Vodka? Does it really matter?

For me I like to have a mixed drink or martini or something once in a while. I know we have discussed Rum and Whiskey and Cognacs etc but what about Vodka? What is it you stay away from and what brand is your favorite.

For me, I stay away from most anything flavored. Also, I am not a fan of the lower grade or potato vodka.

Favorite brands would be Grey Goose and Ketal one. Wondering if the higher priced Vodkas actually do taste better.

Between my wives, I dated a Russian woman. Her favorite commercial brand in the US was Grey Goose. But when she visited her mother in Russia, she brought these small batch vodkas you could only buy in Russia. They were amazing. We even had a vodka tasting once with friends. The differences were clear, but only when you drank them straight. Once you mixed in other ingredients, you could not tell the difference.

As an aside, a vodka tasting is a good way to separate the Russians from the non-Russians. She was half my size, but she was the only one who could stand or speak coherently by the end of the tasting.

Beluga (I have not yet splurged for the Beluga gold)
Russian Standard Gold/Silver
Tito’s for QPR, making Vodka sauce, or mixed drinks

2’ 11" 49lbs?

Zubrowka Bison Grass vodka. Polish

Had this once. My brother in law who is polish brought it over and said we have to mix it into apple juice. Man it was good but hungover like crazy.

I think there is a difference between, for instance, Grey Goose and Popov in any situation; mixing or not. Straight there is a huge difference between vodkas. But that could likely be said about any spirit. I don’t know that there is the regard for vodka as there is Bourbon, Scotch, and rum, among others.


The distinction between one and another I think would have more to do with smoothness than flavor.

To me there is cheap and not cheap. I’m don’t drink much vodka anymore but Titos seems to be a good middle ground for the guests that do and my wife says it makes a great 'tini; it is made in the USA. Polish vodka with the strip of buffalo grass is worth seeking out.

A vodka expert told me putting a bottle of Smirnoff 100 proof in a blind tasting produces surprising results.

Again, I don’t drink much vodka.

Did one of them look like this?

This is what I would think too…I mean…does Vodka even have flavor to begin with? Once you use it in a cocktail and mixed with other ingredients, I’m not so sure how you’d notice a difference.

As an aside…I really hate when I’m at a restaurant that has a Martini menu and they use Vodka in all of them. I sort of view that as lazy and cheating as well…of course adding any flavor to vodka should taste good…since you start from no flavor. Takes a bit more skill to find flavors that complement Gin.

Russian Standard
All are fine for a vodka martini or bloody Mary.

Probably the best way to drink vodka IMO, and the way that the Russians and Eastern Europeans I’ve known drink it, is very cold, in small glasses, consumed with pickles of various sorts.

Please explain how after adding tomato juice, Worsteshire sauce, Tabasco, celery salt, black pepper etc. what makes one Vodka better than another.

Vodka is flavorless after distillation. Then it’s watered back and messed with.

No. The bottle was pretty standard, but the label was very ornate. I tried google image search, but could not find one that looked like these.

Not unless you’re referring to when I was in the 4th grade.

It’s been a looong time since I had a sip of vodka, but I always regarded brands like Grey Goose to be shamelessly expensive. The product is not complicated in its production, it sees no ageing (a reasonable factor in the cost of liquor), and - more often than not - the packaging is what makes the sale.

Having said all of this, the New Zealand 42 Below was a smooth, reasonably priced choice. The ubiquitous Skyy (albeit a bit sweet) was alright, as were Finlandia and Luksusova(sp?).

If I had a bunch of money to blow on a vodka to be consumed chilled, neat or in a Martini, the Stoli Gold was always a very smooth selection.

…Just my 2¢.

Woody Creek Stobrawa Vodka

When you grow your own potatoes on site and have some of the best stills around, you can make pretty amazing vodka.

A friend was here this summer and wanted to make Moscow Mules (vodka, ginger beer, lime). I handed him a potato vodka from the shelf. He made them and said it did taste just right. Then I handed him Ketel One, and 3 of us agreed it was a different animal, and far superior.

Don’t think it matters much what you use in a bloody mary.

On the rocks or in something very simple? I like Ketel One and Grey Goose, but agree with some comments above that the Goose is probably not worth the extra money.

[soap.gif] Isn’t vodka by definition a neutral distilled spirit? If so, then it seems like it is supposed to be flavorless and odorless by definition and simply a device to deliver alcohol to your blood system. I am clearly missing something and injecting my own subjective tastes here but I just don’t get vodka or any other distilled spirit including cognac, armagnac and grappa. I sort of like Calvados but have not had any in years. I have tried to like spirits. I have a really good bottle of single malt which was given to me and I just have no interest in it. I was given a really neat looking bottle of Ukrainian vodka direct from Ukraine and it evaporated before I could open it. I was in Scotland last summer and had a great time drinking local beers and French wine. We went to a small distillery, it was wonderful, beautiful place, excellent tour guide but I just had the one glass of whisky that was included in the price of the tour and simply did not feel like buying a bottle. Anyway, if you like spirits, more power to you! But they are just not my thing despite years of trying. Rant and thread drift over.

If you’re drinking non-industrial vodkas neat, they do not all taste the same. The differences are more subtle than between different cognacs, armagnacs, and grappas (to say nothing about Scotch). I certainly wouldn’t quarrel with anyone who found them uninteresting (I like them all), but they are certainly distinctive from each other.