The 10 Smoothest Vodka Brands to Try in 2021
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.
The Best 14 Leather Jackets for Men in 2021
With the winter months (hopefully) dwindling down, it’s time to start planning ahead to a time where we can wear thinner jackets and fewer layers. While it may be tempting to quickly shed your parka and grab for whatever piece of outerwear is nearby, don’t reach for last year’s wardrobe item just yet. Isn’t it time you try something new, like, say, a leather jacket?
Though it may seem all leather jackets are similar, there are actually many different designs and styles that work for different body types and tastes. In this article, we will take a look at the hottest leather jacket trends that have hit the market this season.
1. Aaron Brown Leather Bomber
The Aaron Brown Leather Jacket from The Jacket Maker is an excellent choice for any guy looking for that traditional bomber look. This awesome jacket features a slim cut and ribbed cuffs and waist. It’s made with incredibly tough, yet soft, goatskin leather, making it a great choice for guys that aren’t used to wearing leather jackets.
One of the best things about the Aaron is that it shirks the classic pouch pockets on the lower half of the jacket, opting for two buttoned patch pockets on the chest instead. This design gives it a more streamlined look than most bombers, without taking away from any of the authenticity.
2. Saint Laurent Leather Biker Jacket
There is a reason why leather jackets and bikers are usually associated with one another. Historically, many motorcycle riders have seen a leather jacket as a stylish way to protect themselves, not only from the elements but also from the possibility of a crash. While this may seem hard to believe – it’s not like leather comes with a large amount of padding, after all – leather has actually been shown to offer more protection than your average vinyl jacket or equivalent.
Maybe you’re not hopping on a motorcycle anytime soon, but you can still treat yourself to this biker-inspired Saint Laurent leather jacket. With a price tag surpassing $5,000, it’s certainly our premium pick on this list, but if you’re looking for the leather jacket of a lifetime, you have it right here. This pick is sure to come with the “for life” quality Saint Laurent is particularly known for.
3. Reiss Keith Leather Cafe Racer Jacket
Reiss is a British fashion retailer that’s been around since the 1970s. For the first 30 years of its brand history, it focused solely on men’s fashion before eventually expanding to carry items for women as well. However, the fact high-quality items for men are at the heart of this brand is very apparent through their simple wardrobe staples such as the Keith leather cafe racer jacket.
This Reiss jacket comes at a considerably lower price point than its counterparts, which makes it a pick that packs a lot of value. It’s made from super-soft leather and features a full lining. It’s the perfect choice for anybody who prefers a slim-fit jacket.
4. Lavendard Brown Leather Bike Jacket
The Jacket Maker has something for everyone, including guys that are a bit intimidated by purchasing their first leather jacket. Not only is the Lavendard incredibly affordable, but it also has a really approachable look despite its biker moniker. With open hem cuffs and a tailored fit, it looks great with badass-inspired outfits as well as everyday wear.
The Lavendard is made of real cowhide, which means it will take on a great patina over time. But it might be a bit stiff when you first get it. The more you wear it, the faster it’ll form to your body, break-in, and soften up. The fact that it goes with so many outfits will help speed up that process.
5. Ksubi Capital Leather Jacket
The Capital Leather Jacket from Ksubi comes in 100% authentic leather and is designed to have a biker fit. It’s heavy-duty with a protective interior quilted lining. It also features retro details such as antique zippers.
Kusbi is an Australian fashion label that’s existed since the 1990s. While the brand was originally focused on high-end denim, they’ve expanded their offerings over time to include other textiles such as leather. Items from Ksubi’s collections have been shown at such high-profile events as New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week, and the company operates a flagship store in New York’s SOHO neighborhood.
6. Acne Studios Off-Centred Zipper Biker Jacket
Swedish fashion powerhouse Acne Studios is well-known for their basic wardrobe pieces, so it makes sense that they would have the classic leather jacket look on lock. We love the way this off-centered jacket packs a punch of personality with its multiple buckles and zippers, but we love even more the way that it does not compromise softness or comfort at the expense of appearance.
This jacket comes with a high-end price tag, but it has the high-end materials to match. It is made of 100% genuine lambskin and comes with an interior lining of 100% viscose. Its unique off-center zip takes its inspiration from street style.
7. Airin G-1 Black and White Leather Jacket
There’s only one way to improve upon a traditional bomber: Add shearling fabric. The Jacket Maker’s Airin G-1 Bomber will have ready to strap into the cockpit, ready to fly over Europe on a midnight air-raid. It has a thick polyester-lined collar as well as ribbed cuffs and waist for a nice, snug fit that keeps the wind at bay.
The Airin is made with real sheepskin, so it’s soft but super durable, making it a great choice for almost any type of casual wear. The dual front pouch pockets are great for a phone and a pair of gloves, so if you’re wearing it on a motorcycle, you’ll have the storage you need.
8. Saturdays NYC Leather Harrington Jacket
If you’re unfamiliar with the brand Saturdays NYC, prepare to fall in love. As a laidback lifestyle brand, Saturdays NYC infuses its love for all things surfer culture in all of its fashion offerings. While primarily known for their loungewear, such as sweats and pullover sweaters, they also happen to make one of the best leather jackets on the market right now.
The leather Harrington jacket features a smooth design and has deep pockets for your convenience. It is made of 100% lambskin leather and features a lining made of polyester. Staying true to its brand’s carefree nature, this jacket features a more relaxed fit than many classic leather jackets.
9. Berluti Piped Venezia Leather Jacket
Unlike the other options we’ve included so far, Berluti is known less for being a fashion brand and more for being a leather maker. Since its inception in the late 19th century, the Paris-based manufacturer has been producing fine leather clothing items and accessories, from belts to bags to jackets.
Berluti’s piped Venezia leather jacket is the apex of luxury leather fashion. Made from a distinctive brown shade, this jacket line has been around since the 1980s – and it’s a style that certainly stands the test of time.
This jacket is made from 100% authentic patinated calfskin leather and features shoulder patches and a buttoned collar. For optimal breathability, the jacket even features ventilation eyelets.
10. Dean Black Leather Biker Jacket
Let’s be honest.. A traditional racing-style biker jacket is about as cool as it gets. With the high band-style collar and heavy-duty zippers on the front of The Jacket Maker’s Dean Leather Biker Jacket, you’re sure to get that badass look.
The Dean is made with 100% real cowhide leather, so it might be a little stiff at first, but it will break in and patina like none other. The Dean features three zippered pockets on the front as well as zippered cuffs, providing that authentic racing jacket-look without killing your bank account.
11. Kingsman Burnished Leather Jacket
Kingsman is a line of high-quality clothing pieces that exists as a collaboration between Mr. Matthew Vaughn, director of the film The King’s Man, and international online fashion retailer MR PORTER. The line features items that are inspired by classic military style and timeless sensibilities.
The burnished leather jacket from the Kingsman line is unique for its length as well as its appearance. It draws direct inspiration from an aviator jacket worn on-screen in The King’s Man, a period piece that takes place in the 1940s. The jacket is made out of sturdy cow leather and buttons made of buffalo horns. It also features two linings – one made of cotton, and one made of viscose.
12. AllSaints Milo Leather Biker Jacket
AllSaints is a British fashion brand from the United Kingdom. Since its founding in the 1990s, it has grown to an international presence that consists of more than 200 retail stores across Europe, North America, and Asia. The brand is mostly focused on fashion for women and men, though it also sells footwear and other accessories. It has primarily seen its popularity grow thanks to its popularity among a celebrity clientele.
AllSaints makes a number of leather jackets, but the Milo biker jacket is definitely one to write home about. This is a jacket that brings out the very best of two very different worlds – including a soft composition and sharp edges – since it is made of tender lamb leather and decorated to the nines with perfectly-placed zippers and buckles. It also has a distinctive slim fit.
13. Golden Bear Sherpa Jacket
San Francisco brand Golden Bear may have its roots in ship workers in the San Francisco Bay since the 1920s, but it’s evolved today to combine both utilitarianism and high-end style. Although not as recognized outside of its native northern California, to know the stylish jackets of Golden Bear is to love them.
The sherpa jacket, in particular, is exquisite. Like any Golden Bear clothing piece, it’s designed to be worn for life, and fortunately, it comes with a style that will be sure to stay in fashion for decades to come, with brown distressed leather and a notable shearling collar that can be detached.
14. Tom Ford Zip-up Leather Jacket
Tom Ford is well-known for their high-end scents and formal clothing, but they have a strong foot in the casual jacket sphere as well. Not that this zip-up leather jacket is something you would wear to a casual house party. Its sleek edges and formal design make it more than suitable for a fancy professional event or night out on the town.
True to its brand’s roots, no attention to detail was spared in the creation of this particular wardrobe piece. Its straightforward design features 100% authentic leather and a cotton and polyamide lining. It is truly meant to last for life. Made in Italy, this jacket has shallow pockets in the front and a zipper down the center.
Leather Jacket FAQs
While there are many different unique leather jacket configurations out there, there are four classic syles you should be most aware of. In no particular order, they are the leather bomber jacket (also called aviator jacket), the leather racer jacket (sometimes called moto), the trenchcoat, and the fencer. While bomber jackets and racer jackets tend to be more relaxed, the trenchcoat and the fencer are more dramatic.
If you care for your leather jacket correctly you should have a wardrobe piece that’ll last you a lifetime. Most leather jackets cannot be washed at home and must only be handled professionally. The first step to taking proper care of your jacket is to adhere to this rule.
You should also keep your leather jacket dry as often as possible and keep it away from extreme heat or cold air. If you are not going to be wearing your leather jacket for a period of time, such as during a warm season, then you’ll want to be sure that you are hanging it up correctly – this means out of direct sunlight and in a properly-ventilated area.
Determining how much to pay for a leather jacket is a very personal matter. For an authentic leather jacket, you will probably be paying, at a baseline, $500. However, this price can easily skyrocket from here, depending on the jacket’s materials and manufacturing process.
Some leather jackets can cost as much as $10,000! There is no right or wrong number – it’s instead about the brands you like and the style that you envision for yourself.