Whether it’s mixed, sipped, or thrown back in an ice-cold shot, vodka is as ubiquitous as it is versatile. Lots of bottles on this list are bar and household staples, but we guarantee there are a few you have yet to try. Read on to discover the world’s top 20 vodka brand.
Created by a Russian serf named Pytor Smirnov, the world’s best-selling vodka has been sold since 1864. In 1886, Smirnov penned an exclusive contract to supply vodka to the Tsar of Russia. Today, Smirnoff comes in nearly 40 flavors and is sold in 130 countries.
Hitting the U.S. market in 1979, Absolut was a bit of an oddball thanks to its oddly shaped bottle and out-there marketing campaigns (you may remember Absolut Psycho from the 1990s). But Absolut — a Swedish vodka made with 100 percent wheat — was founded in 1879 by Lars Olssen Smith, who also invented fractional distilling.
This Ukrainian vodka named for the eponymous island of Khortytsya is lesser known in the States despite being the third best-selling vodka in the world. The grain-based brand is smooth and fruity, and worth seeking out.
Along with making a great addition to your adult Easter basket, Żubrówka has a unique flavor profile, which can range from notes of woodruff and coconut to the signature Bison grass added to the bottle as a tincture. The Polish brand is widely available in the U.S.
5. Khlibnyi Dar
This very affordable Ukrainian vodka brand is made from fermented cereal grains, and has notes of honey, bread, and a bit of fruit.
Another Ukrainian brand, Nemiroff showed 40.3 percent growth in 2018.
One of the best vodkas for any budget, Svedka is versatile and smooth, with faint citrus notes. Charcoal-filtered and near flavorless when served cold, we recommend sipping it room temp or in a vodka Martini with a twist.
8. Pyat Ozer
This excellently-rated Russian brand (better known as Five Lakes) is considered a sipping vodka. It has hints of dried fruit and spicy heat. It is unfortunately not available in the U.S.
Magic Moments saw 40.8 percent growth in 2018. Described as creamy and citrusy with a hint of spice, this triple-distilled Indian brand won the International Wine & Spirit Competition Silver medal in 2010 and 2008.
This Polish vodka produced since 1891 comes standard and in various flavors, including walnut, strawberry, and plum. It’s base grain is rye, giving it a spicier kick than some other vodkas.
Better-known as “Stoli” among industry members and bar flies, this classic label from Russia is grain-based and quadruple-distilled. Adding to its appeal are it’s availability and affordability.
12. Skyy Vodka
Along with being a staunch LGBTQ advocate, Skyy vodka is a standout brand because it’s American. Skyy claims to be one of the first vodkas made entirely with U.S.-sourced grains and water. That, and its proprietary quadruple-column distillation and triple-filtering processes, yield notes of citrus and spice.
13. Grey Goose
Currently produced in France, this relatively young vodka brand was founded in 1996 by American businessman Sidney Frank. It’s earned a French reputation, though, and is made with wheat specially grown in Picardy, France.
Owned by the largest alcohol producer in Eastern Europe, Global Spirits’ Morosha is made with natural mineral water, and claims to have a delicate flavor.
15. Russian Standard
This top-selling vodka is wheat-based, quadruple-distilled, and made with glacial water. Its recipe was created by Dmitri Mendeleev, whose other accomplishments include inventing Periodic Law, and creating a precursor to the periodic table of elements.
This sleek-looking Russian brand claimed Silver at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in 2014. It’s nine-step purification process includes being filtered through 13 feet of charcoal for maximum purity.
Made in – you guessed it – Finland, this top-selling brand has a long list of awards to its name, including Silver at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in 2014, 2013, and 2012; and Gold at the Los Angeles International Wine Competition in 2012. Its barley base and glacial spring water make for smooth sipping.
This inexpensive Kentucky brand “quadruple distilled for superior smoothness,” according to its label, comes in both 80 proof and 100 proof. It’s also available in a dizzying array of 37 flavors, including cherry.
19. Ketel One
This cocktail-friendly Dutch brand has been made in the Netherlands by the Nolet family for 11 generations. It entered into a 50-50 partnership with Diageo in 2008 for a reported $900 million, but the brand, distillery, and recipes are still family-owned.
Produced by Destylarnia Sobieski, Old Krupnik is Poland’s best-selling vodka. Here in the States, it’s available on a limited basis, and perhaps better-known for its honey liqueur.