Best Vodkas To Buy 2023

How is vodka made?

For centuries vodka has been the spirit of choice in countries such as Russia, Poland and across Eastern Europe, the Baltic and Scandinavia – indeed, where vodka was invented is still hotly contested between the first two nations.

It’s typically distilled from fermented grains such as rye and wheat, as well as potatoes (although you can make vodka from many ingredients – see below), usually in a column still. Unlike spirits such as whisky, cognac and rum, vodka isn’t given time to rest and mature in casks, which accounts for its colourless, neutral-tasting character.

In places such as Russia and Poland, it’s a spirit usually drunk neat, ice-cold and in shots, and with two things – company, and food (especially pickles and salty snacks). It’s vodka’s versatility as a drinks base, however, that saw it soar in popularity in countries including the US in the 20th century, with vodka cocktails such as the moscow mule and cosmopolitan ensuring that sales boomed.

Recent years have seen vodka’s crown slip a little, with sales dented by the boom in ‘craft’ spirits, especially gin (interestingly, gin is effectively made from vodka, with extra flavorings added). This status quo is shifting, however, with the emergence of new vodkas that champion their raw ingredients and position themselves as premium artisan products. Because while it’s popularly seen as a ‘flavourless’ spirit, the best expressions will have subtle differences – potato vodkas will have a creamier texture, while a rye-based spirit can have nutty notes. This can be especially appreciated in classic, spirit-forward cocktails such as a vodka martini.

The UK has witnessed its own mini-boom in premium English vodkas, made with anything from potato and grains (the traditional base ingredients for vodka) to grapes and even milk. Here are a few of our favourites.

10 best British vodkas at a glance

  • Best herbal vodka: Colwith Distillery Aval Dor Cornish Rosemary and Bay Vodka, £35.95
  • Best full-bodied vodka: Discarded Grape Skin Chardonnay Vodka, £29.25
  • Best citrus vodka: Wildjac Homegrown Distillery Fresh Citrus Vodka, £29.95
  • Best Scottish Vodka: Eight Lands Organic Speyside Vodka, £39
  • Best potato vodka: Chase Original Potato Vodka, £36.95
  • Best Chardonnay Vodka: Chapel Down Chardonnay Vodka, £30.99
  • Best potato vodka: Cove Vodka, £44.02
  • Best single origin vodka: Ramsbury Single Estate Vodka, £42
  • Best sustainable vodka: Black Cow Vodka, £25
  • Best premium vodka: Edwards 1902 Vodka, £39
  • Best vodka for gifting: Sapling Vodka, £31.20

10 best British vodkas to buy 2023

Colwith Distillery Aval Dor Cornish Rosemary and Bay Vodka

A bottle of Aval Dor Vodka

Best herbal vodka

Colwith Farm Distillery have married their creamy potato vodka with botanicals of rosemary, bay and black pepper for a super-charged spirit brimming with savory herbaceous character. It’s so flavourful that a little goes a long way – it’s delicious in a reverse martini, made with two parts dry vermouth to one part vodka.

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