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Contrary to popular belief, only 3 percent of vodkas worldwide are made from potatoes, says VodkaGirlATX’s Nicole Torres-Cooke. Where spuds were once prominent, most vodkas nowadays are grain-based, and in some countries, such as Russia, says Tony Abou-Ganim, mixologist and author of Vodka Distilled, potatoes are seen as an inferior base material. Part of the decline of potato vodka, he says, might have to do with the fact that they’re “a little more difficult to work with in terms of fermentation.” For one thing, they must be peeled before distillation.
But that hasn’t stopped American craft distillers from launching several potato vodka brands in recent years. That’s good news for vodka drinkers because this niche category distinguishes itself in both texture and flavor. “Potato vodkas have more of a fleshy mouthfeel than a corn- or wheat-based vodka,” says Torres-Cooke, “and they’re more savory. They’re full of earthy, nutty flavor.” It’s a taste, she says, that expresses the terroir of where the potatoes are grown.
Andy Seymour, owner of Liquid Productions, argues that these are the vodkas to convert drinkers of other spirits. “People are seeking out flavor. They want excitement. That’s the way people drink nowadays,” he says. “Because potato vodka has the opportunity to add more flavor to a drink, some of the newer brands have embraced that. Instead of distilling it 93 times and making something totally neutral, they’re leaning toward the flavor and making it a calling card.” Below, we spotlight the distillers helping to bring back this fan fave. Here are best potato vodkas you can drink right now.
Best Overall: Woody Creek
Region: Colorado | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Earth, Potatoes
Distilled just one time from estate potatoes grown right outside the distillery in the Colorado Rockies, this vodka, says Torres-Cooke, “is a fresher product, straight out.”
The relatively unrefined process “leaves in a lot of the character of the potatoes,” says Abou-Ganim, “It’s earthy, funky, and vegetal.” Seymour agrees. “You know what it is,” he says. “You can taste the earthy aspect, though it’s still easy and clean. You can make a classic, stirred martini, and you know it has the weight for the drink.”
Best Budget: Monopolowa
Region: Austria | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Buttercream, Vanilla, Lemon peel
“For people that are value-conscious, this is a great vodka,” says Torres-Cooke of this Austrian potato-based spirit. Distilled three times and delivering just a bit of a bite, it’s not the best bottle for sipping. But it has the hefty texture you’d expect from a vodka in its category, and that helps make it “great in a cocktail,” she declares.
Related: The Best Vodkas
Best for Sipping: Chase
Region: England | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Butter, Apples, Stone fruit, Vanilla
This single-estate vodka made from specialty potatoes is one of Torres-Cooke’s favorites. “I fell in love with it,” she says, for its “buttery-smooth texture” and “nice, clean finish”—a sendoff that makes her “think of satin.” With a fruity flavor that provides hints of vanilla, it’s terrific in fruit-based cocktails as well as on the rocks and in highballs.
Best Polish: Luksusowa
Region: Polish | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Asparagus, Fennel, Potato skin, Nuts
Abou-Gamin calls this thrice-distilled Polish vodka, “fantastic” enjoyed ice-cold. “I do get more of the vegetal notes in it,” he says, citing asparagus, bell pepper, anise, and fennel flavors.
Torres-Cooke picks up a nuttiness and some spice, which she attributes to the Strobrowa potatoes it’s made from, as well as the oak-chip filtration. Texturally, she says, “its oily finish lingers on your tongue,” making it great for sipping with foods like pickled herring.
Best American: Blue Ice
Region: Idaho | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Pepper, Minerals, Potato
Hailing from Idaho, this vodka distilled from Russet Burbank spuds has “a pretty peppery style and some minerality to it,” says Seymour. “You know, think about the taste of potatoes.” Abou-Gamin concurs, though he describes it as a “more New World style,” meaning “it still really celebrates the potato but in a more refined way. You get the rich, creamy, almost oily texture with a little more elegance than an Old World vodka.”
Best Flavored: 44 North Huckleberry Vodka
Region: Idaho | ABV: 35% | Tasting Notes: Huckleberries, Vanilla, Lemon
Distilled using Russet Burbank potatoes and Rocky Mountain water in the town of Rigby, this spirit is also infused with local Idaho huckleberries. A flavored potato vodka might seem like an unusual thing, but according to Torres-Cooke, it works. The fruit adds a sweet-tart flavor that lingers with help from the weighty body that the potatoes bring. “It’s so good with just a splash of lemon,” she says.
Related: The Best Flavored Vodkas
Best for Martinis: Chopin
Region: Poland | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Green apple, Potato bread
This copper-pot still vodka “speaks to that European style,” says Seymour. “It’s more full-bodied and rustic, and I like that it has weight and heat to it.”
Torres-Cooke calls it “smooth and velvety but with a little bit of fuzz.” That’s just what Abou-Gamin wants from a martini vodka. “They keep a lot of the oils and esters and richness in it,” he says. “It has a bit of viscosity for a vodka, so it’s fit for a dirty martini.” His “go-to” is Gibson style, with no vermouth and a couple of cocktail onions.
Best with Food: Boyd and Blair
Region: Pennsylvania | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Toffee, Caramel, Tropical fruits, Acidity
This Pennsylvania vodka is made from only the hearts of a copper-pot potato distillate. “I call it my vacation vodka because it has hints of mango and pineapple,” says Torres-Cooke. Its tropical flavors, abetted by toffee notes, make it great “with just a splash of coconut water.”
Abou-Gamin backs her up on the flavor. “And its luscious, silky texture,” he says, “works beautifully with anything salty or pickled.” Seymour, too, finds it food friendly. Despite its fruity taste, “it has a crisp acidity,” he notes, “which is nice alongside oysters and other seafood.”
Best for Moscow Mules: Karlsson’s Gold
Region: Sweden | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Earth, Ginger, Black pepper
“Karlsson’s has a lot going on. It’s polarizing,” says Seymour. Though lovers of neutral-flavored vodka might find it off-putting, Seymour prefers it in his Moscow Mules.
Distilled only once from new potatoes grown right beside the sea on a Swedish peninsula, it has the gingery, pepper minerality that amplifies the sweet, brisk cocktail, plus a “super funky, over-the-top” earthy flavor that adds intriguing dimension.
Read Next: The Best Vodkas for Martinis
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Betsy Andrews is a freelance journalist specializing in food and drink, travel, and the environment, and has been writing about wine and spirits for two decades. Betsy has written for Liquor.com since May 2020. Her work has appeared in Food & Wine, Eating Well, The Wall Street Journal, SevenFifty Daily, VinePair, Wine Enthusiast, Travel & Leisure, and more.