About Unflavored Vodka

Serve in a Shot Glass
Unflavored vodka is defined in the US as a "neutral" spirit devoid of color, aroma, and taste, however, the finest unflavored vodkas are served neat and do have a subtle taste, sometimes of the base grain or ingredient, citrus or even anise. But most vodkas are used for cocktails, often mixed with fruit juice (cranberry juice for Cosmopolitans or orange juice for Screwdrivers.), tonic, or soda for the ubiquitous bar-hopper favorite Vodka & Soda. To which craft bartenders these days like to say, "vodka pays the bills."

Unflavored vodka is made by fermenting and then distilling the simple sugars from a mash of pale grain or vegetal matter. Vodka is produced from grain, potatoes, molasses, beets, and a variety of other plants. Rye and wheat are the classic grains for Vodka, with most of the best Russian Vodkas being made from wheat while in Poland they are mostly made from a rye mash. Swedish and Baltic distillers are partial to wheat mashes. Potatoes are looked down on by Russian distillers, but are held in high esteem by some of their Polish counterparts. Molasses, a sticky, sweet residue from sugar production, is widely used for inexpensive, mass-produced brands of Vodka. American distillers use the full range of base ingredients, but most are made from the abundant supply of corn from the US heartland.

Top Picks for Unflavored Vodka
218764
elit
Ultra Luxury Vodka
Clear color. Aromas and flavors of bread and dried fruit with a satiny, bright, dryish medium-to-full body and a sleek, subtle, very long cream, powdered sugar, and delicate spice finish. A fabulously plush and flavorful vodka of the highest order.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218717
Dutchcraft
Vodka
Clear color. Clean aromas of electrical charge, porcelain, and rainwater with a velvety, vibrant, bone-dry light-to-medium body and a warming, medium-long underripe pineapple, whipped cream, mint jelly, and dried strawberries finish. A clean, nuanced and graceful vodka that hits the spot.
96 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
211300
FASHION VODKA
Luxury Collection
Clear color. Muted aromas of grain, nuts, and citrus pastry with a supple, soft, dryish light-to-medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-long chalk, cream, fig bread, and pepper finish. A great combination of precision and liveliness.
96 points $31.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
206858
Gera
Premium Vodka
Clear color. Mild aromas of pastry bread, toasted nuts, and delicate pepper with a satiny, dryish medium-to-full body and a very clean and smooth, powdered sugar, sweet cream, warming pepper, and mineral finish. A fantastically flavorful and elegant vodka to enjoy on its own or in cocktails.
96 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219196
Stalinskaya
Original Vodka
Clear color. Clean, floral, minerally aromas of fresh lavender, lichen, rock, and vanilla wafer cookie with a supple, crisp, dry light-to-medium body and a warming, charming, medium-long mountain stream, whipped potato, yam, and dill finish. Lovely and pure vodka for vodka connoisseurs.
95 points $10 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218730
Fire Oak
Vodka
Brilliant clear color. Clean aromas of unleavened bread dough, wet stones, salt rock, and herbs de provence with a satiny, bright, dry light-to-medium body and a smooth, stimulating, long fructose crystal, mountain stream, porcelain, and dried bananas finish. This vodka shines with balance, smooth minerality, and a silky mouthful.
95 points $22 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
207167
Kremlin Award
Grand Premium Vodka
Clear. Mild aromas of white cake, dried fruit, and delicate spices with a supple, dryish light-to-medium body and a smooth, lingering stone fruit, powdered sugar, pepper, and wet stone accented finish. A precise, clean, and delicious vodka.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
206749
Ms. Cameo
Vodka
Clear. Very neutral aromas suggest milk, praline, and minerals with a silky, dryish medium body and a nougat, melon, and limestone accented, gently warming pepper finish. Very clean with a nice rising arc of subtle flavor and well-integrated heat. Impressive and a great choice for martinis.
95 points $24.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219197
Stalinskaya
Silver Vodka
Clear color. Clean, minerally aromas of marble and wet clay with a velvety, crisp, dry medium body and a peppery, medium-long wet stone, crushed velvet, fondant, and pink peppercorn finish. A very successful vodka, serious and skillfully composed.
94 points $12 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218134
Czar’s
Original Vodka
Clear color. Clean aromas of expressed lemon oil, dried leaves, cucumber seeds, and shredded wheat in milk with a creamy, soft, dry medium body and an effortless, stimulating, medium-length papaya, vanilla coffee creamer, sugared figs, and ginger and ginseng gum finish. The perfectly creamy flavors in this vodka show what vodka should be.
94 points $19 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab