Vodka – ironic that the spirit which gives you that lovely warm fuzzy feeling, is the drink that’s best served freezer chilled! Said to have been used as a medicine in Poland in the middle ages, the legend also goes that Russia’s first vodka was made by a monk inside the Kremlin! Either way, it’s definitely moved on in taste since then, so we’re letting vodka have its moment! Whether you like yours made with sea salt, potatoes, or even milk, here’s The Luxe Bible Bumper Guide to the coolest vodkas around.
SNOW QUEEN VODKA
This legendary award-winning vodka is oh soooo smooth. A product of France, Snow Queen Vodka with its enchanting tale, was originally created in Kazakhstan, while the stunning bottle (a talking point for any dinner party) features the beautifully etched Snow Queen at the heart of the story. Certified as one of only a few ‘organic’ wheat based vodkas, this luxuriously pure tasting vodka uses (as you’d expect,) the highest quality ingredients to produce a drink that’s undergone a number of rigorous distilliation processes and filters, in a secret location. The result is a sophisticated, soft vodka which tastes beautifully pure on its own, or when mixed in cocktails. You’ll be as impressed with the ornate bottle as you will with the taste… Buy online here, £33, 70cl bottle.
Kavka Vodka has a refreshing mantra – that vodka should taste like vodka and not ‘without distinctive character, aroma, taste of colour’ which is the American legal definition! With this in mind, restaurateur Jan Woroniecki has gone back to traditional production methods commonly used in the 18th and 19th century to create this unique blend of rye and wheat spirits with the addition of small amounts of aged apple and plum.
Made at a small distillery in Western Poland, Kavka Vodka is lively, spirited and characterful with every sip – even down to its name which when translated, means ‘kawka’ – an expression used during Polish prohibition when people would step out for a coffee… or more likely, something stronger! We also LOVE the bottle. Traditional, just more refined. A definite must-have on any drinks list. Available from Amazon priced at £29.95 for a 70cl bottle (40% ABV).
BALLIN wins the prize for the coolest spirits branding – you can tell their team have literally had a ball creating a fun, high energy vibe around their products. With a vodka, gin and rum in the range, Ballin Premium Vodka is that #FridayFeeling in a bottle if ever we saw one. With the name emblazoned in luminous pink (which actually glows in the dark!), there’s as much attention to detail gone into the bottle top too. Made of beechwood cork, stamped with the Ballin logo and reusable as a stopper, we just love the design. A vodka which is definitely not one to shy away in a crowd, it’s one of the first out of our drinks cabinet when we want to celebrate. The perfect pre-party drink to mark the end of lockdown, grab the girls, crack this one open and enjoy its super smooth taste with no burn and its balanced, subtle flavour on the palate. An undeniable party-starter. £32.00 for a 70cl bottle – buy it here.
Inspired by Genghis Khan (yes really!), Black Cow is the world’s first vodka to be made entirely from milk, and quite frankly, we LOVE the taste of it. First launched by Paul Archard and dairy farmer Jason Barber, Black Cow is the only vodka to be made entirely from milk left over from cheese-making, fermented, then distilled, blended and filtered through coconut-shell charcoal for an exceptionally smooth and creamy tasting vodka.
With a gorgeous range on offer from Black Cow, you can sup on English Strawberries in summer and their special Christmas packages in winter. Infused with fruits and spices like citrus, cloves, cinnamon, raisins and vanilla, it can be served over ice, as a Champagne Cocktail (with 50ml vodka, topped up with champs and a twist of orange zest – yes please!), or as a mulled wine with warm apple juice. (£30 for a 50cl bottle / 37.5% ABV from Harvey Nics.)
We’ve also got our eye on the 900g Truckle Cheddar Cheese (£17.50 on their website) made from the milk of grass-grazed cows on their West Dorset farm. A perfect pairing any day of the week.
MERMAID SALT VODKA
Vegan and gluten-free, Mermaid Salt Vodka has to be in our top five when it comes to the most beautiful bottles, so even if you’re not a vodka fan as such, this one will take pride of place on your drinks trolley… And when you try it, well you’ll be converted forever! Produced by the Isle of Wight Distillery (who also make a cracking gin), Mermaid Salt Vodka is infused with locally sourced island sea salt which might sound strange, but wowwww wait ‘til you taste it! With a whiff of fresh salty sea air on the nose, a unique depth of flavour from the salt, a rounded sweetness and a long finish, the bottle is also completely environmentally friendly, which means you’re doing your bit while enjoying one of the coolest vodkas on the planet!
We drank it on the rocks, but why not grab a bottle of Mermaid Gin too and mix 60mls of it with 20ml Mermaid Salt Vodka plus 15ml White Vermouth. Shake, strain and garnish with a slice of lime. Available from John Lewis and online via Master of Malt. (40% ABV, RRP £40 for a 70cl bottle)
BLACK RASPBERRY CÎROC
You can always rely on CÎROC to shake things up! We love the decadent limited edition Black Raspberry CÎROC Vodka, infused with a blend of beautiful black raspberries which are just bursting with flavour. You can expect ripe dark fruit and notes of juicy red berries with a balanced sweetness which gives way to a long, lasting finish – a little like a fruits of the forest dessert!
Get the party started with CÎROC Black Raspberry served in a champagne flute with crushed raspberries and fresh mint, topped up with soda water for a luxurious treat. And of course, as if the drink wasn’t delicious enough, its stunning lacquered black and gold bottle is the perfect show piece for your vintage drinks trolley. Currently on offer at £30.99 for a 70cl bottle / 37.5% ABV from Amazon.
WRY GRAIN ENGLISH VODKA
We’d not tried Wry Vodka until we were sent some, but we’ve purchased more since! Made by the guys responsible for Silent Pool Gin in Surrey, this vodka is made from 100% rye grain spirit using a unique distillation process. Filtered through traditional local charcoal, Wry Vodka is left with a distinctive taste you won’t get from other vodkas. Smooth, clean and slightly smoked, you get that slightly sweet-salty spiciness coming through too. Although it’s great on its own, you can also try 25mls of it over ice, mixed with a spicy ginger beer, a good squeeze of lime juice and a wedge of lime to garnish. Plus, they’ve just launched a really cool range of clothing including caps and T-shirts to support the mental health conditions of frontline workers. Every purchase of their R=<1 means Wry Vodka will donate 50% to support NHS workers. Available from the website priced at £22 for a 70cl bottle, 40% ABV.
Beluga Noble Russian Vodka is an exceptionally smooth vodka. Its trademark malt spirit gives it a richness of flavour while pure water which comes straight from the Siberian artesian wells ensures ultimate smoothness. After being passed through a triple filtering system, Beluga Noble then undergoes a unique 30 day resting period. Created in The Mariinsk Distillery in the heart of Siberia, the vodka undergoes quality control systems at every stage throughout its production to ensure the highest quality. Available from Waitrose nationwide, priced at £36.95, 700ml, 40% ABV.
KALAK SINGLE MALT VODKA
With an impressive stand out bottle, Kalak Single Malt Vodka is produced in Southern Ireland and made from 100% Irish malted barley. It’s not just distilled once or twice, but four times in a copper pot in West Cork and then cut to 40% with pure mountain water for a super smooth taste! With creamy biscuity and dark chocolate notes on the palate, this luxurious vodka is creamy with a silky finish – a ‘true expression of Ireland’s terroir’, named after ‘Cailleach’ – the Irish Celtic Goddess and Queen of Winter. Available from The Whisky Exchange priced at £32.95 for a 70cl bottle, 40% ABV.
Cove Vodka is a family affair! Having grown potatoes on the family farm close to the beautiful Hope Cove for over 50 years, the finest King Edward potatoes are now used to make delicious Cove Vodka. Using the finest potatoes, Devonshire spring water and a small batch copper pot distillation process, Cove Vodka is a smooth, clean vodka that’s tastes beautifully pure with a slight hint of pepper. Check out these cocktail kits which would make great pressies. Available from the Devon Cove website priced at £39.50 for a 70cl bottle, 40% ABV. (Available for nationwide delivery).
STOLI LIME VODKA
Here’s one way to ramp up the ‘coming out of lockdown’ festivities with something a little fruity! Stoli Lime Vodka from Stolichnaya is a premium lime flavoured tipple which is smooth, balanced and super zesty. This edition is Stoli’s latest citrus spirit in over a decade and definitely one to get the celebrations going! Most definitely what you’d call an ‘experimental vodka’, Stoli Lime is bold and juicy with a crisp finish – perfect with mixers, in cocktails or just simply over ice. Available exclusively in Tesco stores (RRP £20 for a 70cl bottle, 37.5% ABV) (Did somebody say SHOTS???)
EIGHT LANDS ORGANIC VODKA
This award-winning smooth, sweet organic Speyside vodka is made with both barley and wheat and goes through a two stage fermentation process in production, with distillation at the Glenrinnes Distillery at the foot of the Eight Lands mountain. The result is aromas of marzipan and vanilla on the nose, quality grain on the palate with notes of butterscotch and coconut and a long smooth finish with a hint of spice. Available from The Whisky Exchange priced at £37.00 for a 70cl bottle, 42% ABV.
GREY GOOSE® uses only two ingredients and a 100% traceable production process from crop to cork. Distilled and bottled in France with single origin Picardie wheat, and spring water from the natural limestone well in Gensac-la-Pallue – at the heart of the Cognac region, its oozes quality with a fresh clean taste and a smooth finish.
This super-premium vodka has the faint aroma of pepper and nut with herbaceous undertones. To taste, there are more peppery notes with faint aniseed and liquorice with a clean, long finish.
GREY GOOSE vodka is a delight to drink with one large cube of ice, or it tastes amazing and unobtrusive when mixed into cocktails or with tonic, cola or lemonade. Delicate on the nose, sweet on the palate and a long toffee finish. Buy now from various retailers from £35.00 for a 700ml bottle.
CHAPEL DOWN CHARDONNAY VODKA
This is a must-have for any vodka lover and even more so if you’re a fan of Chapel Down’s stunning wine collection! Using Chapel Down’s expert wine making and modern distillation techniques, distilled Chardonnay grape skins from a single vintage year have been used to produce this limited edition, award-winning vodka. Light and smooth, and packaged in the most beautiful bottle (half cut glass decanter, half frosted wine bottle like top), Chapel Down Chardonnay Vodka is a drink to be savoured with every sip. With notes of lemon and peach, it’s smooth and creamy on the palate with a hint of aniseed on the finish. One of our faves. You can buy Chapel Down Chardonnay Vodka from Majestic priced at £31.00 for a 70cl bottle, 41.2% ABV. Or why not check out the Taste of Kent Cocktail Pack – the perfect drink to kick back with.
KEEPR’S SPECIAL CHARITY EDITION VODKA
From The British Honey Company in the Cotswolds comes Keeprs’ Special Charity Edition Vodka with £5 from every bottle sold, being donated to Covid-19 global research. Distilled no less than 18 times in The British Honey Company’s bespoke copper pot ‘Ada’ which makes for the smoothest of vodkas, you can also stock up on their Classic London Dry Gin with British Honey. Keepr’s Special Charity Edition Vodka is available to buy here priced at £20 for a 50cl bottle, 40% ABV.
To check out our Luxe Bible Bumper Guide to the Coolest Gins, click here.