Updated: Dec 22, 2020
Not sure where to start when selecting a good vodka brand for your special occasion? Here are 5 vodka choices to point you in the right direction.
1. Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Tito’s Handmade Vodka has been around officially since 1995, but Bert “Tito” Beveridge’s namesake vodka was originally flavored and made as gifts for friends just 3 years before. Oddly enough, when attempting to sell his flavored vodkas to liquor stores, they all turned him down because flavored vodkas weren’t selling well at the time.
Owners requested a vodka that was so smooth you could drink it straight. From there Tito taught himself the distilling process, working day and night in a one-room shack.
Now, almost 25 years later Tito’s Handmade Vodka is one of the most successful distilleries out there.
Naturally Gluten-Free, Tito’s is adored for its sweet, corn, oily and black pepper flavor notes. Your guests are sure to love this Austin, Texas treasure!
Starting at $19.99, you can purchase from Drizly.com and have it delivered right to your home!
2. Ketel One Vodka
The Nolet family got its start in Holland in 1691 and set out to perfect the distilling process generation after generation.
In 1979, Carolus Nolet was given the keys to the family business and aimed to create a vodka that’s great neat, on ice and perfect for cocktails. Drawing on his great, great grandfather’s tasting notes, Carolus discovers the perfect recipe in 1983.
He named the new vodka after the oldest, coal-fired copper pot still used at the distillery. Ketel One Vodka now sells over 2.8 million cases per year, which is a testament to their high standards and outstanding quality.
With a slight cracked black pepper tingle and faint notes of fennel, citrus and sweet licorice this historical powerhouse vodka will set the party off right.
Starting at $25.99, you can purchase on Drizly.com and have it delivered right to your home!
3. Grey Goose
In the summer of 1997 Sidney Frank developed an idea for a luxury vodka for the American marketplace. He partnered with cognac producer Francois Thibault, a cellar master in France and wanted to transition Thibault’s skills from cognac to vodka production.
Frank selected France due to its rich culinary history and also to differentiate itself from other vodkas produced in Eastern Europe.
Grey Goose is made from 100% French ingredients. The water Grey goose uses comes from natural springs in France filtered through Champagne limestone and made with locally produced French wheat.
Just one year after launching the vodka brand, Grey Goose was named best tasting vodka in the world by the beverage tasting institute. The company was eventually sold to Bacardi for a reported $2.2 Billion in 2004.
This French vodka also sports a slight cracked black pepper flavor as well as gentle hints of anise, which provides the sweet licorice taste. The most discerning palates will enjoy Grey Goose over ice or in their favorite crafted cocktail.
Starting at $41.99, you can purchase on Drizly.com and have it delivered right to your home!
Established by P.A. Smirnov in Moscow in 1864, he was the first to filter his vodka through charcoal columns, 5 more times than any of his competitors.
Vladimir, P.A.’s son starts work in the family business in 1896, but in 1914 Russia imposes a dry law forcing Smirnoff to close it’s doors.
Trying to establish the brand in France, he changes the name from Smirnov to Smirnoff. Things turn around when he sells the rights to make Smirnoff vodka in the U.S. and Canada.
One of the most iconic moments for Smirnoff was the creation of the Moscow Mule in 1941 by the head of the Smirnoff brand and a bar owner in California.
In 2017 Smirnoff wins the Double Gold medal from the San Francisco Spirits Competition.
Smirnoff includes the classic peppery taste that most vodkas deliver as well as a distinct light charcoal flavor. It’s distilled from corn making it Gluten-Free. This moderately priced vodka will get you the “bang for your buck” you’re looking for when purchasing large quantities.
Starting at $17.99 you can purchase on Drizly.com and have it delivered right to your home!
5. Stolichanya (Stoli)
The name in adjectival form means “capital city”. Stoli’s original vodka recipe was developed and trademarked in 1938. Although the name is Russian, it is bottled in Latvia.
Fermentation of Stolichnaya starts with wheat and rye grains and artesian water. 60 hours later, fermentation is complete, and the resulting liquid is distilled three times.
Stoli began the flavor vodka craze in 1962 with pepper and honey & herb flavored vodkas. Needless to say, they drastically improved on their flavors in 1996 with vanilla and raspberry flavored vodkas.
Flavor notes include cracked black pepper; hints of anise bring about a light sweetness. You can’t go wrong with Stoli and the slew of flavored vodkas they offer.
Starting at $22.99, you can purchase on Drizly.com and have it delivered right to your home!
Browsing the local liquor store or website for the best vodka can get overwhelming, especially with the numerous amount of choices out there today. As an event bartender, I can assure you that these selections never disappoint. Leave a comment and let me know your go-to vodka, I'd love to hear from you!