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: Slapjack Jackfruit Flavored Vodka

By Christopher Null | May 7, 2020 |

Hey, I know I’ve eaten jackfruit before, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it tastes like. The monstrous green fruit, when cleaned and shredded, has a texture remarkably similar to pulled pork, and you’re most likely to encounter it as a base for vegan barbecue. Slathered in spices and sauce, the…

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Review: D. George Benham’s Vodka (2020)

By Christopher Null | March 28, 2020 |

Three years ago, Sonoma’s Graton Distilling released a kitschy “vodka-flavored vodka” as its entry into the category. The product never saw national release, however, and recently Graton relaunched its vodka, billing it without the “Vodka Vodka” name. The product has not just been rebranded, it’s also been reformulated — though it is still a blend…

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Review: TOPO Vodka, Wheat Whiskey, and Spiced Rum (2020)

By Drew Beard | March 16, 2020 |

We tasted the clear spirits of Top of the Hill Distillery (TOPO), including their white whiskey, way back in 2013. The Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based distillery has been hard at work tweaking, adding new products, and barrel-aging their whiskey since then, so we thought we would check in on their latest offerings. TOPO is one…

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Review: McClintock Distilling Epiphany Vodka and Forager Gin

By Drew Beard | February 25, 2020 |

McClintock Distilling can be found in Frederick, Maryland, north of Washington, D.C. One of the younger craft distilleries, they only just began to distill in 2017 inside a historic, warehouse space on Frederick’s downtown riverwalk. Their initial portfolio, not surprisingly, focused on clear spirits with an emphasis on the quality of their ingredients. As one…

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Review: Cathead Pecan Flavored Vodka

By Christopher Null | February 20, 2020 |

The folks at Cathead (nee Bottletree Beverage Company) don’t just make bourbon and gin, they also make vodka — both straight and flavored. Today we look at the company’s most unique flavored vodka expression: Pecan. Let’s give it a try. The nose is initially mild and lightly astringent with classic vodka notes, but it quickly…

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Review: Hangar 1 Honeycomb Vodka

By Christopher Null | January 11, 2020 |

Hangar 1’s latest infusion — billed as a “distiller’s exclusive” — is infused with honeycomb, not just honey, making for a unique flavored spirit. Note that the bottle is amber in color, not the vodka within, which is clear. Let’s give it a try. I was expecting a heavily sweet, artificial monstrosity, but Hangar 1…

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Review: Guillotine Vodka – Straight and Heritage Edition

By Christopher Null | January 6, 2020 |

Guillotine Vodka hails from France (where else?) where it produces two versions of the spirit. The standard vodka is, like many French vodkas, distilled from grapes, while the Heritage Edition is “aged” (their quotation marks) in Cognac and Armagnac barrels “made from very special Limousin oak.” We tried both. Let’s dig in. Mind the price…

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Review: Belvedere Single Estate Rye Vodkas – Lake Bartezek and Smogory Forest

By Christopher Null | January 1, 2020 |

No corner of the drinking world is safe from the grain-to-glass movement. The latest is Poland’s Belvedere Vodka, which recently announced two new spirits, each made from the same Dankowskie Diamond rye seed, but each grown on a different, single Polish estate. Per Belvedere, “The influence of the distinct soil, topography and climate is beautifully…

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Drinkhacker’s 2019 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 28, 2019 |

Ho ho ho! It’s the end of 2019 and that means your boozier friends and family are going to expect a little something liquid under the tree again. This is our 12th annual holiday gift guide, and as always we’re aiming to take some of the challenge out of finding the perfect wine or spirits gift.…

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Review: Organika Vodka and Organika Life

By Christopher Null | November 7, 2019 |

Mother Russia is home to Organika Vodka, a new brand of two vodka expressions made with water from Lake Baikal, best known to Jeopardy! fans as the largest freshwater lake in the world. Organika is distilled from “alpha grain,” the highest caliber of grain categorized by Russian regulators, and the expressions are alternately infused with two…

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