Vodkas made form wheat, rye, barley, corn, potato. Vodkas made in Sweden, Russian, France, Belgium, Poland, etc. if it matters to the vodka world, it is listed and perhaps even reviewed on the page below.
Is a Gluten-free vodka handcrafted from a variety of new virgin potatoes from Cape Bjare, Sweden, which is surrounded on three sides by the North Sea.
Virgin New Potatoes are both delicious and a delicacy in Sweden and are referred to as Farmer's Gold potatoes. They are considered one of the best potato varietals in the world and are harvested throughout the summer after enduring cold and dark Scandinavian winters. (The most expensive of these potatoes are the ones harvested early in the season - in June.) The flavor of the potato comes from the climate, that precise mixture of rain, sun, wind and temperature native only to this region.
So what does "virgin" mean as it pertains to potatoes? The Virgin New Potato is harvested while still alive and before it has fully developed its skin. Early harvesting keeps the water content high and the starch content low.
Seventeen pounds of Virgin New Potatoes are distilled once and never filtered to preserve the rich and delicious taste. Balanced and smooth.
Forbes' List of the Best Vodkas in the World
Gayot's List of the Best Vodkas in the World
Polish, Russian, American, Flavored, Distilled, Potato, Rye Vodkas, And More!
A good quality vodka is distinguishable by its finish. Good premium brand vodkas are smooth tasting and possess quality textures while badly produced vodkas tend to burn your mouth and throat. Martini purists refuse to acknoweldge that vodka has anything to do with a martini. To them, a martini refers to a gin martini. In recent years, though, companies such as Smirnoff, Belvedere, Chopin, Stolichnaya, Grey Goose and Ketel One have spent enormous marketing sums to alter social norms. Thus, the vodka martini or vodkatini was born and it seems that a vodka martini recipe exists for every liquer, essence and juice known to mankind. Vodka's are made from different ingredients; some vodkas are made from wheat, some from rye or barley, some from potatoes. Glance at the list below and choose your favorite.
How Vodka is Made
Vodka can be distilled from starchy or sugary plants. Today, vodka is produced from grains such as corn, wheat, rye or sorghum. The superior grain vodkas are produced from wheat and rye (example: Belvedere Vodka).
Still, other vodkas are produced not from grains but from potatoes, molasses, soybeans, grapes or oil refining and wood pulp processing byproducts.
All vodkas tend to have a neutral taste because they are filtered through charcoal which removes all impurities so that only pure alcohol and pure water remain. Learn more about the History of Vodka.
Differences in taste between Vodka Brands*
Many vodka consumers claim they can tell a difference in taste between different brands. To test this ability the ABC News program “20/20” conducted a non-scientific survey of six (6) people aged 21-40 who sampled six (6) different brands of vodka. There were five (5) different super premium vodkas ($30-$60, 750ml, 2005) and a mid-priced vodka, Smirnoff ($13, 750ml, 2005).
At the beginning of the survey the participants were asked to name their favorite vodka brand. Four (4) people named Grey Goose as their favorite ($30, 750ml, 2005). After sampling all six (6) unmarked, neat vodka samples, five of the six testers chose the same vodka, Grey Goose, as their least favorite sample.
When the six (6) brands were combined with other beverages to form a mixed rink, i.e., a cosmopolitan - 3 parts vodka, 1 part triple sec, 1 part lime juice & 1 part cranberry juice - most of them were unable to differentiate between the brands. The suggestion was to order 'house vodka' or an inexpensive vodka with mixed drinks and your favorite (as far as you know) vodka if ordered neat, on the rocks or as a martini.
Origin and Contents of the Best Vodka Brands
Best Value Vodkas
The owners of Cascade Peak Spirits, Diane Paulson and David Eliasen, have produced Oregon's first organic spirit called Organic Nation Vodka or O-N Vodka as it will be marketed in Oregon liquor stores and restaurants. Currently, O-N Vodka is distilled from organic rye that is grown just south in Etna, CA. However, Cascade Peak Spirits have already planted their own organic rye devoid of pesticides, fertilizers or chemicals close by so the resulting effect will be that they own and control all products used to craft their vodka.
We have yet to taste O-N but a fan of O-N Vodka, SYPSays, "says" that she did a blind taste test with Grey Goose and Square One and found O-N smoother and more refined. Diane Paulson adds that she plans to introduce vanilla- and ginger-flavored O-N while SYDSays hopes for a Yuzu-flavored brand.
Oregon is a leader in the micro-distillery market where small artisan brewers have leveraged the popularity forged by microbrewers.
Cascade Peak Spirits will soon follow O-N Vodka with the introduction of organic gin and whiskey. The gin recipe contains juniper berries, of course, and 13 botanicals grown in their nearby valley.
McCormick Distilling, the oldest (continuous) distillery in the United States, has just released 360 Vodka to compete in the ultra luxury vodka niche. 360 Vodka is made from regular non-organic grain made in the United States. Other Vodka producers such as Purus and VeeV, on the other hand, use 100% organic ingredients in their vodkas. So, is 360 Vodka the world's first eco-friendly vodka? Hardly, but let's expore their claim further.
360 Vodka differentiates itself in a unique way: in its packaging and labeling. The 360 Vodka bottle is made from 85% recycled glass and its logo is blown directly into the glass itself thereby eliminating the need for unnecessary paper. The packaging and printing labels that they do use are printed with water-based inks in lieu of the typical oil-based inks. And last, each shipped bottle has a postage paid return envelope hanging from its neck to allow consumers to return the flip-top closure for re-use with the intent to lessen land fill waste. If you're wondering what a flip-top closure is, think Grolsch beer bottles. They also claim to donate $20 per case to a coastal conservation non-profit and $1 per case to a general environmental cause. These initiatives are all good but the donations, although good, smell of marketing strategy rather than sincerity.
To remove all impurities, 360 Vodka is distilled four times in a column distillation process then an additional five times in a granulated charcoal coconut shell filtration system. The result is that EPA air and water quality standards are met or exceeded, volatile organic compound output is reduced by 70%, sulfur dioxide emissions are reduced by 99%, and 250% less fossil fuel energy is burned during production. Again, this is all good but why not go the whole way and make the actual vodka product itself organic?
For the record, VeeV Vodka is not really vodka. It is a vodka substitute made from antioxidant-rich organic Acai berries from the Amazon rain forest. VeeV itself makes donations to non-profits, employs energy-efficient distilleries (so we've read), and prints labels on recycled paper with soy inks. Purus Vodka distills its vodka five times and also filters through charcoal. Seems each of these companies is doing something to take advantage of the "green" wave. The proof is in the taste.
Perfect for Spring and Mother's Day. Hemingway may even have tried one!
Muddle infused vodka, 2 lemon wheels and mint sprig. Strain into a tall glass with ice and top with soda water. Garnish with a cucumber strip and lemon wheel.
We take from the Greeks in our celebration of the fall/autumn season with the Baklava Martini. The closest ting to eating this delicious Greek dessert.
Combine amaretto, gin, creme de cacao, simple syrup, and cinnamon in a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake the mixture together and then strain it all into 2 martini glasses.
Lefty O'Doul's Pineapple Martini Recipe
JC writes in to the Muse:
"a few weeks ago my wife and I were in San Francisco and stopped in Lefty O'Douls for drinks... she had a SKYY infused pineapple martini that she loved... I've looked all over for a recipe and can't find one...do you know of any?"
Well, JC, we were wondering how Lefty O'Doul's made their Pineapple Martini also so we called them. We spoke with Chuck Davis, the Manager/Bartender. He was the bartender who made your pineapple martini.
Manmohan Prashar's Real Martini Recipe
Manmohan Prashar emailed us this simple, pure and tasty martini recipe:
Step 1: start with vermouth; measure 1 part, drop a few drops in a chilled cocktail glass; rotate the glass so that vermouth is spread on the glass walls. Pour rest of the vermouth left in the measure glass in cocktail shaker.
Step 2: Add 2 parts vodka to the cocktail shaker.
Step 3: Add 3 part gin to the cocktail shaker.
Shake well and serve
Meadow Lark Vodka Martini
Mike Sherwood of Santa Rosa Spirits writes The Muse that he's been experimenting with two infusions from Sub Rosa Spirits. Nothing radical and, that he says, is the point. He likes mixing Elderflower Liqueur with Tarragon Vodka. The Saffron and Cointreau seemed destined as partners, "very lush and warming", he says. Mike adds a hint of fine freshly ground black pepper into a plain Tarragon martini. Grinding in white pepper also works well. The martini is meant to be understated which brings out the delicate flavor of the tarragon.
Combine all ingredients into a martini glass over cold ice - check out Swank Martini Glasses for a nice selection of classic, cool and artsy martini glasses - and shake. The elderflowers bring imagery of a fresh summer meadow at sunrise. The Meadow Lark is Oregon's state bird.
The Marseille Airport Martini
The Marseille Airport Martini may require 1-2 ounces of ginger ale or a juice of your liking. The weekend bartender at Serattos make this one with a little soda water mixed in. Soda cut the sweetness of the orange liqueur but need to play with this one a little more. The Marseille Airport Martini has a pale yellow orange cast to if from the Saffron vodka and Cointreau. The aroma is warm and familiar yet not completely identifiable due to the toasted cumin wafting over the orange liqueur and fresh lime. Think Golden Cosmopolitan minus the juice.
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with cracked ice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a long twist of lime.