Vodka goes in and out of fashion, but not its popularity with drinkers. It remains the biggest-selling spirit in the U.S, and even the Scots drink more vodka than whisky. In the U.S., according to the Code of Federal Regulations, vodka is defined as “neutral spirits so distilled, or so treated after distillation with charcoal or other materials, as to be without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color.” Nevertheless, there are subtle differences between vodka made from potatoes and from grain, for example, two of the most common base products for distilling into vodka. (In recent years, a wide variety of other bases have been used to make vodka.) Infused vodka has usually been infused with natural products (e.g. real lemons), while flavored vodka can mean it contains either natural or artificial flavorings. Rules regarding the acceptable strength of vodka differ slightly around the world. Within the European Union, vodkas can be bottled at as low as 75 proof, while in most countries outside the European Union, and in the U.S., vodka must be at least 80 proof.

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Review: Khor Vodka – Ice and De Luxe (2024)

By Christopher Null | February 21, 2024 |

Ukraine’s Khortytsa (we reviewed the Platinum expression in 2016) is now just “Khor” — presumably an attempt to make the name easier to pronounce. Not a bad idea; I have trouble typing it, too. But Khortytsa, er, Khor, actually has three expressions, the other two of which we are finally reviewing today. Both are 80…

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Review: Doritos Nacho Cheese Spirit

By Christopher Null | December 21, 2023 |

You probably never thought about boozifying a nacho cheese flavored Doritos chip, did you? But you probably also never thought about turning Doritos into Taco Bell taco shells either, and now look who’s laughing. In collaboration with “global flavor innovator” Empirical, a Delaware-based operation which makes all kinds of oddball spirits, the good people at…

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Drinkhacker’s 2023 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 23, 2023 |

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some festivities in the form of holiday revelry. Naturally, the holidays mean gift-giving time is nigh, and you’re going to want recommendations for what to wrap up and stash under the tree. As always, this year we want your gift-giving to make a statement, but we…

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Review: Crystal Head Onyx and Bone Bottle Vodkas

By Christopher Null | October 22, 2023 |

Crystal Head Vodka got its start as a wacky Dan Aykroyd-designed vodka that was packaged in a see-through skull. Since those early days some 15 years ago, the brand has surprised everyone by continuing to succeed through the sheer power of its novelty. Different skulls with different vodka distillates have followed, including everything from Pride-themed…

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Review: Purity Vodkas, Gins, and Spritz (2023)

By Christopher Null | October 16, 2023 |

Best known for its out-there bottle design, Sweden’s Purity has expanded from making a single vodka to a much wider range of products, including four(!) vodkas, three gins, and a bottled spritz. Everything has been rebranded lately, though the core recipes seem not to have changed much, starting with a distillate made of organic winter wheat…

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Review: Beattie’s Potato and Sweet Potato Vodkas

By Jonathan Glover | August 24, 2023 |

The designation “farm-to-table” will always receive a Bourdainian side-eye from me. It’s one of those oft-used, food-adjacent phrases like “craft,” “handmade,” and “gourmet” that are intended to evoke a specific feeling while not necessarily meaning much of anything at all. And so, here we have Beattie’s Distillers, whose slogan prominently displayed on the front label…

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Sakagura NYC

At NYC’s Sakagura, Shochu Is Poised to Explode in the U.S.

By David Tao | August 10, 2023 |

While sake has long been more familiar to American palates, shochu is finally ready for its moment in the sun. Unlike sake, which is a brewed rice wine, shochu is Japan’s native distilled spirit, with remarkable utility for consumption neat, on the rocks, in cocktails, and beyond. And at a proof point normally hovering between…

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Review: Supergay Vodka

By Robert Lublin | June 25, 2023 |

June is LGBTQ Pride month, and I can’t think of a brand of spirits that announces its pride more audaciously than Supergay vodka. The brand opened in 2018 and donates a percentage of the profits from every bottle to organizations benefiting the LGBTQ+ community. Their vodka, distilled in a copper pot still in upstate New…

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Review: Industrious Spirit Company Ostreida Oyster Vodka

By Christopher Null | June 20, 2023 |

I’ve long known how well oysters and vodka go together, but I’ve always had them served separately. Until now… The Industrious Spirit Company’s (ISCO) Ostreida is vodka made in Rhode Island, with oysters used as part of the distillation process. Officially “a spirit made with oysters,” it’s made from scratch with a 100% corn distillate…

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Review: Zakuska Vodka

By Christopher Null | May 14, 2023 |

Zakuska Vodka was pitched to me as “a simple, no-B.S. vodka served as a chilled shot.” No flavors, no gimmicks. It launched only in 2022, and despite the Baltic-sounding name, it’s actually made in Columbus, Ohio, distilled from red winter wheat and corn, and bottled — noticeably — unfiltered, rendering it slightly translucent. The label’s…

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