Remember when you were 14 and Everclear seemed like a good idea? Well you’re a grown man now and it’s not going to cut it. Nothing says you’re a novice more than poor taste when it comes to the liquor cabinet. For the sake of having a good time you can hold off on the aged scotch that’s been sitting there since you moved in, it’s 2014 and time to step up your Vodka selection.
Vodka is the most popular spirit in the United States for several reasons, one of which being the fact you can mix it with just about anything. It pays however to do your research before you go out and drop hundreds on rubbing alcohol.
A bottle of Grey Goose on your shelf tells people you appreciate good vodka and don’t mind paying more for a superior product. Unfortunately, according to a number of blind taste tests across the country, there aren’t a lot of people who could pull the premium vodka out of a lineup. Multiple reviews call out the brands distinct burn as it goes down, an attribute we’re sure nobody wants to deal with. The claim to fame for the brand rests in that they are the first to portray themselves as a “luxury vodka.” Grey Goose is a wheat distilled product blended with French spring water after the distillation process is complete. This sounds great, but for a $30+ price tag it would be more appropriate to shift your focus to a brand like Belvedere.
Belvedere Vodka is going to be your top shelf best choice. The brand carries a solid luxury aesthetic and manages to get praise across the board at taste tests and reviews. The vodka is created from distilled rye and hails from Poland. Don’t let the country of origin deter you though, Poland’s been in the business for over 600 years, making vodka before Russia got on the wagon. If you’re more into the aesthetics and want to put out a “better things in life” image, then this is going to be your go to. The Belvedere name is owned by LVMH, also known as Louis Vuitton Moet Hennesy. The price for this one brings you above Grey Goose which means you probably aren’t going to keep too many of these hanging around. Purchase the Belvedere now but don’t drink it till a special occasion.
Wheat based Vodka’s fill the market, potato based vodka’s make their presence known, but grape based vodka is relatively different and is highlighted through popular brand Ciroc. The brand is a brainchild of rap mogul Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs who insists consumers should be “going against the grain.” Take his endorsement for what it is, but the grape distilled vodka actually meets the mark and goes down extremely smooth. Don’t take this as an excuse to start trying alcohols endorsed by different rappers, that probably wouldn’t end well. Most brands go out and rely on popular celebrity endorsements to push the product but Ciroc proves in multiple tastings that it doesn’t need to be mixed. The fruity undertones of the vodka almost makes it appear as though it’s flavored. You definitely aren’t going to be saving any money by going with Ciroc but it’s definitely worth the purchase and is a brand people will be sure to open to.
Want to show a group of friends that you like vodka but you’re different? Go to the liquor store and grab a bottle of Chopin. Chopin makes its way from Poland and uses 7 pounds of potatoes in every bottle. From the description it wouldn’t be crazy to assume it tasted horrible, but the brand has been awarded a number of awards from tasting enthusiasts that are important in the industry but mean nothing you or myself. Stick with the wheat. Regardless of the taste, the last thing anyone needs or wants to consume is 7 pounds of potatoes.
By this point in your life, you should be familiar with all of the shitty brands under the sun.
At right around $10, Svedka is the go to for college freshmen and the cheap alike. Yet another wheat vodka, this time imported from Sweden, I wouldn’t recommend ever drinking this straight but mix this with anything you’ve got in the fridge and you’ll be partying like you’re 21 all over again.
Plan on taking it back to the jungle juice? Splurge the $8-10 on a nice plastic bottle of Popov. It’s not even worth giving you the background on this one, it tastes like something that gets put on serious burns. With subtle hints of depression and low self-esteem, this vodka rounds out the bottom of our list.
The list of vodkas goes on and on and eventually you get into the discussion of distillation, but for the sake of your liquor cabinet and your fight for relevancy, lean on the side of Belvedere or Ciroc.