Vodka Aficionado, Tips, Recipes
Vodka has a reputation as one of the preferred elixirs of royalty and others with the ability to access the finer things in life. However, modern distillery practices have brought prices down to the extent that vodka available to those of all income levels. Although costs vary because individual retailers set their own prices, with the exception of liquor stores in remote areas, the vodka options below generally retail for less than $10 per bottle.
Pride & Clark
Distilled in New York, Pride & Clark Vodka is the newest vodka on our list — developed in 2007, it’s a virtual baby compared to the others. Nonetheless, it’s one of the fastest growing vodkas in the Northeastern part of the United States. Featuring the kind of smoothness provided by traditional charcoal filtering, Pride & Clarke Vodka may be destined to become a classic.
Named after the Romanov dynasty that rules Russia from 1612 until 1917, Romanov Vodka is produced by United Spirits Limited. Adhering strictly to traditional Russian vodka production techniques, Romanov is triple-distilled and uses de-mineralized water. Romanov is available as a classic plain variant and also offer flavored options in apple, orange, and lemon. This vodka was awarded two stars by the International Taste and Quality Institute. The rating indicates “remarkable” quality.
Nikolia Vodka got its start in 1963, when it was originally produced and bottled by Seagrams. Like other reasonably priced vodka brands, it’s owned by Sazerac. This very smooth, quadruple distilled vodka is considered by many to be the best of the budget brands. It’s created using a special recipe developed by the original manufacturer and is designed to resemble much more expensive vodkas in taste and texture. Silky and smooth, it’s one of the few low-priced vodkas that works well on the rocks or made into dry martinis.
Another budget friendly grain-based vodka, Burnett’s Vodka has the greatest flavor range among all of its reasonably priced counterparts. With 37 flavors to choose from, you’ll never be at a loss for new and exciting cocktail concoctions. Besides the usual array of fruit, berry, and citrus flavors popular among infused vodkas, Burnett’s offers some surprising taste variations, such as cherry cola, sweet tea, sugar cookie, and whipped cream. A fun party idea using Burnett’s Vodka is to assemble several flavors and mixers and let guests experiment with crafting new and unusual cocktail taste sensations.
Smirnoff Red Label Vodka is frequently found with a price tag of less than $10. A classic vodka ideal for mixing with juice, vermouth, soft drinks, or tonic, Smirnoff has its roots in imperial Russia and was once considered the favorite of the court. After the Bolsheviks took control, the distilling operation relocated to France. It is now owned by the British company Diageo and is distilled in several countries throughout the world.
Distilled by the same company that own’s Smirnoff, Gordon’s Vodka is a reliable bottom-shelf stable of many bars with a neutral flavor profile that pairs well with traditional mixers and can also be used to craft a mean martini. Made from 100-percent grain, Gordon’s vodka is additive-free with a clean finish.
Distilled from hard grain in traditional Swedish style, Svedka Vodka is available in a number of fruit flavors as well as the classic plain variety and offers a clean taste with a crisp finish. This vodka is an excellent choice for pairing with fruit juice for cocktails with a tropical twist. Try its mango flavored vodka with orange juice for a taste of an island breeze.
Distilled in Kentucky by the Sazerac Company, Barton’s Vodka is another grain-based vodka that mixes and matches well with a variety of juices, tonics, and sodas to create quality cocktails. Barton’s Vodka is charcoal finished for a pleasantly mild taste and clean aftertaste.
Another budget-friendly favorite from Sazeric Company, Taak Vodka offers several vibrant fruity flavors as well as a plain version suitable for serving with other ingredients as mixed drinks. Distilled four times for optimal smoothness, this vodka really shines when used as an ingredient in party punches. Its inexpensive price tag means that you can buy enough for a large crowd, and its variety of flavors means you’ll have optimal flexibility when deciding on the perfect punch for your occasion. It’s attractively designed label makes it a visually appealing addition to your home bar.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different brands until you find the one that works best for you. At these prices, you can afford to have fun doing some exploring.