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The 10 Smoothest Vodka Brands to Try in 2022
Smooth vodka means different things to different types of vodka drinkers. For some, the smoothest flavor is determined by neutrality – the lack of overt taste and ethanol afterburn when you drink it neat or in a mixed drink.
There are others who like drinking cheap vodka, who don’t mind some fire and heat but want something enjoyable that won’t keep them out of action the next day. And then, there are others that want to taste a quality vodka, rich in delicate perfume, made from premium ingredients that have a complex taste that can enliven even the most boring ginger ale, soda drink, or jazz up a refreshing tropical taste.
The following list of smoothest vodka has options for everyone at every budget, featuring original unsullied vodkas and flavored variations. Chances are your favorite style and brand is on this list, if not, work through it and by the end one of these bottles will be.
1. Purity Vodka
Purity Vodka is handcrafted in small batches from organic winter wheat and barley, then distilled 34 times through a custom 600-liter copper pot still. Purity vodka uses the method of gently warming the ingredients until the vapor is collected and then refining the spirit meticulously until only the heart of the distillate is left to make it clear, clean, and with little aftertaste.
This unique approach to distillation makes Purity a hit for the smooth vodka lover looking for easy heat without an ethanol afterburn, whether served chilled in a shot glass from out of the freezer or deployed in more exotic cocktailing.
It’s a favorite vodka for use in a classic cocktail where there’s a complex layering of flavors. The alcohol content is almost a bystander that allows the subtlety of spices, fresh lime, and a candied ginger garnish to take the lead in filling out a Moscow Mule.
2. JCB Vodka
This ultra luxury French premium vodka is made from sustainably grown grapes from the Côte-d’Or and bracing water from historical French springs. The wine and terroir influences are part of its’ charm. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are hand-selected for this unique bottling of vintage vodka (which also comes in the interesting flavors of truffle and caviar).
The wine is fermented and aged individually in oak barrel for 6 months. After blending the wines together, it is then distilled one time in a copper pot and six times in copper columns, followed by filtration four times.
JCB Vodka is a high priced vodka brand aimed at the vodka drinker who wishes to mix modern cocktailing with the most premium ingredients on offer. It’s a top shelf expression made for smooth style and sensation.
3. Wyborowa Vodka
A cheaper Polish vodka whose smooth taste belies its price point – I’m inclined to drink this at every opportunity before anything else – Wyborowa means ‘selected.’
Interestingly, it’s a rye grain vodka that is tremendously smooth yet likes to keep the rye influence intact, which aligns nicely with the spicy flavor of a Moscow Mule or Bloody Mary. It’s also versatile for use in a simple ginger ale mixed drink or with fruit juice.
If you’re traditionally a whiskey drinker that likes to dabble in a little fresh thinking, or a mixologist looking for a genuinely good bottle to go further at party time, Wyboroka Vodka is an option well worth considering.
4. Absolut Vodka Elyx
Elyx defines luxury Swedish vodka, made from single estate winter wheat (this means the grain only comes from one specific source prior to distillation). The vodka is hand produced in an antique 1921 copper column still and bottled at 84.6 proof, however, the silky smoothness of this wheat vodka is such that you can completely disregard the hike in alcohol content.
Absolut Vodka Elyx is hard to go past if you’re looking to enjoy a premium wheat vodka crafted with commitment to quality and innovation. It delivers a beautifully smooth taste and almost completely non-existent bite, suitable for the novice or seasoned vodka lover alike.
5. Boyd and Blair Potato Vodka
Using only locally-sourced Pennsylvania potatoes, each small batch of Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka is made from scratch and tasted twenty times before being labeled and bottled by hand. Potatoes produce a silkier, sweeter Vodka with a creamier, more viscous mouthfeel than those crafted with traditional grains such as wheat, rye or corn.
Triple distilled and charcoal filtered, Boyd & Blair Vodka is an exceptionally smooth and flavorful Vodka that earned five stars from F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal in 2011, 2012, and 2013. If you’re looking to crank it up a few notches, then try Boyd and Blair’s 151 proof expression. It tastes so good your night could end quite quickly – it’s smooth and dangerous!
Stolichnaya’s Elit Vodka is an ultra-lavish vodka that screams luxury, from the elegant bottle design to the velvety mouthfeel and touch of sweetness on the palate. Only the highest quality wheat, rye, and water are used for this Vodka made with traditional Russian distilling techniques.
Stoli Elit is made using a traditional “freeze filtration” method inspired by the Russian practice of leaving casks out in the freezing conditions to age and mature during distillation. The perfect vodka to drink straight from the freezer or put in a premium Vodka Martini, you’ll be hard pressed to experience a smoother (and more dangerous) drinking experience.
7. Reyka Vodka
Reyka Vodka’s smooth taste is partly because it’s made from pure Icelandic resources. Reyka is hand crafted in small batches using Iceland’s arctic spring water. From there it is filtered through lava rocks then distilled in one of only six Copper Head Stills in the world at the company’s zero-emission geothermal distillery in Borgarnes, Iceland.
The distillation process is so unique that Reyka only produces 255 cases of the smoothest vodka per batch. It’s a quality smooth vodka versatile for any situation but best served over ice.
8. Infuse Spirits Vodka Lemon
Infuse Spirits is built on natural infusion. I’ve gone with the lemon for this recommendation, although other flavored vodkas in the brand’s portfolio are crafted with real grapefruit, peach, mango habanero, and apple and cinnamon inside the bottle. Infuse Spirits also has a tidy American whiskey expression worth checking out as well.
Infuse’s lemon vodka is amazingly smooth considering the pale-yellow color and bright candy lemon peel scent. Infuse Lemon is bottled with the curly peel prominent inside that makes for a more dominant flavor than other more neutral vodkas, but without any citrus pith.
The grain crafted spirit has flowing, viscous textures on the tongue, evolving into waxy lemon peel flavors and little bite. It will add a lowkey power but a zesty smoothest flavor to a Vodka Martini or your favorite cocktail.
9. Ketel One Vodka - 325th Anniversary Edition
Look, it doesn’t taste any different to the regular Ketel One original vodka expression, but I really like the 1 liter bottle commemorating the 325th Anniversary of the Dutch Nolet Family’s Distillery. Ketel One Vodka offers no carbs, artificial flavors, sweeteners or sugars, and is crafted from 100% GMO grain, and remains one of the smoothest vodka choices you can make at the sub $50 price point.
The Ketel One Botanicals range is similar but with more earthiness and individuality. They are also a fantastic option for the vodka lover looking for a well-crafted spirit you can add to a simple mixed drink or crisp classic vodka cocktails, such as a Moscow Mule or Vodka Martini.
10. Charbay Blood Orange Vodka
A quality American vodka (Charbay Distillery is in Ukiah, California, the home of the late great tattoo master Lyle Tuttle) that’s infused with 100% organically grown real blood oranges from California, this is an interesting choice for writing about smoothest flavor vodkas. I’ve chosen Charbay Blood Orange Vodka in this list because it offers something different to the bite of other citrus vodkas or the neutral flavors of standard vodkas, including the Charbay Clear Vodka product.
Charbay Distillery offers a range vodka, tequilas and artisanal spirits; however, this vodka tastes brilliantly smooth and sweet, but without overpowering the palate. Using real blood oranges works in the infusion, as it layers with some complexity and a sense of natural flavor other drinks can’t muster and makes a refreshing tropical taste.
If you’re a mixologist with the flair for exotic cocktailing, utilizing an expression such as Charbay Blood Orange makes cocktails really standout through the balance of alcohol and fruit, but also suits being thrown into a glass with crushed ice, a splash of soda and an orange wedge.
Bonus Cheap Vodka Option: Skyy Vodka
It’s harder to find a smoother tasting Vodka for less than 20 bucks than Skyy Vodka, which is born and bred in San Francisco, and a core vodka brand for making cocktails.
Skyy’s process of quadruple distillation and triple filtration to offer a dry, medium bodied vodka with a smooth taste and with creamy mouthfeel. On the tongue it adds smatterings of anise and coriander with a slight tinge of pepper through the finish.
If the unflavored premium Skyy vodka doesn’t entice, then you can get a huge range of flavored vodkas from the brand. My personal top three are:
- Skyy Infusions Citrus Vodka
- Skyy Vodka Infusions Raspberry
- Skyy Vodka Infusions Cherry
There are a lot of these Skyy vodka variations (I’ve yet to try the Georgia Peach), but they’re extremely handy for those who enjoy modern cocktailing. It’s easy to just drop a couple of measures of Skyy Infusions Citrus Vodka into a glass with ice, soda, and a garnish, rather than spend time crafting delicious Skyy cocktails from fresh ingredients and the original vodka.
Skyy is a cheap vodka offering tremendous value for the taste and should suit every type of vodka drinker, but those with a penchant for partying and an enjoyment of different flavor ranges most of all.
This ultra luxury French premium vodka is made from sustainably grown grapes from the Côte-d’Or and bracing water from historical French springs. The wine and terroir influences are part of its charm.
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are hand-selected for this unique bottling of vintage vodka (which also comes in the interesting flavors of truffle and caviar). The wine is fermented and aged individually in oak barrel for 6 months. After blending the wines together, it’s then distilled one time in a copper pot and six times in copper columns, followed by filtration four times.
JCB Vodka is a high priced but delicate fragrance of vodka aimed at those who wish to mix modern cocktailing with the most premium ingredients. It’s a top shelf expression made for smooth style and sensation.
Smooth Vodka FAQs
Originally, making a vodka smooth was crafting it as neutrally as possible, with the aim being to make it taste warm on the tongue and throat but with little discernable flavor or afterburn. These days, natural or infused flavor is much more welcome – some brands even use grain to glass terroir to create more individuality in the taste, and often leave the taste of the base grain or fruit and vegetable in.
Often, it comes down to less aftertaste, more depth of flavor, and an enjoyable palate and aroma that determines how smooth your vodka tastes, along with multiple distillation and clean filtered water.
At one time the best vodka brands were dominated by a few large European distillers and their offshoots. They all aimed to make the cleanest, crispest vodka with little flavor or aftertaste, at an easily palatable price.
While that remains the goal for many cheap vodka expressions, the vodka market is changing to accommodate new taste and flavor options, innovative craftsmanship, and regional personalities. And ingredients.
Yes, absolutely. Contemporary vodka – even at expensive prices – can be made with flavor added. Even the most popular biting flavors such as lemon and grapefruit can be crafted to have flavor in the vodka but still go down smooth when consumed neat or in a cocktail.