10 Finest Vodka Brands, Complete With Cocktails

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International Vodka Day

Another occasion. Another celebration. Let’s raise a toast on International Vodka Day.

By Rajeev Mokashi

Predominantly polish. Vodka was first produced in Poland in the middle ages, during the 16th century. One of the reasons we adore vodka as a cocktail base is that, by definition, vodka is tasteless and odourless and appears like water. It’s unslanted. So after distillation with charcoal and other ingredients, neutral spirits have no telling personality, taste, aroma, or colour. At best, the palate can be related to lemon and black pepper.

Vodka has been a vital ingredient in many traditional cocktails, making it one of the world’s favourite mixers. From martinis to Bloody Marys, Moscow Mules to Screwdriver, and Cosmopolitan to White Russian, the list goes on.

The best vodkas are defined by their texture, whether delicate, smooth, or crisp and clean, rather than their flavour, which can range from completely neutral to subtle.

To help you navigate, TheGlitz has tried and appraised 10 of the best vodkas to reach for when serving up your favourite cocktails.

GREY GOOSE

Grey Goose
Grey Goose

Born and bred in France, this French vodka (40% ABV) is made with French winter wheat and water from the Cognac region. It takes credit to be one of the first super-premium vodkas ever to hit the shelves. Its unique, creamy mouthfeel, topped with toasty notes and hints of spice, makes it a classic.

Spur Of The Moment Cocktail

Salty Dog

Salty Dog
Salty Dog

INGREDIENTS:

  • One part Grey Goose vodka
  • Two parts freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • Salt for rim
  • Lime for garnish

How to Make It

  • In a cocktail mixer, combine vodka, grapefruit juice and shake thoroughly.
  • Pour into a salt-rimmed Collins glass with plenty of ice.
  • Garnish with a lime quarter and serve.

KETEL ONE

Ketel One vodka
Ketel One vodka

This Dutch vodka brand is made in the Netherlands by the Nolet family and inspired by three generations of distilling tradition. This cocktail-friendly vodka (40% ABV) is made with non-GMO wheat and distilled using coal-fired copper stills to deliver a perfect and smooth taste. The mild hint of citrus hits you first but is then immediately balanced with a touch of sweetness, leading to a long finish.

Date Night cocktail

Vodka Sour

Vodka Sour
Vodka Sour

Ingredients:

  • 60ml Ketel One vodka
  • 30ml Lemon juice
  • 15ml Sugar syrup
  • 15ml Egg white
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

How to Make It

  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Shake well for 10-15 seconds until the outside of the shaker becomes frosted.
  • Strain into the glass.
  • Garnish with a lemon slice and a maraschino cherry (optional and serve.

MAGIC MOMENTS

Made in India, this triple-distilled vodka can be described as creamy and citrusy with a hint of spice. This masterpiece from the house of Radico has won the International Wine & Spirit Competition Silver Medal in 2010 and 2008. In addition to their premium grain vodka and Remixed flavour vodka, they have introduced Magic Moments Dazzle vodka, the ultra-premium brand in Radico’s vodka portfolio, available in two supreme variants: Magic Moments Dazzle Gold and Magic Moments Dazzle Vanilla.

Cocktail for Memorable Evenings

Coffee Splash

Ingredients:

  • 45ml Magic Moments Vanilla vodka
  • 35ml Coffee liqueur
  • Ice cubes
  • Maraschino cherry for garnish

How to Make It

  • Fill shaker with ice cubes and coffee liqueur. Give it a gentle shake.
  • Add Magic Moments Vanilla vodka and shake once more vigorously/
  • Strain into a cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

HAKU

Haku vodka
Haku vodka

Haku, or “white” vodka, is crafted from Japanese Hakumai rice and filtered through bamboo charcoal, resulting in a distinctly elegant and plush palette. Every sip melts the delicate taste of vanilla and almond. This Japanese heavyweight from Suntory would make for a decadent vodka Martini.

The Bring It On cocktail

Vodka Martini

Vodka martini
Vodka Martini

Ingredients:

  • Two parts Haku vodka
  • One part Dry vermouth
  • Lemon peel for garnish

How to Make It

  • Add ingredients to a stirring vessel.
  • Add ice and stir for 30 seconds. Strain cocktail into a chilled martini glass.
  • Garnish with a lemon peel.

TITO’S HANDMADE

Tito's Handmade vodka
Tito’s Handmade vodka

Tito’s Handmade Vodka is more than just a spirit; it’s a testament to the beauty of simplicity and authenticity. This American delight has been a trailblazer in the corn-based vodka scene in the United States. Tito’s Handmade is exclusively imported by Aspri Spirits; it is certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organisation, ensuring a worry-free sip for all. Their commitment to purity extends to their production process, reminiscent of the craftsmanship behind fine single malt scotches and French cognacs.

One For The Road cocktail

Screwdriver

Screwdriver
Screwdriver

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Tito’s Handmade vodka
  • 4 oz Orange juice
  • Orange wheel for garnish

How to Make It

  • Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Shake well and pour everything, including ice into the glass.
  • Garnish with a orange wheel.

SMIRNOFF

Smirnoff
Smirnoff

Founded in 1864, Smirnoff has since evolved to become the most popular vodka brand in the world, even inventing the Moscow Mule vodka cocktail recipe during WWII. This Russian charmer is triple distilled and ten times filtered, it’s the epitome of smoothness with a dry finish. Enjoy it on the rocks or elevate classic cocktails with this essential spirit.

The House Party cocktail

Smirnoff Mule

Smirnoff Mule
Smirnoff Mule

Ingredients:

  • 50ml Smirnoff No.21 vodka
  • 150ml Ginger beer
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon wedge and sprig for garnish

How to Make It

  • Fill copper mug with ice.
  • Add vodka and top with ginger beer.
  • Squeeze the juice of two lime wedges and stir to combine.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge and mint.

You might also like: 6 Whisky Cocktails to Whip up on World Whisky Day

BELVEDERE

Belvedere vodka
Belvedere vodka

Poland’s pride. Produced in one of the world’s longest operating polish distilleries that has been making vodka since 1910, Belvedere’s Master Rye Distillers draw from a 600-year polish vodka-making history to artfully craft Polish rye into an extraordinary vodka of distinct taste and character.

Pre-dinner cocktail

Spritz

Spritz
Spritz

Ingredients:

  • 30ml Belvedere vodka
  • 30ml Rose wine
  • 30ml Soda water
  • 30ml Tonic water
  • Dash grapefruit liqueur
  • Small pinch salt

How to Make It

  • Build all ingredients in a wine glass over cubed ice and stir gently to combine.
  • Garnish with a slice of grapefruit and a sprig of thyme.

STOLI GOLD

Stoli Gold
Stoli Gold

Stoli Gold is a vodka crafted with unparalleled precision and luxury. This exceptional vodka is born amidst the fertile fields of Russia’s Black Earth region, where single estate wheat transforms into the purest raw spirit, setting the foundation for an extraordinary experience.

Stoli Gold, which is imported by VBev, is known for its unique filtration process. It passes through shungite, a rare carbon exclusively found in northwest Russia. This golden filtration subtly enhances depth, softness, and harmony, creating a vodka of unmatched quality.

International Vodka Day cocktail

Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary
Bloody Mary

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Stoli vodka
  • 4 oz Tomato juice
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly grated horseradish
  • Worcestershire sauce, Hot sauce, Salt, Freshly ground pepper
  • Celery, Olives for garnish

How to Make It

  • Add the vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice and horseradish to a Collins glass filled with ice.
  • Add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir gently and garnish with celery and olives.

ABSOLUT

Absolut Limited Edition Pack
Absolut Limited Edition Pack

Designed by multidisciplinary artist Osheen Siva, Absolut’s new limited-edition bottle focuses on self-expression through art, design and creativity. Retaining its unique character both in design and taste, Absolut remains a popular choice with vodka drinkers around the world. Mix it or have it straight, the spirit is both versatile and has an exceptionally smooth mouthfeel. Pick this new edition up and celebrate the multifaceted identities that define the youth of India.

Truly yours, cocktail

Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan
Cosmopolitan

Ingredients:

  • 40ml Absolut Citron
  • 20ml Triple sec
  • 20ml Lime juice
  • 20ml Cranberry juice
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 twist orange zest for garnish

How to Make it

  • Fill a shaker with ice cubes.
  • Add all ingredients.
  • Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with an orange zest twist.

FINLANDIA

Finlandia
Finlandia

Any guesswork about the origin? Of course, Finland is it. This iconic vodka from “Land of Thousand Lakes” is made from a Finnish Suomi barley base, and the glacial spring water from the Rajamäki spring makes for smooth sipping. With a taste that burns down mildly at the beginning, all leading to an incredibly clean finish. This is the perfect vodka to stir up into a dry martini or dewy coffee.

On Lazy Afternoons

Finlandia Coffee

Finlandia Coffee
Finlandia Coffee

Ingredients:

  • 20ml Finlandia vodka
  • 20ml Cloudberry liqueur
  • Hot black coffee
  • Whipped cream

How to Make It

  • Pour cloudberry liqueur and vodka into a hot drink glass.
  • Fill with hot coffee.
  • Float fresh cream or whipped cream on top.
  • Serve hot.

BONUS Feature

For International Vodka Day, Foo, one of India’s most well-known Asian Tapas Bar & Kitchen franchises, has created two signature vodka-based cocktails.

Foo Queen

Foo Queen

“Foo Queen” cocktail, an exquisite elixir that beckons you to savor its enchanting floral symphony. It features Absolut vodka, pandan-infused tequila, the luscious essence of lychee, a fragrant infusion of jasmine tea syrup, a whisper of rose water, and a sparkling soda finish. With every sip, you embark on a sensory journey through a blossoming garden, where the delicate petals of jasmine dance with the sweet embrace of lychee.

Foo King

Foo King

“Foo King” cocktail, a delightful medley of flavors that takes your palate on a journey through a symphony of fruity notes. Expertly crafted with Absolut vodka, indulgent plum liqueur, the natural sweetness of muskmelon, a refreshing hint of lemon, and the delicate essence of French vanilla. Sip, savor, and allow the Foo King to reign supreme in your glass, where the soothing vanilla complements the muskmelon’s sweetness, creating an aromatic experience that’s simply irresistible.

Contact: Foo, Ground Floor, Forum Rex Walk, Brigade Road, Shanthala Road, Ashok Nagar, Bengaluru

Featured Cover Image Credit: John Fornander via unsplash

You might also like: 5 Glorious Indian Homegrown Gins on World Gin Day

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