The 10 Best Russian Vodkas

Vodka is a classic spirit for any bar to stock. Whether it’s added to orange juice, to soda, milk, or just drunk straight. It is a staple of a huge range of different drinks, mixes, and cocktails you can order at virtually any establishment that sells alcohol. No great bar is without a good type of vodka in stock.

Vodka and Russia have a history going back centuries. First being introduced in the 1400s, Russia quickly developed its distilling process by the following century. By the middle of the 1800s, it made up almost half of Russia’s state revenue, due to the explosion of vodka distilleries that had opened in the last few years. 

Today, the vodka-loving Russian stereotype is as widely known as it can be tiresome. Still, despite how well-worn a stereotype it is, it’s not unfounded: Vodka is still one of the most popular drinks in Russia.

And with so many high-quality kinds of Vodka on the market, it’s not hard to see why. With such a range of brands names and kinds of Vodka to choose from, it can often feel like you’re just throwing darts at a dartboard, hoping that you eventually hit on a vodka you enjoy.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best Russian Vodkas on the market. With a whole range of brands and flavors of all different kinds, you’ll be able to find just the right stuff for you.

OUR TOP PICK

Russian Standard

If you’re looking for a brand of Vodka that is high in quality, but won’t break the bank when you find it, you’ll want to look for Russian Standard. No list of the best Russian vodkas would be complete without it.
Although not used in every American bar you’ll go to, it can usually be found in any decent grocery store across the country. Plus, the brand is widely used and sold all across Europe, in case you get a taste for this vodka overseas.

Milled and fermented from winter grains found in the Russian Steppes, then distilled through a thorough four-stage process, and filtered through charcoal four times.

This high-quality spirit is internationally recognized as one of the best all-around brands of vodka you can find on the market right now, that goes down smoothly with any kind of vodka-based drink.

And with a whole range of different varieties, from the original to Gold and Platinum varieties that cover all kinds of flavors, you have a great selection to choose from.

Plus, with the original being cheap and easy to find on the market, this is a vodka with a premium taste that anyone can enjoy.

EDITORS CHOICE

Zyr

For a more underrated brand of vodka that still gives a high-quality product to the taste, then Zyr is a name you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for.

Zyr is available now on the market in most countries in North America and Europe, plus it's home country in Russia. It’s an easy brand to find, if you know to look for it.

Produced and distilled just outside of Moscow, the home of high-quality vodka, this spirit is distilled five times, traditionally Russian filtered through charcoal and a sand membrane, then taste-tested three times. This is a well-prepared drink for you to have.

With just a hint of citrus and spices, and no sharp vapors of alcohol like you will find in cheaper brands, this is an excellent vodka to add to any mixer or cocktail drink of your choice.

And with a price that won’t break the bank when you do find it, this is a great brand for anyone who wants to try great flavors at a reasonable price.

BEST VALUE

Green Mark

Named after the classic seal of approval used in Russia in the mid 20th Century, Green Mark bears the name well with this band of Vodka.

Distilled from the crystal-clearest of waters, and mixed from the best winter wheat available, Green mark is the best of classic vodka recipes taken from the 20th century, and brought into the modern-day, and, more importantly, brought to your glass.

This is another great spirit for those who want to try great-tasting alcohol, without busting your wallet to do so.

The sweet, yet subtle softness of this vodka, means that it goes incredibly well with pretty much any drink of your voice, as it blends itself into any cocktail or mixer of your fancy.

While it may not be the ideal spirit to drink straight, it is a great drink to add to anything you might order at the bar.

RUNNER UP

Jewel of Russia Ultra Black Label

This rand of premium vodka is a great all-rounder for how you might want to take your vodka.

Made from fine wheat and rye, distilled from clear fresh waters, if you’re looking for a vodka that is creamy, rich, and with just a hint of spiciness that fades softly into your mouth.

You’ll want to try Jewel of Russia brand vodka. No harsh alcohol vapors, no flavor stays too long on your taste buds. This is a spirit that carries a good taste and doesn’t linger past its welcome in your mouth.

Plus, with a whole range of different types of Jewel of Russia, from berry variations to their black, ultra, and ultra-black labels, you’ll be spoiled for choice picking from this range of vodkas.

If you’re a first-time Jewel-buyer, you might want to start with the original, just to see if this is the right vodka for you.

A vodka that’s great to savor on its own, we recommend having this vodka straight, before deciding if you’d like it in a mixer or cocktail.

RUNNER UP

Beluga

Fresh from the steppes of Siberia, Beluga is a name that people looking for the finest spirits on the market will want to hear.

Using the finest ingredients in their most raw form, filtered five times, and with a resting period for each stage of the distillery process, Beluga vodka is not a spirit that is manufactured; it is crafted.

Each bottle is effectively a work of art, perfected over years of searching for the best way to make the best vodka.

The usual price for Beluga certainly reflects that. Being a super-premium name in the vodka industry, it is one of the pricier spirits you will find out there. But the quality and effort speak for themselves.

With flavors of soft honey, citrus, and white pepper, with just a hint of cereal, it is a unique blend that sits excellently in your mouth, with an aftertaste that will have you coming back for a second try.

Whether served neat or as the base for an awesome cocktail, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this flavorful premium vodka. Whether in its original flavor or as part of its extensive line of flavors and ways to experience it.

RUNNER UP

If you’re looking for a classic vodka recipe that has been perfected over centuries, then Polugar is the name you’ll want to look out for.

Although the brand name is only a few years old, the method of creating this spirit goes back to before the 19th century. Where to test a vodka’s strength, you’d burn off anywhere from half to two-thirds of the liquid and test what was left. Polugar in fact translates to ‘half burnt’ in Russian for this exact reason.

Distilled three times over from a copper pot distiller, this spirit almost has more in common with a single malt scotch than it does most other vodka brands. Filtered through birchwood charcoal, there's an almost rustic flavor to this one, with hints of rye bread and the spice of black pepper.

If you want to see what vodkas used to taste like in centuries gone by, you’ll want to try any of Polugar’s variety of drinks neat, with no extras from mixers or cocktails to hide its flavor.

RUNNER UP

Husky Vodka

Looking for a classic vodka that ranks amongst Siberia’s finest? Then you’ll want to try some Husky vodka as soon as you can. Named after the hardy dog breed of the same name, it is made in the same region that the outdoors breed comes from.

Made using the freshest water from the Arctic circle, in the cold of Omsk in Siberia, and five-times distilled, and from some of the finest grains, the region has to offer.

The icy temperatures that this spirit is prepared at make for some of the purest vodka out there, as many of the impurities at that temperature are caught and filtered out by the process it goes through.

Its pure flavor makes it a great spirit to add to any cocktail or mixer you have in mind, as the company that makes this work with some of the most famous names in the world, like Coca-Cola and the Martel brand.

Considering the relatively low price too, it’s certainly great to try it with whatever mix of choice you want.

RUNNER UP

Moskovskaya Osobaya

Made using traditional vodka-making processes, Moskovskaya Osobaya is a great option if you're looking for a classic vodka drink that won’t do a number on your wallet.

It’s name translates into Moscuvite from Russian, being a reference to the city where it was first created. You can’t get more Russian than that!

Made from the freshest artesian well water and distilled three times, with the best-harvested wheat and grains, this spirit hits the golden ratio for vodka, coming in at 38% alcohol, which is considered the best for good vodka.

With a smooth, peppery flavor that is hinted at just the right amount from a sip, this is a very popular vodka to have in many European countries, as it goes well with a lot of different cocktails and mixer flavors.

For a classic take on an age-old spirit, you can’t go wrong with this vodka name.

RUNNER UP

Drova

A recent addition to the Russian vodka family, Drova is an excellent option for those looking for an organic variety of vodka they would like to try.

Being filtered through charcoal, and giving that classic soft texture with just a hint of that classic wheat flavor, there is already a whole range of flavors available for Drova vodka. 

Only the finest additions are included that allow for its classic flavor to come through, and Drova has found a way to create a perfect blend with their recipe. Whether that’s hazel, cedar, oak, or even honey, there’s a Drova vodka there for you.

RUNNER UP

Stolichnaya

Made using traditional vodka-making processes, Moskovskaya Osobaya is a great option if you're looking for a classic vodka drink that won’t do a number on your wallet.

It’s name translates into Moscuvite from Russian, being a reference to the city where it was first created. You can’t get more Russian than that!

Made from the freshest artesian well water and distilled three times, with the best-harvested wheat and grains, this spirit hits the golden ratio for vodka, coming in at 38% alcohol, which is considered the best for good vodka.

With a smooth, peppery flavor that is hinted at just the right amount from a sip, this is a very popular vodka to have in many European countries, as it goes well with a lot of different cocktails and mixer flavors.

For a classic take on an age-old spirit, you can’t go wrong with this vodka name.

Conclusion

The 10 Best Russian Vodkas

So, we’ve taken you through a world of Russian vodkas, all excellent options that you can buy either at a bar, or in the right store near you. It might be an old stereotype that has been well-worn by this point, of Russia and vodka going hand-in-hand with each other.

But sometimes, there’s a grain of truth to those old ideas. And in this case, there’s just no denying the quality that Russia produces when it comes to its spirits.

Mandy Winters
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