Let’s talk about vodka – that transparent and super flexible spirit with a crazy history that goes way back in time and all around the world. Starting off in Eastern Europe, it’s now this mega-popular drink that fits in anywhere.

We’re about to spill the beans on various vodka brands, where they came from, what makes each one special, and the cool stuff that makes them stand out. Whether you’re a vodka pro or just getting started on the vodka train, come along with us as we explore the awesome world of this iconic spirit.

American Vodka Brands

American vodka brands have carved out a significant place in the vodka world. These brands focus on craftsmanship, innovative distillation techniques, and unique ingredients to set themselves apart in a competitive market. Below are some American vodka brands:

  1. Tito’s Handmade Vodka: Based in Austin, Texas, Tito’s has rapidly grown to become one of the most popular American vodka brands. It’s distilled from corn in old fashioned copper pot still, which contributes to its smooth and slightly sweet profile. Tito’s prides itself on being gluten-free.
  2. SKYY Vodka: Founded in San Francisco, California, SKYY Vodka is known for its innovative quadruple distillation and triple filtration process, using water enriched by Pacific Minerals, sourced from the San Francisco Bay Area and filtered through California Limestone. The smooth finish has a semi sweet peppery taste.
  3. St. George Spirits: Located in Alameda, California, St. George Spirits is a craft distillery known for producing unique American vodka. One of which is distilled from fresh Jalapenos, Serranos, Habaneros, Red and Yellow Bell peppers, lime peel, and fresh cilantro. Their vodka is set apart from traditional grain-based vodkas.
  4. Hangar 1: Also based in California, Hangar 1 is known for its artisanal approach to vodka production. It combines vodka made from viognier grapes with wheat vodka. The combination diminishes the alcoholic overtone found in most other vodkas and produces a grainy sweet and slightly grapy flavor. The brand also experiments with local ingredients to produce limited-edition flavors.
  5. Deep Eddy Vodka: Originating from Austin, Texas, Deep Eddy is another brand that emphasizes natural ingredients and quality production. It’s known for its flavored vodkas, including lemon, grapefruit, and peach, all made with real fruit juices and Texas aquifer water.
  6. Barr Hill Vodka: A distinctive spirit produced by Caledonia Spirits, a craft distillery based in Montpelier, Vermont. What sets Barr Hill Vodka apart from other vodkas is its unique ingredient: raw honey. The ned result is a smooth finish with hints of creamy vanilla spice.
  7. Castle & Key Vodka: This distillery combines 73% White Corn / 10% Rye / 17% Malted Barley with limestone-rich water to produce a clean, crisp vodka with a smooth finish. Made at their historic site in Frankfort, Kentucky, the result is a vodka with clean citrus notes followed by vanilla bean and a hint of buttered toast.
  8. Altar Vodka: A small craft distiller based in Santa Fe New Mexico. Made from barley and handcrafted using copper stills this smooth vodka brand offers classic notes of grass and cream.
  9. Prairie Organic Vodka: Based in Minnesota, Prairie Organic Vodka prides itself on being made from organic corn, with every step of the production process—from the field to the bottle—certified organic. The brand emphasizes sustainability and eco-friendly practices, appealing to environmentally conscious consumers.
  10. Ocean Vodka: Hailing from Hawaii, Ocean Vodka is unique in that it’s made from organic sugar cane and blended with deep ocean mineral water, which is sourced from a depth of 3,000 feet off the Kona Coast. This gives the vodka a distinct mineral richness and a slight salinity, celebrating the spirit of the islands.
  11. New Amsterdam Vodka: A relatively new player, New Amsterdam Vodka is produced in California and has quickly gained popularity for its smooth finish and affordability. It’s five times distilled and three times filtered,
  12. Wheatley Vodka: Crafted in the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky, Wheatley Vodka is made by Harlen Wheatley, the master distiller known for bourbon. It’s distilled ten times and uses a micro-still. This vodka is also filtered through limestone which does two things. first, it filters out things like iron, and second adds things like magnesium and calcium.  This results in a vodka that’s smooth, with a soft and clean finish, showcasing the craft behind American spirits.
  13. Death’s Door Vodka: Named after the Death’s Door passage between Washington Island and the Door Peninsula in Wisconsin, this brand prides itself on simplicity and sustainability. Made from wheat and malted barley sourced from local farmers, Death’s Door Vodka is known for its clean, crisp taste with just a hint of vanilla and sweetness.

What Vodka Brands Are From Texas?

Deep Eddy Vodka and Tito’s Handmade Vodka are two vodka brands from Texas.

French Vodka Brands

France is well known for producing exquisite food, so why would vodka be any different? French vodkas are often distinguished by their use of high-quality ingredients, meticulous production processes, and elegant packaging. From traditional grain to inventive grape vodkas, France’s vodka market is dynamic and diverse.

  1. Grey Goose: Perhaps the most famous French vodka, Grey Goose is produced in the Cognac region. It is made from soft winter wheat and distilled in a column still process, then blended with spring water from Gensac-la-Pallue.
  2. Cîroc: Unlike most vodkas made from grains or potatoes, Cîroc is crafted from fine French grapes, specifically the Mauzac Blanc grapes from the Cognac region. This grape base gives Cîroc a distinctly fresh and fruity profile. It is distilled five times to ensure high purity and smoothness.
  3. Pinnacle: Originally produced in France, Pinnacle Vodka is known for its wide array of flavors. It is made from French wheat and distilled five times. Some flavors include whipped cream, berry, and tropical fruit.
  4. Jean-Marc XO: Jean-Marc XO Vodka is a luxury French vodka that is distilled nine times in French copper Alambic stills and made from French wheat. It’s known for its smoothness with subtle floral and citrus notes.
  5. FAIR. Quinoa Vodka: FAIR. is a brand that focuses on sustainability and fair trade practices. What may be even more interesting about the brand though, is that the vodka is made from organic quinoa. The quinoa is distilled in the Cognac region of France, resulting in a vodka that has a distinctive fruity and spice character.
  6. Gallant Vodka: This lesser known brand is made in the same Cognac region as the famous Grey Goose Not only that, it is blended from the same Gensac spring waters. With a crisp and clean taste, this gem is certified gluten free.

Canadian Vodka Brands

Some of the most popular Canadian Vodka brands include Crystal Head Vodka, Polar Ice Vodka, Iceberg Glacier Vodka, Ungava Canadian Premium Vodka, Pur Vodka.

  1. Crystal Head Vodka: Perhaps one of the most recognizable Canadian vodkas due to its distinctive skull-shaped bottle, and also because it is owned by famous actor Dan Aykroyd. It is distilled from peaches and cream corn and blended with water from Newfoundland. The vodka is filtered through layers of Herkimer diamonds, contributing to its pure and smooth taste.
  2. Polar Ice Vodka: Polar Ice is crafted using Canadian corn and is quadruple distilled to ensure a high level of purity and smoothness. It is also triple-filtered, using a unique chill filtration process at 6° Celsius, resulting in a clean and crisp vodka.
  3. Ungava Quartz Vodka: Crafted in small batches from Canadian corn.  It is micro-distilled five times in a copper pot still and is purified using a unique cryo process, and then micro-filtered through quartz.
  4. TAG No. 5 Vodka: TAG Vodka is a premium Canadian vodka that prides itself on being gluten-free and made from 100% Ontario sweet corn. Distilled multiple times and filtered through charcoal. This vodka has a distinct hint of sweetness followed by subtle notes of lemon zest, caramel, and black licorice.
  5. Banff Ice Vodka: Produced in the picturesque surroundings of Banff, Alberta, Banff Ice Vodka highlights its Rocky Mountain heritage. It is known for its smoothness and purity, qualities attributed to the pristine water and high-quality grains used in its production.
  6. Iceberg Vodka: Distinct for sourcing its water from icebergs off the coast of Newfoundland, Iceberg Vodka takes advantage of the pure, mineral-free water locked in ice for thousands of years. The vodka is distilled from Canadian corn, and the brand claims that the iceberg water contributes to the vodka’s exceptionally smooth finish. Triple distilled and charcoal filtered.
  7. Pur Vodka: This Quebec brand claims to be the “Most Awarded Canadian Vodka in the World”, having won over 80 awards and medals. Crafted with a blend of carefully selected corn and glacial spring water.
  8. Sons of Vancouver Vodka: This small batch distillery is made from BC spring wheat, and then fermented with champagne yeast. It is distilled through two separate stills and then filtered through activated charcoal.
  9. Lucky Bastard Vodka: Out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Lucky Bastard Distillers produces a range of spirits, including their flagship vodka. Made from 100% Saskatchewan wheat and distilled 7 times, their vodka is known for its smoothness and purity.

Russian Vodka Brands

Russia is renowned worldwide for its vodka, a spirit deeply ingrained in the country’s culture and history. Russian vodka brands are celebrated for their purity, traditional distillation methods, and often centuries-old recipes. Here’s an overview of some of the most iconic and respected Russian vodka brands.

  1. Stolichnaya (Stoli): One of the most famous Russian vodka brands, Stolichnaya, often referred to as “Stoli,” dates back to the early 20th century. It is known for its high quality, derived from wheat and rye grain, and purified water. Stoli offers a variety of flavors.
  2. Smirnoff: Although now owned by a British company and produced in multiple countries, Smirnoff’s origins trace back to 19th-century Russia. Founded by Pyotr Smirnov, it became one of the world’s best-selling vodka brands. Smirnoff is triple distilled and ten times filtered.
  3. Russian Standard: Founded in the 1990s by Roustam Tariko this vodka is made from winter wheat and glacial water from Lake Ladoga near Saint Petersburg. The brand prides itself on its unique distillation process where the ingredients are distilled over 200 times.
  4. Beluga: Produced in Siberia, Beluga is known for its luxury vodkas. It is made from malted barley and pure Siberian water and undergoes a unique resting period after distillation. Beluga offers several premium variants, including Beluga Noble and Beluga Gold Line, often accompanied by a hammer and brush to remove the wax seal.
  5. Sobieski: Although Sobieski has roots that trace back to Poland, it’s worth mentioning due to its significant presence and popularity in Russia. Sobieski uses rye to produce a smooth vodka with a slightly sweet finish. Its affordability combined with its quality has made it a favorite among many vodka enthusiasts.
  6. Zyr: ZYR Russian Vodka is crafted using a blend of wheat and rye grains and is distilled five times followed by a nine-step filtration process. The brand emphasizes the purity of its vodka, which is produced with water from the Russian Federation, ensuring a clean, smooth finish with a slight sweetness.
  7. Kauffman: Kauffman is produced in limited batches, using wheat from a single harvest. It is distilled an impressive 14 times and filtered twice, once through birch charcoal and once through quartz sand. This meticulous process results in a soft, velvety texture.
  8. Moskovskaya: One of the oldest Russian vodka brands, Moskovskaya, which means “from Moscow,” adheres to traditional Russian vodka-making methods. It is known for its simplicity and authenticity, made from rye grain and purified water, distilled and filtered through quartz sand, and activated charcoal for a clean, crisp taste.

Polish Vodka Brands

Polish vodkas are known for their quality and variety, often made from grains like rye or potatoes, and sometimes even fruits for flavored vodkas. Here are a few notable Polish vodka brands.

  1. Belvedere: Named after the Belweder Palace in Warsaw, Belvedere is a luxury vodka and one of the most recognized Polish brands globally. Produced from Dankowskie rye and artesian water, it is distilled four times to create a perfect balance of purity and character. Belvedere also offers a range of flavored vodkas made with natural ingredients.
  2. Chopin: Named after the famous Polish composer Frédéric Chopin, this brand is unique for its single-ingredient vodkas, including potato, rye, and wheat vodkas. Each type offers a distinct taste profile: the potato version is creamy and full-bodied, the rye is crisp and lively, and the wheat is smooth and light. Chopin is distilled four times and is known for its artisanal approach to vodka production.
  3. Żubrówka (Bison Grass Vodka): Perhaps one of the most unique vodkas on the market, Żubrówka is infused with bison grass. This gives the vodka a distinct, herbaceous flavor and a slight green tint. It has a faint back note of vanilla; a hint of anise and a taste of faint cinnamon. 
  4. Luksusowa: Meaning “luxury” in Polish, Luksusowa is one of the world’s leading potato vodka brands. It is known for its creamy and full-bodied flavor profile, which is a characteristic of potato-based vodkas.

Top Shelf Vodka Brands

Top shelf vodkas are recognized for their exceptional quality, superior ingredients, and often, their distinctive distillation processes. These brands typically command a higher, but still affordable price and are regarded for their smoothness, making them ideal for sipping neat, on the rocks, or in high-quality cocktails. These brands would typically be considered “Top Shelf” in the United States

  1. Belvedere
  2. Grey Goose
  3. Chopin
  4. Ketel One
  5. Stolichnaya Elit
  6. Cîroc
  7. Crystal Head

What is the Best Brand of Vodka?

If best is expressed as expensive, the list will look slightly different than a typical top shelf list. Among the most expensive brands of Vodka include Chopin Vintage Vault 30 Year Old Vodka, Beluga Gold Line, Ciroc Ten, HDW CLIX Vodka, Belvedere ’10’ Single-Harvest, Crystal Head Vodka Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary, Chopin Family Reserve Vodka. But expensive doesn’t always mean best.

The best brand of vodka is going to be a personal preference on many levels, and will also depend on factors like are you serving it at room temperature or cold.

The most popular vodka brand by sales volume in the United States in 2022 was by far Tito’s, with more than 11.6 million 9 liter cases sold. But this pales in comparison to Smirnoff’s global sales of about 28.1 million 9 liter cases. 

What Vodka Brands Are Gluten Free?

Here are some gluten-free vodka brands:

Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Absolut Vodka
Smirnoff Vodka
Grey Goose Vodka
Ketel One Vodka
Chopin Vodka

Technically though, all vodka is gluten-free. Though, Tito’s was the first vodka to market this feature to the masses. Even vodka made from grain is gluten free, the gluten is removed in the distillation process. Some people might still be sensitive to this type of vodka, so to be sure, stick to vodka that is certified as gluten free.

Cheap Vodka Brands

These cheap vodka brands may not compete with premium labels in terms of taste and refinement, but they offer a more affordable option for parties and mixed drinks where the subtleties of the vodka might be irrelevant.

  1. Smirnoff: The world’s best-selling vodka brand, Smirnoff offers reliable quality at a budget-friendly price. It’s versatile and available in a wide range of flavors.
  2. New Amsterdam is the 3rd most popular selling brand in the United States
  3. Svedka: A Swedish vodka made from winter wheat, Svedka is known for its purity and smooth taste, along with a competitive price tag.
  4. Burnett’s: Burnett’s offers a wide selection of flavors is known for its value and is among the top ten selling brands in the US. It’s distilled four times for smoothness and mixes well in cocktails.
  5. Skol: Skol is a go-to for many looking for an extremely budget-friendly vodka.
  6. Taaka: A Kentucky-distilled vodka, it is made from grain and is known for its clean taste, suitable for cocktails.
  7. Burnett’s: Burnett’s offers a wide selection of flavors and is known for its value. It’s distilled four times for smoothness and mixes well in cocktails.

Final Thoughts

The world of vodka is vast with options that cater to just about every preference and budget. From the premium, top-shelf brands known for their exceptional smoothness and refined flavors, to the more budget-friendly options that provide a cost-effective solution for parties and mixed drinks, there’s a vodka brand out there for every type of consumer.

While premium brands like Belvedere, Grey Goose, and Chopin are celebrated for their quality and craftsmanship, the more affordable brands such as Smirnoff, Svedka, and Pinnacle still ensure a satisfactory experience for those who prioritize value over premium taste.

Always remember to drink responsibly and savor each experience