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7 Best Vodkas at Any Price
Posted on Nov 02, 2016
You know who knows best which bottles to buy? The people who pour and sell drinks—that’s who. We asked dozens of top bartending and spirits industry professionals to tell us which bottles they love and why. Heads up: The numerical order below is not organized by importance or quality. It’s a list, not a ranking. Prices are averages and can vary state to state.
“Reyka is what I’m putting in my vodka cocktails lately, as well as neat sips straight out the freezer. Plus,the distillery is geothermally powered! How cool is that?—Karin Stanley, co-owner of Dutch Kills and bartender at Little Branchand Suffolk Arms
“A vodka that has a great taste and lends a taste profile to a cocktail. Since it’s made with honey, it has a subtle sweetness but is nicely balanced.”—James Bolt, beverage director and host bartender at The Gin Joint
Elyx is very good, at any price. Smoothness is more of a neophyte's rating and only tells part of the story. Most of my long-term vodka compatriots still rank Chopin as the consistent winner for taste.
"Vodka is vodka regardless of the price you pay". I was once a member of this club until I started taking more interest in what is out there. All vodka is certainly NOT created equal. Toasting with shots while in Ukraine gave me a new appreciation for the differences between brands. The quality has a major effect on whether you're willing to take a second (or third, or fourth, or fifth...) shot and how you will fare the next morning. The stuff I really enjoyed while over there is nowhere to be found in the US but my goto for quality and price is Khortytsa Platinum.
I somewhat agree with the choices and was pleased not to see grey goose also. I've tried Elyx, Elit. I was a big fan of Luksu but as Ray described below, GNS is tasteless so how do we rate tasteless, by the water used to get it to 80 proof? I think Elyx is 90 proof.
I'm a little surprised although I felt it was going to go the way it did. There are three brands that didn't make the list and I'm wondering why. The title of the piece is 7 best vodkas at any price. The number one vodka based upon price and flavor should be Deep Eddy from Austin, TX. Second choice for taste although somewhat pricey would be Gray Goose. Third and back to price and flavor has to be Tito's, also from Austin, TX.
MrJOshua - So, you wouldn't try most of these? You're far off the mark and you should re-consider.
swcoop - Good question about the St. Augustine vodka, and I don't have an answer, but their vodka is truly noteworthy. Their new-world-style gin is even better in my opinion. The St. Aug distillery is a serious up-and-comer not to be ignored. Their onsite bar has been ranked one of the top 100 cocktail bars in the world. This speaks volumes about their methods, their goals, and their expertise.
Once a spirit is distilled over 190 proof it is considered a NGS (neutral grain spirit), which means most of the flavor has been removed. There's all sorts of popular vodkas made from random fruits and grains (Tito's/corn, Ciroc/Grapes)