The best vodka is, contrary to what many people think, very drinkable, and won't make you go blind or challenge strangers to fights. That's if used in moderation of course. Considering you can make everything from screwdrivers to vodka martinis with it, there's also no doubting the versatility of vodka.
Here, we bring together our top picks for the best vodkas you should be drinking right now. Whether you are simply buying a bottle for after-dinner drinks at home or want to find a unique gift for someone, we’ve found a fantastic range of local and international brands that are changing the way we view vodka.
These days you can get a wide variety of different vodkas to cater to your palate and even dietary requirements. With the rise of food intolerances and health trends, gluten-free vodkas are now available quite widely, so if you have any special requirements, keep your eyes peeled for these options. At the other end of the scale you can find things like vodkas made from milk (!) so there really is something for everyone. For while the best gin may be more on trend and the best tequila may be more glitzy, vodka is the world's favourite spirit with good reason.
Prices vary from around £15-£50+, and the smoothness of the drink generally tends to be reflected in how much you spend. So if you are on a budget, know that this means you will likely be settling for a vodka that is best mixed rather than sipped. If you are looking for a vodka that is best served on the rocks with nothing mixed in, your best bet is to stretch your wallet a little and opt for a quadruple distilled vodka that is soft and smooth on the palette.
The best vodkas we've tried (not all at once)
If you want a high quality vodka that you can either drink straight or mix up your favourite cocktail with, Belvedere is the one. A traditional Polish Vodka; Belvedere has won numerous blind tasting awards and is considered of fine quality but without such a hefty price tag.
It is quadruple distilled, making it taste incredibly smooth and therefore a definite winner for both vodka novices and aficionados alike. We’ve put Belvedere at our top spot due to its palatable creamy vanilla taste with a slight hint of white pepper which gives it just the right kick. If you want a middle range vodka that tastes good but won’t break the bank, this is the one.
Grey Goose is a beautifully smooth vodka which you can drink on its own or whip up a classic Grey Goose Cosmo or Vodka Martini with. This vodka has very citrusy undertones which is generally why it is a bit easier to drink neat than many other vodkas out there.
It's expensive, sure, but if you aren’t a fan of the harsher kick that many vodkas bring to the taste buds and you fancy a bit of a treat, then Grey Goose is one of the best easy-drinking vodkas you'll find on the supermarket shelves.
This is a unique vodka made from milk rather than the traditional potatoes, wheat or rye, and is made in the South of England. If you are a vodka lover who would like to try something a bit different, or if you have a gluten intolerance, then this is something a little quirky and different. As you might expect from the inclusion of milk, this vodka has a smooth creamy taste which works brilliantly in long drinks and on its own. Served on the rocks, you might just find that this is a vodka you'll enjoy drinking straight...who would have thought?!
For those who love all things British, Chase Vodka is made right here on our very soil and is one of the top contenders for vodka on the market right now. You can drink this any way you like although it works particularly well mixed in a cocktail as this takes away a little of it's harsher bite.
This is one of the best vodkas for celiacs as it is made from potatoes only and is best served straight from the freezer for a cracking ice cold gluten-free martini. For anyone looking to buy a gift for a gluten intolerant friend that enjoys a drink, this is spot on.
Ciroc is a great vodka if you want to add flavours to your favourite cocktails. From vanilla to passionfruit, this unique brand of vodka has something for everyone. So, if you’re someone who doesn’t like tend to opt for plain vodka because you find it a little tasteless, Ciroc's range of vodka flavours will keep you entertained.
It is not the smoothest vodka around but, to be honest, if you're mixing it, it doesn't need to be. If vodka and coke is your tipple of choice, give this one a try to change up the flavours.
Zubrowka Vodka is probably one of the most unique vodkas on the market. It is harvested by hand in Poland, where the continent’s only herd of bison can be found. The bison grass infusion gives this vodka an aromatic taste which is smooth and fresh with a slightly herbal undertone.
This botanical vodka is a pretty smooth choice too, and whilst it hasn't got the same gentle touch on the palette as Grey Goose or Beldevere, it's unusual taste make it a must-try for any vodka lover.
If you like your vodka strong on the taste buds, then Stolichnaya needs to be in your drinks cabinet. This is a pure tasting vodka that has been double-distilled and quadruple-filtered through birch charcoal (everyone’s loving the benefits of charcoal these days!) and that’s what gives it such a pure taste.
This vodka typically tastes best served as a long drink with lemonade or sparkling water or on its own is you can cope with the kick. However, if the strong kick of vodka is what you are trying to avoid, then avoid this.
If you like the sound of Ciroc’s flavours but don’t want to pay that much, then Absolut is an affordable alternative. Absolut is served in most bars and restaurants and tastes great in a range of cocktails.
However, if you are coeliac, it is important to note that Absolut isn’t gluten free like Ciroc is. For those of you who want to try making a tasty drink at home, Absolut is one of the best vodka’s to keep in your drinks cabinet for when mates come over. It tends to go with anything, is pretty drinkable and won't break the bank.
Skyy Vodka is one of the only vodka’s that is made purely from American grains. It has a clean and neutral taste which not everyone’s palette will agree with as it can be a bit dry compared to other richer vodkas like Zubrowka.
However, this is a particularly fashionable choice for 2018, gracing the top shelfs of most swanky bars and clubs. Normally, a cheaper vodka means a cheaper taste, but this bottle from Skyy is sort of bucking that trend, offering a pretty smooth tasting vodka for a budget-friendly price.
Russian Standard Vodka is the ultimate premium tasting vodka without the hefty price tag, so if you like your vodka but don’t want to fork out on the likes of Chase and Grey Goose, this is your go-to option.
It’s so pure you can sip it neat, honestly. If you find yourself standing in the supermarket aisles umming and ahhing about which bottle to pop in the trolly, you can't go wrong with this one. Just make sure it’s been chilled in the fridge properly to get the best out of it.
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