For a long time, good vodka was about neutrality – the less flavour, the better. But after more than a decade of botanical-infused gin reigning supreme as the nation’s go-to tipple, the vodka scene is changing.
Where once a lack of taste was a virtue, now more and more spirits are bigging up their characterful profile. Vodka is finally getting some personality.
In a category once dominated by big brands, craft distillers are emerging. They’re using the same innovation and passion as they did for the gin wave a few years back, sourcing ingredients thoughtfully and thinking outside of the box. You can find vodkas made from almost anything these days – even quinoa, milk and rice – with intriguing results.
While you will probably already know the leading brands like Smirnoff and Grey Goose – who have big followings for a reason – in our round up, we’ve largely given preference to these craft distillers, focussing on smaller labels that you may not have heard of. Some are old, some are new, but all express a distinct character and are delicious to drink.
So, regardless of whether you like to drink your vodka in a martini, have it with soda, sip it straight or mix it into a cocktail, we’ve found a variety of spirits perfect for each and every drinker.
How we tested
First we sampled our vodkas – which come from Eastern Europe but also Britain, Japan and Africa – neat at room temperature, so we could get a sense of how they tasted in their purest form. Then we diluted them with store-bought ice water to draw out their natural flavours. Only those that were both delicious and showed good value for money were included on our list of the best vodkas below.
The best vodkas for 2022 are:
- Best overall – Dima’s Ukrainian vodka: £35, Dimasvodka.com
- Best light profile – Vusa Vodka: £22.45, Thewhiskyexchange.com
- Best for a good cause – Vodka 4 Peace European edition: £29.90, Vodka4peace.co.uk
- Best for Asian flavours – Haku Vodka: £29.99, Thebottleclub.com
- Best for fruit fiends – Dutch Barn orchard vodka: £27, Asda.com
- Best zero-waste vodka – Discarded Grape Skin chardonnay vodka: £29.95, Thewhiskyexchange.com
- Best American vodka – Jeptha Creed original vodka: £34.95, Thewhiskyexchange.com
- Best outrageous indulgence – Petrossian caviar vodka: £190, Petrossian.fr
- Best for whiskey drinkers – X Muse Scottish barley vodka: £55, Xmusevodka.com
- Best for mixing – Portobello Road British potato vodka: £24, Threshers.co.uk
- Best British grain-to-glass – Copper Rivet Distillery vela vodka: £25.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best potato vodka – Chopin potato vodka: £29.49, Thedrinksbasket.com
- Best for dirty martinis – Oxford Rye organic vodka: £34.95, Theoxfordartisandistillery.com
- Best for richer cocktails – Black Cow pure milk vodka: £25, Majestic.co.uk
- Best for Bloody Marys – Isle of Wight Distillery mermaid salt vodka: £37.99, Masterofmalt.com