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: Infuse Spirits Grapefruit Vodka

By Christopher Null | June 24, 2019 |

We originally encountered Infuse back in 2014 and 2015, when the company was just a producer of flavored vodkas, distinguished by its inclusion of copious amounts of solid botanicals like long lemon peels and dried peach slices placed directly in the bottle. Since then, just about everything about Infuse has changed. The company has a…

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Review: American Anthem Vodka

By Christopher Null | June 12, 2019 |

Diageo’s latest vodka is American Anthem, and with this spirit, the company says it will donate $1 for each bottle produced to support military personnel and families. The spirit is 5-times distilled but other production details are undisclosed, including any data about the base for the distillate. All told, this is a fairly modern vodka,…

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Review: Dingle Vodka, Gin, and Irish Whiskey Batch 3

By Christopher Null | June 8, 2019 |

In case you missed it, distilling is huge in Ireland now, thanks to the unexpectedly heavy demand for Irish whiskey that has been building over the last decade. Part of this new vanguard is the Dingle Distillery, which opened in 2012 in in Kerry, Ireland. Dingle doesn’t just make whiskey, it also makes vodka and…

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Review: Haku Japanese Vodka

By Christopher Null | June 6, 2019 |

Hot on the heels of Roku Gin comes Suntory’s stab at vodka, Haku. “Made under the philosophy of monozukuri craftmanship and representing the nature and spirit of Japan, this premium craft vodka is made from 100% Japanese white rice. In a process completely unique to Suntory, the rice distillate is filtered through bamboo charcoal, which…

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Review: Rihei Ginger Shochu

By Christopher Null | June 3, 2019 |

Billed as a “totally new class of Japanese craft spirits,” Rihei Ginger is undoubtedly a different animal than most shochus, and the explanation is right there in the name: 20% of the mash that goes into this spirit isn’t composed of grain, but rather local heirloom ginger. Some explanation is in order: Rihei Ochiai, the…

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Ketel One Vodkas with Botanicals

Review: Ketel One Botanical Vodkas

By Mike Gerrard | May 3, 2019 |

Netherlands-based Ketel One has long had a reputation for producing quality but inexpensive vodkas. Like the Dutch people, they don’t go in for hype  Ketel has been in business for over 300 years, and in that time they have only produced, in addition to their basic Ketel One brand, an orange vodka and a lemon…

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A Visit to MGP

By Drew Beard | April 22, 2019 |

You may have never heard of MGP, but chances are you’ve already had the whiskey the company makes. MGP is the largest supplier of sourced, aged whiskey in America for the many companies that don’t actually distill themselves (Non-Distilling Producers or NDPs), and they’re also a contract distilling powerhouse, working with customers from the earliest…

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Review: Dixie Vodka, Complete Lineup (2019)

By Christopher Null | April 18, 2019 |

We last encountered Dixie Vodka in 2014, when it was known as General Beauregard Dixie Southern Vodka. Since then, the Charleston, S.C.-based distillery has updated (and simplified) its branding, while rolling out additional flavored expressions. Everything’s still made from a mash of GMO-free corn. It’s unclear if the distillery still uses the TerrePURE system to…

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Review: Republic Restoratives Civic Vodka and Borough Bourbon

By Christopher Null | April 17, 2019 |

Washington, DC-based Republic Restoratives is a women- and LGBT-owned distillery with giving back firmly in mind. The company donates a portion of proceeds to GIFFORDS, an anti-gun violence nonprofit that’s near to founder Pia Carusone, namely because she was formerly Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ chief of staff. Now Carusone is making booze, with four different products…

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Exploring the 4 Major Styles of Baijiu

By Christopher Null | April 8, 2019 |

By now, you’ve probably heard of baijiu, essentially the national spirit of China. But what the heck is it? Baijiu draws comparisons to everything from vodka to rhum agricole, and while it is arguably closest to vodka in construction, it’s really a broad category of spirits that refers to a wide category of Chinese spirits…

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