11 "essential" Vodkas

Out in the desert… People drink all day and night… Some people including me have “friend” alcohol… people you don’t know can easily wipe out a well stocked bar. Ha ha
I don’t like flavored vodka… it all tastes too fake to me… if I want blueberry I add blueberries.
And I don’t drink cheap alcohol ever… some cheap alcohol is expensive. All cheap alcohol causes headaches. In my experience.

my traveling bar

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FWIW regarding your Chowhound comments, that’s pretty much how this site got started. We (the OG) were all ex-Chow’s but got tired of their corporate BS and over moderation etc. It became obvious the forum was now about their objectives and not our “free speech”. So if you have any other friends over there who are frustrated, please feel free to steer them our way. We love more food for thought!!

Enjoy the desert!! (typed from a boring office in boring NJ)

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while i always have vodka in the house to make a lavender spray (vodka is often used by theater wardrobe people to refresh costumers between cleanings), i’ve never been much of a vodka drinker. so i used dutchcraft vodka.

recently, i was cleaning out a cupboard and came across some freeze-dried raspberries, which i used to infused vodka and a prosecco vinegar. the vodka was okay (loved the vinegar).

i’ve also been making a delicious chocolate bourbon. so i decided to try infusing vodka with cocoa nibs — didn’t measure, just dumped some in a jar, filled it with vodka, then put stuck the jar in the freezer — fabulous!

but i did notice that even a single drink packed quite a punch — so good to know about stoli for next time.

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I can’t say reliably one way or the other about flavour, but different vodkas can certainly feel different. Luksusowa is practically chewable - and I don’t think they cheat by slipping mashed potatoes into the bottle. :slight_smile:
I don’t really enjoy that feel on its own, but maybe it makes a positive difference in cocktails.

My BIL was really into Belvedere after a trip to Poland.

I did a blind tasting with my BIL and my wife with 4 different vodkas. To me they all tasted pretty much the same. Tito’s came out as the winner. We repeated it to make sure there was consistency. Blind tasting can be very revealing. It’s how we do all of our tasting in my whiskey groups

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I have a pretty extensive liquor collection with many gins and many whiskeys, but usually only have one handle of vodka in-house at a time. At most two; one middle tier (Svedka) for mixers and a “good” vodka for martini’s or rocks.

I did a “Bottom Shelf” column on my blog when the pandemic started, where I explored cheap booze because there was nothing else to do. I found Stravinsky vodka (only one liquor store sells it in my area) to be a decent bang for the buck, but I never bothered to buy a second bottle.

Right now it is Stoli in my house. I was on a Tito’s kick around the holidays so was gifted a handle of that. I really do like Tito’s, but now that the handle is gone, I went back to Stoli. I could see myself switching on and off but Stoli is my go-to.

Grey Goose is of course really good. Have not had it in a while. I thought the Costco French vodka was excellent for the price, though not as good as Stoli. I know GG is the benchmark for vodka but given that $15.99-a-handle Popov beat it about a decade ago in a blind tasting, GG is the greatest example of how marketing makes the product.

Have not had Belvedere but want to try. I remember years ago having Chopin with my dad and it was good. I was never a vodka drinker until I started my last job (ha!) and used to be one of those “vodka is vodka” people. That mindset has changed the last two years as I can spot the difference. Some have a flavor and others have flavor. You may get what I mean.

That being said, I would pay $60 for a handle of gin but would not do the same for vodka.

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As a side note I would like a bottle of Effen vodka just so I can exclaim, “Someone hand me that Effen vodka!”

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I am not a vodka drinker. But a number of years ago we spent some time in Krakow, and there was a vodka bar right across from our hotel. So every night before going back to the hotel, we stopped at the bar and I had a vodka, a different one each night. Belvedere was the best by far. So I bought a bottle at the duty-free shop on the way home. It’s still 90% full (slight exaggeration).

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold