No, we’re referring to the burgeoning crowd of small, independent American distilleries that have produced so much diversity in the category that there are easily 500 domestic vodkas on the market today. The all-American vodka is bright and crisp with a creamy palate and lingering floral and melon notes—try it in cocktails, or chill it down and sip it over ice with a bit of lemon. Here are our favorite American vodkas, ranked: When I first tasted Hangar One, it completely blew my mind. Perhaps the “coolest-kid” brand out there these days is Material, which you would basically have to go to Art Basel (or a similar art-world scenester clusterfuck) or one of a handful of NYC’s ultra-hip restaurants to try. But there is a surprisingly high number of good vodkas being made right here, right now in the United States. While still quite popular (and a steal at around $20 for 1.75 L), the American vodka doesn't possess the same cult following as the Grey Goose dupe. Although the aroma and mouthfeel of the honey are unmistakable, the vodka isn’t sweet per se. It’s a great martini vodka, if that’s your cocktail of choice. One of the original products was the Fugu vodka, named after the poisonous blowfish sought after by sushi lovers. At under $20 for 1.75 L, it's one of … It is a shame – there are only about 15 American Vodka’s out there and very rarely do you find one stocked in your favorite watering hole. Long a leader in the Southern California microbrewery scene, Ballast Point made its name with full-flavored ales, like the Sculpin IPA, so much so that it was recently acquired by beverage conglomerate Constellation Brands for $1 billion. Grey Goose Vodka. Cole’s company also might be turning out some of the best flavored vodkas on the market. And although it’s one of the most expensive bottles on the list, Barr Hill’s is a gorgeous spirit, even if it doesn’t fit into the classic idea of what vodka is. Vodka isn't exactly a darling of the mixology community, but in terms of overall popularity, the numbers speak for themselves. What caught our attention about this high-end spirit is the strength of the company’s distillation process. Caledonia Spirits – Montpelier, Vermont. An homage to the brandy still at Craft’s Germain-Robin, where Cain learned to distill, the name is the license number that was given to it in 1982. Without getting too technical, Middle West bought a very special Kothe “vodka” still, which allows the distillers to get the spirit to 190 proof in a single pass and blend the proof down before bottling. https://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/03/07/the-best-american-vodkas-ranked The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Made from a honey base, this vodka has rich aromatics and a distinct palate reflective of … This small-batch American vodka gets its comparatively “full-bodied” character from Pennsylvania-grown potatoes. The base for this vodka is pure honey, of which it takes several pounds to produce one bottle. This smooth tasting vodka is great for mixing drinks. Most people probably associate vodka with Russia and other territories of the former Soviet Union, the spirit’s ancestral home, or perhaps Sweden or France. Best for Martinis. Feel free to go Gibson style and garnish with cocktail onions; this vodka can handle it. But that’s not the kind of American vodka we’re talking about. Besides being a good, smooth vodka for almost any style of cocktail, there is something about the down-home way the brand has been marketed that is just irresistible. Here is the best vodka … 7 Wódka Vodka. American Vodka | Made in USA. What's The Difference Between Bananas And Plantains? Made from Polish Dankowski rye, it’s the best-selling spirit in the vodka-loving nation—silky and smooth on the palate. When Ansley Cole (and his partner, Jörg Rupf) sold Hangar One in 2010, he signed a noncompete, which forbade him, or any of the brands under his Craft Distillers umbrella, from producing vodka. The grain example is delicious, but the apple is truly extraordinary. ©2020 Group Nine Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. This small-batch vodka is made from 100% American yellow corn. Success! Best Domestic Vodka . But you can’t help but be struck by the purity and silky mouthfeel that springwater, as opposed to what is typically distilled or otherwise purified water in other brands, brings to Spring 44. Distilled from wheat, its name refers to the farm tool used to work soil. Under the Tuthilltown label, however, there are a number of other spirits, including the Indigenous line of vodkas made from local ingredients. vodka drizly.com. For now, let’s stick to the plain expressions. The resulting spirit is more neutral than, say, an apple brandy or eau de vie, but still maintains the beautifully subtle essence of the fruit. It can bring lift and complexity to shaken drinks like gimlets. This vodka is a quality drink with a clean taste that comes in a variety of flavors. Like the famed Dankowskie rye of Poland, which Belvedere and others love to feature prominently in their marketing materials, this wheat is special, and using only a single type of grain allows its individual characteristics to be more easily appreciated. Strict tasting rules were applied. The Kirkland Signature American Vodka is the Costco alternative for those who prefer domestic vodkas such as Tito's. Bottoms up! This is significant because it was among the first in California since Prohibition. As great as Tito’s may be, it still relies on the traditional process of distilling vodka many times (six), which strips away flavor. The vodkas were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. Although the Smirnoff company is the first Russian vodka to be introduced into the United States, many vodka entrepreneurs had released their own American brands of vodkas. As with all subjective experiences, it’s a matter of opinion as to “What is the best _____?” But I am no fan of Vodkas made outside of Slovak countries. It was a bit of a quixotic pursuit at first, as Beveridge had no experience in any aspect of the business, and starting the first distillery in Texas since Prohibition wasn’t going to be easy. The purer the ingredients are, the better is the product. As good as the previously mentioned vodkas that use nontraditional bases might be, there is something about a great vodka made the traditional way: with grain. Since the label’s purchase by a company created by the people behind Jose Cuervo tequila, however, things have been a bit more status quo. The Short List Best Overall Vodka: Reyka Vodka Best Value Vodka: Wodka Poland Select Vodka Best Vodka for Cocktails: Tito's Stir it over ice and strain into a chilled coupe with a lemon twist, and you won’t have to do much else; it is simply one of the most enjoyable vodkas on the market. Started by longtime beekeeper Todd Hardie in Hardwick, Vermont — partly to revive his ancestral Scottish distilling tradition while also providing a new outlet for his honey — Caledonia Spirits is turning out a variety of spirits, including an excellent gin. Distilled in Atchison, Kansas, TILL American Vodka aims to celebrate the American heartland. Instantly recognizable in its bright blue bottle, Skyy was one of the first vodkas made from American grains and water that were then quadruple distilled and triple filtered. America’s first craft vodka, Tito's from Austin, Texas, has been the choice for trendy cocktailians since it hit the market in 1997. The legendary Swedish vodka, Absolut. He did it, though, and his corn-based (which, although it’s generally agreed that distillation removes any gluten from grain, is very on trend in this anti-wheat age) vodka went on to win Double Gold and was named a unanimous favorite at the San Francisco Spirits Competition in 2001. In the world of craft spirits, vodka seems forever in search of respect. Contributor Chad Walsh writes about wine and other beverages frequently for Food Republic. American vodka started playing a role in vodka history in the 1950’s. Best American Vodka Tito's Handmade Vodka. The floral qualities really pop here, and it would be a shame to add olive brine to such a flavorful vodka. The Best American Made Vodkas You've Never Heard Of Medoyeff Vodka. The 6 Best American-Made Vodkas St. George All Purpose Vodka ($30) Wigle Trope Organic Vodka ($33) COMB Vodka ($35) Hangar One Vodka ($28) OYO Vodka ($32) Tuthilltown Spirit’s Indigenous Fresh Pressed Apple Vodka ($35) The nose is a subtle mix of vanilla, brioche and spiciness. Why pick one neutral spirit over another? A big Texan personality, Beveridge got his start in oil and gas exploration, eventually ending up in the mortgage business in Austin. (Or Hudson Mule?). Best Vodka Runners-Up Barr Hill Vodka. https://robbreport.com/food-drink/spirits/gallery/best-vodkas-2903241 But if you’re going to drink it straight, garnish with a twist instead of olives. It has a clean nose and smooth, balanced finish. Based on the often overlooked main ingredient in any spirit — water — Spring 44 set up shop in Colorado, near a spring owned by the father of one of the founders. Photo Illustration: Brad Japhe. The European Vodka (distilled five times) is made in France, but the American Vodka (distilled six times) is made in California. A portion of the proceeds from each bottle goes to supporting artists directly with grants, and it’s packaged in a cool clear bottle with an eye-catching graphic treatment of the brand’s name. Flavor: Sweet corn, mushroom, apricot, white pepper Best In: Bloody Mary, Moscow Mule, Kale-Cucumber Collins, Negroski Origin: United States Vodka is a chemical product consisting of C2H5OH, ethyl alcohol, and water. It is the most singularly interesting vodka I have ever tasted that is true to its grain-only roots, and it makes a fine bone-dry martini — just think about putting vermouth in as you make it, and that will be enough. It was neutral enough that it wouldn’t shock someone who’s used to one of the classic Russian or Polish brands, but the floral notes elevated cocktails that were usually made with those old-school guys (keep in mind that the cosmopolitan era was in full swing). Although the idea that vodka should be as neutral as possible is still the prevailing attitude, some of the most exciting products on the market aren’t afraid to let their ingredients show. The Manual Spirit Awards 2018 recognize the best damn booze in America. We use cookies to provide you with a great experience and to help our website run effectively. The brand is owned by MGP Ingredients, which is widely known for contract whiskey distilling out of … Microdistilled in small batches in Austin, Texas, for a super crisp and clean finish, Tito's can certainly go toe-to-toe with any luxury vodka. 2. Perhaps the biggest success story in all of American vodka is that of Tito Beveridge, who despite his perfect name for the craft, took a circuitous route to distillation. Sunshine” for the orange flavor — trust me: Go for it anyway. After a slow, cold fermentation, it’s passed through a column still and then blended with water to get it to the standard 80 proof (40 percent alcohol). "Maker’s Mark 46 has been aged longer than its younger brother [it spends nine extra weeks with virgin French oak staves inserted in the barrel], leaving the flavors to intensify without becoming overpowering," says Reniel Garcia, bar director of Havana 1957 in Miami Beach. Cider is made from an orchard a mere five miles away from the distillery, and is then distilled in small batches on a copper pot still. Sign up for the best of Food Republic, delivered to your inbox Tuesday and Thursday. The Best American-Made Booze From absinthe made in Kentucky to vodka from Texas, producers in the U.S. have been mastering crafts that originated on foreign shores. Still, when lining up the best bottles of booze to buy at Costco, The Kitchn appreciated the smoothness of the six-time-distilled American vodka. © 2020 Food Republic. 21 Best Bottles Of Vodka To Try In 2020. By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies. Grey Goose and Belvedere had brought a full-flavored style (think fewer nail-polish remover and antiseptic notes), and it wasn’t the fact that it was American that intrigued me — it was the bright aromatic qualities that resulted from using grapes for a portion of the base distillate. The Elk Rider Corn Vodka won the Bronze Medal from the American Distilling Institute in both 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. ($25 at drizly.com) He is the former beverage manager for the Dutch in New York City and is currently working on the opening of Agern, Danish chef Claus Meyer’s planned restaurant in Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal. By Lauren Hubbard. $21.99 BUY NOW. There was an experimental bent to the original brand: They weren’t afraid to try a short run of wasabi or spicy-pear expressions. South Fork Vodka is a six-time distilled spirit that is 100-percent gluten-free and non-GMO. Skyy Vodka. I am not overly patriotic but Americans make very high quality products not to mention some of the best beers, wines and spirits in the world. It is so highly distilled that it is 90+% ethanol before it is bottled. Why Absolut Elyx Is Launching A Line Of Luxury Des... Is “Hard Seltzer” Just Bottled Vodka S... St. George Spirits Is America’s Craftiest Distil... Flavorless No More: How Craft Distillers Are Chang... 15 Types Of Grapes To Know, Eat And Drink. That mandate eventually expired, and in 2014, Cole and distilling partner Crispin Cain released their first bottle of the somewhat clumsily named Vodka DSP CA 162. Tuthilltown made its initial splash on the spirits scene with its tiny bottles of specialty whiskey, made exclusively from New York grains on the site of a 200-year-old mill and known as the Hudson brand. But Medoyeff is made in Portland, Oregon... Hanson of Sonoma Original Organic Vodka. The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 34 American-made unflavored craft vodkas with 11 members of our spirits judging panel. American Vodka – American Made. No big marketing push here; just a fairly priced spirit. Although it is delicious out of the bottle over ice, it can be used in any number of citrus cocktails and makes a damn good Moscow Mule. Author: The most ubiquitous vodka brand in the United States, Tito's is the best vodka to keep stocked up at home for any sipping occasion. This is one of the best vodkas on the market today. Tuthilltown Spirit’s Indigenous Fresh Pressed Apple Vodka. Best Overall: Maker’s Mark 46. They come with a long line of flavored vodkas so pick your favorite flavor and you will find your favorite vodka. While some might be turned off by the varietals’ unorthodox names, usually referencing the ingredients — e.g. Tito himself has been known to just pop in and hang out at the bar, and it definitely helps that his is one of the most affordable bottles of vodka on the shelf. https://vinepair.com/buy-this-booze/20-best-vodka-brands-2020 “There’s a grainy sweetness to it,” he says. 3. The vodka is based on three grains (wheat, rye and corn) and then blended with water from the nearby artesian well. And that’s because, unlike most “premium” vodka, it’s only distilled once. We've awarded the top American liquors across nine categories, including vodka. Part of the appeal, surely, was the company’s expertise in distillation, a natural progression from brewing (since the first step in making a grain spirit is to essentially brew a beer, known as the mash). It’s made from corn for a deep, rich flavor, and Abou-Ganim is a long-time fan. From bloody marys to classic martinis and cosmos, these are the best vodkas to stock your bar with. It's smooth, smooth and traditional vodka, making it great for drinking straight or in cocktails. Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka. The Best Vodka Brands to Stock Your Bar Cart With. Neat in a glass, it’s clear from its viscosity that OYO is different from the thin stuff you find in your bartender’s well. The basic “blue label” Hangar One is still a great vodka, but whether the recipe has been adjusted, or it’s just that it is now up against a much larger field of compelling vodkas, the spirit is in that liminal stage between cool-kid brand and OG standby. It has already become one of the most awarded vodkas in Northern California. I know what you’re thinking—Medoyeff sounds vaguely... foreign. All Rights Reserved. 8. The spirit is made in the marijuana-growing mecca of Humboldt County using a process described as “virgin coconut carbon filtration.” Whatever that means, the end result is pretty innocuous, but the cleanliness factor is more pleasant than medicinal. Van Gogh Vodka. Speaking of water, Sonoma Valley Artesian well water is … Though U.S. distillers are most widely known and recognized for their many contributions to the whiskey family—bourbon and Tennessee whiskies, in particular—the past couple of decades have seen fantastic spirits of all stripes made by American distillers. Buy on Drizly Buy on ReserveBar. Ballast Point fired up its still back in 2008, and the company now makes a number of different products, including a cleverly canned gin and tonic. Western Son. While there are plenty of harsh, beastly vodkas on the market, producers across the States, from California to New York, have mastered their own spin on the crystal clear spirit—and their vodkas are well worth your attention. Heritage Distilling is the most awarded craft distillery in North America by the American Distilling Institute (ADI). And some of the most stunning examples of these fantastic spirits can be found in the vodka category. To ensure the vodkas are meeting quality standards, every batch is taste-tested by the “Guardians of Prairie,” a panel of highly trained and highly picky employees. OYO (pronounced oh-why-oh) is made specifically from organically grown Ohio soft red winter wheat. Internet research leads me to believe (if the sleuths are correct), that this particular bottle was distilled by the former owners of Grey Goose. Here are six of the best American vodkas out there. Since the 1950s, the U.S. has been a huge consumer of vodka, so much so that Smirnoff long ago realized it would be cheaper to manufacture its product here rather than in Mother Russia. The Tito’s team, unlike the slickly suited representatives of the major brands, might be flipping burgers on the grill next to an open bar at a charity event, or popping up with a photo booth in your local bar. Check your email for a confirmation link. 10 Best American Craft Vodka Brands The Art of American Craft Vodkas. Despite its reputation as a flavorless and odorless spirit, vodka can vary dramatically depending on a few different factors: what it’s distilled from, the quality of the original ingredients, and the care put into its production. American distilleries are famous for claiming they make the best spirit they are distilling, the original, and, in this case, the renaissance. Last year, a consumer study revealed the top 5 vodkas preferred by American consumers , listing Grey Goose as the favorite. It would be difficult to try them all, especially when you consider all the various flavored options now available. “Citrus Reticulata var. This is not an apple-flavored vodka by any means. There’s more nuance here, and some of that vanilla-like sweetness that makes Belvedere so delicious. Although made from a mixture of different grains, the corn in the mash provides a distinct sweetness that balances out the palate nicely, while still finishing super-clean. Without a doubt, RAVE Reviews’ pick for best overall vodka is Vavoom Vodka. Like the original Hangar One, the straight vodka is a blend of a wheat spirit with distilled aromatics grapes (Viognier, again, as well as Riesling). Actually, it doesn’t have to be better by the mere fact of being Russian. 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