Whether you want to sip it, shoot it, mix with tonic or shake up a sophisticated cocktail, vodka is a versatile spirit that belongs in everyone’s drinks cupboard.
That versatility is due to its pure, neutral taste, which is achieved through the distillation process itself and then further filtration, which removes any impurities left behind by the distilling process and brightens the clarity of the spirit.
Vodkas can be distilled, once, twice, three or four times – or even more – in search of that perfect purity. The filtration process adds polish and can impart flavour characteristics to a vodka; though not all producers choose to filter.
The quest for purity led to the development of premium vodkas, which started appearing on the market in the 1990s. Grey Goose led the way, but many other brands followed, with producers creating increasingly expensive super-premium and ultra-premium expressions.
While premium vodkas are great for sipping or in a Vodka Martini there are plenty of good quality, great value vodka brands, such as Smirnoff Red Label and Russian Standard – both currently on offer at Amazon (see below). Try them in the classic Bloody Mary brunch cocktail.
Choose from the great deals here or one of our top recommendations below.
Premium Swedish vodka with an iconic bottle design, based on a traditional Swedish medicine bottle. Grain, vanilla and liquorice on the palate. Alc 40%
£27.95 Now £20 at Amazon (Save £7.95)
Smooth Siberian vodka in a striking tusk-shaped bottle that celebrates the symbol of Siberia: the mammoth. Alc 40%
£39 Now £33.99 at Amazon (Save £5.01)
Russian Standard Vodka
Best-selling Russian vodka made with winter wheat from the Russian Steppes and glacial water from Lake Lagoda. Alc 38%
£16 Now £14.50 at Amazon (Save £1.50)
Top vodkas to try
Made from winter wheat grown on a single estate in southern Sweden, Absolut’s luxury bottling Elyx is distilled in a vintage copper column still from 1921. This is one of our favourite vodkas: rich and rounded, with a luscious silky texture. Light grain aromas, plus notes of fresh bread, white chocolate and mellow spice. The palate has creamy cereal notes, vanilla, macadamia nuts and baked pastries. Alc 42.3%
This high-quality vodka from Poland has an incredibly smooth texture thanks to its four-times distillation process. Made from rye, it has a creaminess on the palate with notes of vanilla and white pepper along the edge giving it a spicy boost on the finish. It’s easy to see why this is a classic and well-loved vodka. Alc 40%
Grey Goose Vodka
The world’s first premium vodka. From the Cognac region in France, Grey Goose was created by François Thibault, son of a wine-grower and a master Cognac blender. It’s a versatile, super-creamy wheat vodka that works well in a whole range of cocktails. Alc 40%
Produced by Suntory, which is better known for its whiskeys, this Japanese vodka is made from Japanese white rice (the word ‘haku’ means ‘white’ in Japanese). Double distilled with bamboo charcoal filtration, the palate is pure, soft and rounded, with an edge of sweetness on the soft lingering finish that marries well with the dry vermouth in a Vodka Martini. Alc 40%
Ketel One Vodka
Made by 10th generation distillers – with over 300 years of expertise – this is one of the smoothest and cleanest vodkas on the market today. This Dutch vodka is distilled in small batches and made from 100% GMO-free European wheat. It has a crisp citrus flavour with notes of honey and a long and lively finish. It makes a great cocktail but if you like your vodka neat this is a great choice, chilled or served over a little ice. Alc 40%
Stolichnaya Elit Vodka
A premium Russian vodka made using a revolutionary freeze filtration technique, filtering the spirit at -18°C. This makes all impurities freeze against the walls of the filtration tanks giving ultra-high levels of purity and making it one of the smoothest on the market. It has subtle flavours of creamy aniseed with a light spiciness and balanced dryness on the palate. A fantastic buy from one of the most prestigious vodka brands. Alc 40%