Every spirit is singular in its own way, none more so than vodka — for while we like our drinks to have tastes and smells, basic vodka has neither. In fact, U.S. federal regulations define vodka as a spirit “without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color.” Or, as defined by one Russian vodka enthusiast: “Vodka is not tasteless; it merely lacks flavor.”
But wait. Aside from vodkas whose labels tell us they are flavored with cherry, vanilla, raspberry, citrus or other additions, there are the subtle, elusive natural flavors found in pure super-premium vodka.
Vodka is distilled once from grains or potatoes in large continuous stills, run through charcoal to purify it and blended with water to cut the alcohol. Super-premium vodka, on the other hand, is made of higher quality grains, distilled in small copper stills several times, filtered through finer charcoal and reduced with special waters.
While Poland and Russia have been making vodka for a millennium, the rest of the world discovered it about 60 years ago. With its rakish charm, aura of elegance and ability to mix with anything, it quickly became the basis of the Moscow mule, bloody mary, screwdriver, salty dog and dozens of other drinks. Next, it took over where gin and whiskey once reigned, becoming the vodka martini, vodka Gibson, vodka Collins and vodka sour. It was all vodka all the way.
And then super-premium vodka hit the market. With its added refinements, it is smoother and silkier, with the subtlest hint of scent, flavor and individual character.
Among the highlights of the super-premium vodkas are Poland’s Belvedere, with its puff of vanilla, and the same distiller’s velvety Chopin. Russia sends us Stolichnaya Cristall, hinting of delicate floral aromas. Italy’s Mezzaluna is silken purity with a brush stroke of orange blossoms. Holland’s Ketel One is satiny and lightly floral. Add to them Canada’s Iceberg, California’s Charbay, Sweden’s Absolut, Holland’s Vox, Norway’s Christiania, Idaho’s Teton Glacier, Ireland’s Boru and France’s gossamer Grey Goose.
No surprise that price rises with quality. Regular vodka averages about $12 to $15. Super-premium costs $20 to $45. One taste will tell you why.
Read This Next
Fiji: Pearls Of The Pacific
All Reads on This Topic
Read Them All
FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.
Diego Rivera’s America Presents the Most In-Depth Look at Artist’s Work in More than 20 Years
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, located in Bentonville, Arkansas, presents Diego Rivera’s America, the first major exhibition focused solely on the Mexican artist in more than 20 years, on view until July 31. Crystal Bridges is the second and final stop for the exhibition, the only remaining opportunity for visitors to experience Rivera's expansive vision of America.
Plan Your Escape to Arizona
Indulgent escapes are made even more enjoyable by fast, easy access — and that’s what Arizona offers. Quick, non-stop and direct flights to one of two international airports put all the luxury of The Grand Canyon State within easy reach.
San Antonio, Texas, Preserves Architectural Beauty for Future Generations
In San Antonio, Texas, old buildings are seldom destroyed. When they fall into disrepair, they are instead repurposed and restored to maintain the city’s history and traditions for future generations to appreciate. Whether it’s a former brewery or bank transforming into a chic hotel or a candy factory evolving into stylish lofts, this Texas city embraces both history and sustainability.
Here’s How to Arrive in Style to the World’s Most Unforgettable Hotels
Make a grand entrance to these equally grand hotels:
Europe is more fun with a Portugal Stopover.
SponsoredJun 1, 2023
Protected: MORE TO TRAVEL
There’s more to travel than just getting there.
Park Hyatt Tokyo Prepares for Its New Look
London Concours Displays Golden Age Coupes
eFlyer ReviewsMay 31, 2023
Homer and Janet by Homer Review
The Marais District, covering swaths of Paris’ 3rd and 4th arrondissments, has a distinctively gritty glamour that reveals it to be one of the city’s great incubators for new French food, fashion and lifestyle trends. It is here Moïse Sfez took on the challenge of creating street food establishments Homer in 2017 and Janet by Homer in 2022, doing it in such a way they both transcend the novelty of being regional American comfort food offered at stylized lunch counters matching up with New England lobster shacks and New York delis. Overwhelming local response and Sfez winning the 2018 Lobster Roll World’s Championship title in Portland, Maine, solidified him as a Paris restaurateur and one of France’s hottest culinary stars.
Exclusive Savings: Cruise Along the Danube River with Global Traveler
Exclusive Sailing with Global Traveler
eFlyer NewsMay 31, 2023
Air New Zealand to Introduce Skynest Sleeping Pods on Ultra-Long-Haul Flights in 2024
Starting September 2024, Air New Zealand introduces its new Skynest full-length sleeping pods on its ultra-long-haul routes. The new feature will begin on routes between New York and Chicago.