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Best Tasting Vodka

Best Tasting Vodka

When you drink vodka, does it taste like medicine? To experience a smooth, slinky-tasting spirit, here's a look at vodka brands that taste the best.
Rave Uno
Last Updated: Jan 27, 2018
This drink has a magical power. It strengthens the weak, and revives those who have fainted. Those tired after work and physical activity can return their life forces by this drink much sooner than by nourishment. ... It works as a diuretic, an appetizer, an antitoxin. - Carolus Linnaeus

Mighty words for a mighty spirit. Vodka is an alcoholic beverage, capable of turning mice into men. From its semi-sweet, strong fragrance, to its kick-in-your-chest taste, it is the dominant white spirit used worldwide. An estimated 3 billion liters are sold each year. Straight and pure in a shot glass or mixed in a cocktail, vodka has a signature flavor that is hard to ignore. While it is eponymously linked to Russia, its actual origin is Poland, where it was created for medicinal purposes. But the actual alcoholic vodka, which is revered today, was created in Russia.
While to an average tongue, vodka can taste ... tasteless, vodka lovers insist that each vodka brand has a unique feel and flavor. Vodka does not improve with age. The best vodkas go down smooth with little burn. The ingredients used, help judge the smoothness and taste. The best tasting vodka is usually made of a single, quality ingredient, like wheat or potato. If corn or other starch sources are used as a base, the vodka tends to burn while drinking.
How to Taste Vodka
You can't just pour vodka down your throat and expect to like it. To really get that unique vodka taste, first smell the vodka in the glass. Good vodka smells sweet, not medicinal. Vodka pundits say freezing the vodka overnight brings out its true essence. Pour a small shot, let the glass warm in your hand, then sip. Keep the vodka in your mouth for sometime and then swallow. Notice the aftertaste. Next, do a "bottoms up" with the remaining vodka in the glass and see how the taste compares. Taste vodka with different foods to see how the flavor differs. And finally, try a different brand to see how unique the taste really is.
Top 10 Vodkas
  1. Grey Goose
    • French manufactured vodka
    • Premium brand
    • Winter wheat based, with spring water
    • Platinum medal at the San Francisco World's Spirits Championship
  2. Belvedere
    • Century old Polish brand
    • Premium brand
    • Gold rye based, blended with well water, with 4 times distillation
    • 8 Vodka Masters prizes in 2009
  3. Russian Standard Vodka
    • Russian brand
    • Top premium brand
    • Winter grain based, blended with glacier water
    • Distilled 8 times
    • 3 variants: Original, platinum, gold
    • 1 luxury variant: Imperia
  4. Reyka
    • First and only vodka from Iceland
    • Wheat based, glacier water filtered through lava rocks
    • Produced with the purest water on earth
  5. Finlandia
    • Finland brand
    • Six row barley based, blended with glacier water
  6. Absolut
    • Swedish brand
    • One of the most popular premium brands
    • Wheat based
    • More than 10 flavored variants
    • Famous advertising campaigns
  7. Stolichnaya Vodka
    • Russian brand
    • Top premium vodka
    • Wheat and rye grains with glacial water
    • Double distillation
    • Different pure varieties
    • New luxury variant Elit
  8. Chopin Vodka
    • Polish brand
    • Potato based, 4 times distillation
    • Double Gold in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  9. 42 Below Vodka
    • New Zealand brand
    • Stronger premium vodka (42% alcohol)
    • Wheat based, deep spring water blended
    • Gold medal in San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  10. Ketel One
    • Vodka from Netherlands
    • Wheat based
    • New flavored variant Oranje released

Since vodka comes in both pure and flavored form, and flavored vodka is also delicious, here is a list of tasty flavors and the vodka brands that produce them:
  • Apple - Seagram's, Smirnoff, Van Gogh
  • Cranberry - Finlandia, Smirnoff, Stolichnaya
  • Peach - Absolut, Stolichnaya
  • Vanilla - Absolut, Grey Goose, Van Gogh, Seagram's, Stolichnaya
  • Strawberry - Smirnoff, Stolichnaya
  • Lime - Finlandia, Smirnoff
  • Citrus - Absolut, Smirnoff, Grey Goose, Stolichnaya
  • Coffee - Stolichnaya, Van Gogh
  • Chocolate - Van Gogh, Three Olives
Best Tasting Vodka Cocktails
Some like it straight, some like it mixed. Vodka-based cocktails are very popular and easy to make. Here's a table of best tasting vodka drinks.
Cocktail Other Ingredients
Appletini Apple juice or cider or liqueur
Black Russian Coffee liqueur
Bloody Mary Tomato juice, Tabasco, lemon juice, bouillon
Cosmopolitan Triple sec (orange-flavored liqueur), cranberry juice, lime juice
Harvey Wallbanger Galliano, orange juice
Kamikaze Triple sec, lime juice
Long Island Iced Tea Gin, tequila, rum, cola
Screwdriver Orange juice
Vodka Red Bull Red Bull
Vodka Martini Vermouth
White Russian Coffee liqueurs, cream
Vodka tonic Tonic water
Sea Breeze Cranberry juice, grapefruit juice

Besides taste and smell, another factor that marks a premium vodka is the packaging. When you are in a liquor store, looking at hundreds of bottles, an attractive color, unique bottle shape or a special edition label catches your eye. Absolut has a clear, strong bottle design, and makes its special editions like Glimmer so distinct, it's a must-have for any bar. An American brand, Crystal Head Vodka, has a skull shaped bottle and a spooky back story, that attracts even the most tame drinker. Some may feel vodka is just alcohol, and there is no best or good in alcohol. Yeah, vodka is just alcohol, a diamond is just a rock and a Mercedes, just a car. So vodka aficionados, collect some brands, get out your shot glasses and do some taste testing of your own!