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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Russian Standard Vodka

Review: Russian Standard Imperia Vodka

By Christopher Null | March 1, 2008 |

If you aren’t familiar with Russian Standard’s Imperia vodka (its highest-end of three bottlings) due to its ubiquitous print advertising, you won’t miss the angular, hexagon-bottomed bottle at the liquor store. It looks like something that ought to have been erected on the outskirts of Moscow during the Yeltsin years, a stark monument to drowned…

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Review: 360 Vodka

By Christopher Null | February 29, 2008 |

The world’s first “eco luxury vodka,” 360 Vodka is bottled at 80 proof in 85% recycled glass, labeled with chlorine-free paper, and even uses a twine string to attach a postage-paid envelope to the top of the bottle: You use it to return the metal closure on top of the bottle (like a Grolsch beer…

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Original Recipe: The Oscar Cosmo

By Christopher Null | February 24, 2008 |

For Hollywood’s most glamorous night, here’s what the Drinkhacker crew is imbibing: The Oscar Cosmo 1 1/2 oz. vodka 1/2 oz. pomegranate liqueur 1/4 oz. orange liqueur 1 oz. cranberry juice Shake first three ingredients with ice in a shaker. Pour into a cocktail glass. Top off with cranberry juice.

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Original Recipe: The Healthberry

By Christopher Null | February 17, 2008 |

The Healthberry 1 1/2 oz. vodka 1 oz. VeeV açai spirit 1/2 oz. Chambord 1 sugar cube Put all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake well, and strain into a cocktail glass. It looks a lot like a Cosmopolitan, but the taste is quite different (letting the açai come through), and much stronger. Just…

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Review: VeeV Acai Spirit

By Christopher Null | February 17, 2008 |

Açai (pronounced ah-SAH-eee) is the superfood of the moment, so it was only a matter of time before it became a spirit. VeeV is the only açai spirit on the market, but there’s more to it than that. Not quite a vodka and not quite a liqueur, VeeV is a 60-proof spirit that’s clear and…

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Review: Krol Vodka and Lemon Raspberry Vodka

By Christopher Null | February 12, 2008 |

I have seen the future, and the future is Kröl. Distilled from Polish rye (in, um, Poland), Kröl isn’t exactly the sexiest name in spirits, but it’s a solid product that vodka lovers will want to check out. Kröl comes in two forms (for now). I tried them both. First up is straight Kröl Vodka,…

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Review: Bak’s Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka

By Christopher Null | February 11, 2008 |

What the heck is bison grass? It’s grass that, well, bison eat, at least in Poland. And what’s good for the buffalo is also curiously delicious for vodka fans: Zubrówka (pronounced zoo-BROV-ka), also known as bison grass vodka, is now being reintroduced to America after 30 years of being banned, much like Absinthe, due to…

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Review: Turi Vodka

By Christopher Null | February 2, 2008 |

Türi is Estonia’s only vodka exported to the U.S. For that, it’s got some novelty cred. But I’m not entirely sure it’s worth the $20 a bottle it costs… if you can find it at all. Türi is another rye-based vodka, but it isn’t the flavor that immediately hits you: Türi is especially thick and…

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Review: Pravda Vodka

By Christopher Null | February 2, 2008 |

Regularly marketed as ultra-luxe and advertised as besting every major brand in vodka tastings, Pravda is a Polish spirit, distilled five times from rye and bottled at 80 proof. It shares a lot of the characteristics of other rye vodkas, but Pravda is smoother than most and bears a stronger citrus flavor up front that…

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Original Recipe: The White Prussian

By Christopher Null | January 19, 2008 |

Just goofing around with dessert drinks again. Here’s a way to sort-of emulate the venerable White Russian even if you don’t have Half & Half on hand… and maybe even improve on it. (I suppose you could always use coffee liqueur if you’re a stickler for accuracy.) The White Prussian 1 oz. vodka 3/4 oz.…

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