Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
Level is Absolut's ultra premium vodka, it was launched in 2004 and is made from winter wheat. It is incredibly smooth, and was launched as a direct competitor to France's popular Grey Goose.  More info
$44.04
Adnams Barley Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
This starts off in the same way as Adnams beers. It is made by fermenting a sort of beer wash, using East Anglian malted barley. It is made in very small batches, and is distilled in a handmade copper...  More info
User Rating: 
$39.06
Finlandia Vodka
(70cl, 40%)
A very good vodka from Finland, Finlandia is a great premium vodka, made with glacial spring water.  More info
User Rating: 
$25.27
Beluga Allure Russian Vodka is filtered multiple times before the distillers add a very small amount of fig extract and maple syrup, resulting in a classically clean but subtly sweet flavour profile...  More info
$135.66
You'd be forgiven for not knowing Mr. Staritsky and Mr. Levitsky, seeing as they were cultural figured from over 100 years ago. For those who need a hint, Mr. Staritsky was a cultural leader and Mr...  More info
$52.21
Mazowiecka Zytnia
(70cl, 40%)
Mazowiecka Zytnia is a rye vodka, the rye comes from Mazovia in east-central Poland.  More info
User Rating: 
$32.23
Grey Goose La Poire
(70cl, 40%)
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
$52.45
Smirnoff Blueberry
(70cl, 37.50%)
A fantastically fruity Smirnoff. This is made with pot-still vodka, which is filtered through a whopping seven tons of charcoal. It is flavoured naturally with blueberry, and it works well in...  More info
$26.48
In celebration of its popularity among the crowd that live for the night-life (not vampires), the Night Edition of Stolichnaya features a glow in the dark label that you'll only be able to see at...  More info
$35.02
A beautiful oak-aged vodka made with their Longshore barley vodka which is matured in both American and French oak barrels before bottling at a higher-than-average proof. Another surefire hit from...  More info
$48.91
V Gallery Gift Set
(20cl, 21%)
A rather pleasing gift set of 4 x 5cl samples of V Gallery Vodka, including scrummy flavours like Toffee Fudge, Marshmallow, Mango Crush and Cucumber, all of which are five times distilled...  More info
$25.79
Aivy is a Swedish brand of superbly creamy, rich flavoured vodkas. Aivy Black is a triple-flavoured spirit, flavoured with mint, lemon and blackcurrant. The result is great in cocktails.  More info
$34.47
Organic vodka infused with whole vanilla beans from Bainbridge Distillers, the first USDA Certified Organic distillery in Washington State. They've even been so kind as to leave a handful of those...  More info
User Rating: 
$99.78
Imperial Collection Silver is part of the increased range, now available in the UK from this premium Russian vodka producer.  More info
$36.79
Faust Cranberry Vodka
(50cl, 40%)
Fantastic Polish vodka and dynamic cranberry make Faust Cranberry Vodka a proper hero in our books.  More info
$33.91
A small batch American vodka. This is made in numbered batches, distilled from potatoes, malted summer wheat and malted barley. Each batch is limited to 5 cases, distilled under the careful eye of the...  More info
$52.24
Grey Goose Magnum
(150cl, 40%)
A magnum of delicious Grey Goose vodka, made with French wheat from La Beauce which is distilled in a five step process with artesian spring water which is filtered through Champagne limestone.  More info
$165.55
Limited edition Gooseberry Vodka from Chase in Herefordshire, made with their stunning potato-based vodka and locally grown gooseberries! Vibrantly fruity with a hint of tartness, the Chase Gooseberry...  More info
User Rating: 
$61.36
A chocolate and raspberry flavoured vodka from the stalwart Russian producers Stolichnaya. Fruity and very rich.  More info
User Rating: 
$30.31
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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.