About Unflavored Vodka

About Unflavored Vodka
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

Nemiroff Vodka
96 points
$17.99
Best Buy
Clear color. Aromas of wild lemon, mineral water, and underripe cherry with a round, vibrant, dry light body and an effortless, medium-length black pepper and creamy potato finish. A skillfully crafted vodka with extraordinary smoothness and excellent mouthfeel; martini-worthy.
96 points $17.99 Best Buy
Dutchcraft Vodka
96 points
$14.99
Best Buy
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
FASHION VODKA Luxury Collection
96 points
$31.99
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
Gera Premium Vodka
96 points
$12.99
Best Buy
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
VOLK Vodka
95 points
$17.99
Best Buy
Clear color. Aromas of talc, salt, and white pepper with a round, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a tingling, delightful, long mineral water and lemon gelee finish. An extremely clean and refreshing vodka for stately martini’s, rocks pours, or any manner of cocktail.
95 points $17.99 Best Buy
Nemiroff LEX Vodka
95 points
$20
Best Buy
Clear color. Aromas of tuberose, italian lemons, lime peel, and underripe pear with a silky, vibrant, dryish light body and a tingling, carefree thin mint cookies, sea salt, and raw almond finish. A clean, sophisticated vodka.
95 points $20 Best Buy
Fire Oak Vodka
95 points
$22.99
Best Buy
Clear color. Aromas of fresh cotton balls, sea salt, and cassia bark with a satiny, bright, bone-dry light-to-medium body and a warming, breezy licorice, allspice, tomato pomace, and mocha milkshake finish. A savory spice-flecked, creamy vodka that will do wonders for your bloody mary game.
95 points $22.99 Best Buy
Kremlin Award Grand Premium Vodka
95 points
$40
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.
Ms. Cameo Vodka
95 points
$24.95
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
Stalinskaya Silver Filtered Vodka
94 points
$12
Best Buy
Clear color. Aromas of fresh cotton and fondant bon bon with a velvety, vibrant, dryish light-to-medium body and a tingling, medium-long spring water, silica, and lemon pepper finish. An incredibly neutral vodka with classic style and appeal.
94 points $12 Best Buy