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: 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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Review: Tito’s Handmade Vodka (2007)

By Christopher Null | December 27, 2007 |

If you read the Wall Street Journal, you’ve seen the ads for Tito’s Handmade Vodka. With a kind of scrappy, homemade look and feel (to both the ads and the bottle itself), Tito’s doesn’t look like much… but as with a book, don’t judge this liquor by its cover. I taste a lot of vodka…

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Review: Christiania Vodka

By Christopher Null | December 4, 2007 |

Here we have another high-end, traditional potato vodka, straight outta Norway (note the neck of the bottle) and distilled six times, bottled at 80 proof. The makers in fact claim it to be the world’s first ultra-premium vodka, with a heritage dating to 1602. The flavor is indeed smooth, especially for a potato vodka, herbal…

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Review: Sobieski Vodka

By Christopher Null | November 16, 2007 |

God bless Sobieski Vodka. The company’s goal is to “overthrow overpriced vodka.” Sobieski comes at a suggested retail price of $11, and if you can find it, you can probably get for even less. So, how’s it tasted? Distilled in Poland from rye, it had the most interesting flavor of the three vodkas I tried,…

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Review: Blue Ice Vodka

By Christopher Null | November 16, 2007 |

I got a little misty eyed when I heard about Blue Ice Vodka: It’s an old-fashioned spirit distilled from potatoes. It’s also made right here in the U. S. of A., in, where else, Idaho. Spuds give Blue Ice a strong, traditional flavor. If I didn’t know better I’d think I was drinking Russian vodka.…

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Review: Boomerang Vodka

By Christopher Null | November 16, 2007 |

OK, when I started Drinkhacker I had no idea how much vodka there would be. While the ultra-premium vodka market may not be what it used to be a few years ago, it’s still cruising along, with new releases every month. I’ve received three different bottlings, from three countries and with three different types of…

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