The term “vodka” is derived from “voda,” the Russian word for water. That’s why it’s also the only liquor historically lauded for having higher quality for carrying less flavor.
This subdued spirit has been long overlooked for this virtue, but that’s changing—in both good ways and bad. Bad, as in crappy-flavored mix-ready vodkas. Good, as in small batch blends with lovely accents.
To prove they’re not all pretentious mixers, we searched far and wide to find examples of real untapped premiums—great vodkas that can be served tepid after cold winter hunts (yes, we like to be different), without fear of judgment.
- Like its pale blue label, this Oregon product is utlra clean. Seriously, this stuff is filtered ten times through charcoal, crushed lava rock, and oak. How couldn’t it be smooth? This offering is probably the nearest to Russian “voda” we tried. That doesn’t mean it’s not useful, just don’t expect to taste much alcohol. Bottom Line: Great taste. Not quite manly enough.