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.
1. Reyka ($25)
“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 Branch and Suffolk Arms
2. Barr Hill ($58)
“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
3. Luksusowa ($15)
“Dollar for dollar, this Polish potato vodka is one of the best values in spirits.”—Michael J. Neff, bar director at Holiday Cocktail Lounge
4. St. Augustine Florida Cane ($32)
5. Ketel One ($28)
“Vodka is vodka regardless of the price you pay (above $15). Go with Ketel One and be happy.”—Gary Patrick Crunkleton, bartender at and owner of The Crunkleton
6. Aylesbury Duck ($22)
“Aylesbury is a great expression of wheat and fantastic for mixing.”—Simon Ford, co-founder of The 86 Co., the company that makes Aylesbury Duck vodka