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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.

Glen's Vodka 35cl

35cl, 37.50%
Glen Catrine Distillers

A half bottle of Glen's Vodka, a Scottish vodka distilled from sugar beet. It's not going to win any medals, but it is very cheap.  More info

Glen's Vodka 35cl
16
$7.90

Smirnoff Red Vodka 35cl

35cl, 37.50%
Smirnoff

A half bottle of Smirnoff Red. Three times distilled and ten times filtered for greater purity.  More info

Smirnoff Red Vodka 35cl
2
$13.21

Glen's Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Glen Catrine Distillers

A Scottish vodka, distilled from sugar beet. It was originally named Grants vodka, before William Grant & Sons appealed to the Scottish Courts for the name to be changed.  More info

Glen's Vodka
31
$15.03

Vladivar Imperial

70cl, 37.50%
Whyte & Mackay

Vladivar is a Scottish vodka made by Whyte and Mackay. It is triple distilled and charcoal filtered.  More info

Vladivar Imperial
$16.62

Kulov Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Kulov

Cool off with Kulov, that's their slogan. And nothing cools us down better than a glass of vodka, apart from lemonade, mmm yummers. This is pure tasting, and it works well in cocktails.  More info

Kulov Vodka
$16.71

Kirov Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Halewood International

This is a bottle of Kirov Vodka, which is made in England, presumably in the style of Russian vodka.  More info

Kirov Vodka
$16.77

Davna Bizon Grass Vodka

50cl, 40%
Davna Vodka

This vodka is made to a traditional Polish recipe using Hierochloe Odorata grass from Europe's only remaining primeval forest - this grass is better known as bison grass due to the fact that bison…  More info

Davna Bizon Grass Vodka
$17.23

SofsKaya Russian Vodka

70cl, 40%
Sofskaya

SofsKaya Vodka is a triple distilled Russian vodka, made with wheat and rye grain. This'll likely go well with your favourite mixers.  More info

SofsKaya Russian Vodka
$18.16

Davna Czeri - Polish Cherry Vodka

50cl, 38%
Davna Vodka

A very tasty Polish fruit vodka, Davna Cherry is made by macerating cherries from the East and South of Poland for 2 weeks in top quality vodka. It is then rested for a full year in oak barrels…  More info

Davna Czeri - Polish Cherry Vodka
4
$18.43

Moskova Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Moskova

A beautiful Russian vodka made from the very best grains and demineralised water. A great all-rounder, Moskova is a great mixer…  More info

Moskova Vodka
$18.68

Davna Hani Linden Honey Vodka

50cl, 38%
Davna Vodka

The newest addition to the Davina Hani Polish vodka family is a sweet young fellow that was built in part by bees. That's right. The Linden honey which makes this flavoured vodka so sweet was made by…  More info

Davna Hani Linden Honey Vodka
$19.04

V Gallery Toffee Fudge Vodka

50cl, 21%
V Gallery

Mmmm, toffee fudge flavoured vodka from V Gallery. It's like liquid pick-a-mix!  More info

V Gallery Toffee Fudge Vodka
3
$19.17

Smirnoff Red Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Smirnoff

Smirnoff Red is triple distilled and ten times filtered for purity. This is the world's best selling vodka.  More info

Smirnoff Red Vodka
1
$19.25

V Gallery Mango Crush Vodka

50cl, 21%
V Gallery

What did V Gallery use to crush the mangoes for their tasty Mango Crush Vodka? We like to imagine it's great big hammers like Gallagher.  More info

V Gallery Mango Crush Vodka
$19.27

V Gallery Cucumber Vodka

50cl, 21%
V Gallery

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

V Gallery Cucumber Vodka
$19.27

Polmos Siedlce Lagodna

50cl, 40%
Polmos Siedlce

A Polish vodka, flavoured with a selection of dried herbs, fruits and caramel. Rather sweet with some depth at the core.  More info

Polmos Siedlce Lagodna
$19.38

Eristoff Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
Eristoff

A triple distilled Georgian vodka, named after Prince Eristoff, and based on his personal recipe, created in 1806.  More info

Eristoff Vodka
3
$19.41

Raspberry Vodka

50cl, 22%
Scots' Cheer Limited

A fruity vodka from Scots Cheer. This is smooth grain vodka infused with raspberries.  More info

Raspberry Vodka
$19.70

New Amsterdam Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
New Amsterdam

New Amsterdam Vodka comes from the US of A and is five times distilled and triple filtered to achieve the desired purity of flavour and mouth feel. It takes its name from the history of New York,…  More info

New Amsterdam Vodka
$19.81

Stolichnaya Red Label

70cl, 40%
Stolichnaya

The classic Stolichnaya Red Label vodka, filtered three times, once with quartz, then charcoal and then quartz again for a pure but original flavour profile.  More info

Stolichnaya Red Label
3
$19.84

Green Mark Vodka (38%)

70cl, 38%
Topaz Distillery

A lower ABV bottling of Green Mark Vodka, a classic Russian spirit which bears the green mark used by the Glavspirttrest between the 1920s and 1950s as a sign of excellence and a seal of approval.  More info

Green Mark Vodka (38%)
$19.91

Odessa Vodka

70cl, 37.50%
G&J Distillers

Odessa Vodka is a Ukrainian style vodka, named after the major seaport city in the south of the country. For extra purity, the vodka is filtered, and then filtered again, and then once more. Third…  More info

Odessa Vodka
$20.19

V Gallery Gift Set

20cl, 21%
V Gallery

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

V Gallery Gift Set
$20.29

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
1
$20.35

Russian Standard

70cl, 40%
Roust Inc

Russian Standard vodka has been distilled to the Tsar's "premium quality standard" since 1894. It is a classic Russian vodka.  More info

Russian Standard
8
$20.42

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