17 Best Vodkas For Every Home Bar
Vodka is a key component in every home bar, whether it’s a fully kitted-out wet bar in the basement, or a small cabinet off the kitchen. No matter how many bottles you have, it’s always a good idea to stock a selection of them, because there are many different expressions of this seemingly straightforward spirit. It can be crafted from potatoes, grains, sugar beets, and even, in the case of one of the vodkas below, quinoa. Beyond the base ingredients that are steeped in water and inoculated with yeast to be fermented, the ways in which the distillation is handled also affect the final product. And we’re not even going to address the huge impact that the source of the water that’s used to bring it back to proof has. The important part here is to understand that vodka, that famously clear and supposedly flavorless spirit, is full of character.
The trick is deciding which ones to buy, because even among non-flavored vodkas, the options are seemingly infinite. What’s it distilled from? How many times has it been filtered? Is there anything special about the water used to bring it back to proof? With so many options, things can get confusing quickly. The 17 below are all worth space in your home spirits set-up. They represent a range of flavor profiles, countries of origin, and price points. All of them, however, are well worth your consideration.
Broken Shed Premium Vodka
Crafted in Wanaka, New Zealand and distilled from whey, this vodka brought to proof using water from both the North and South Island. It showcases suggestions of stone fruit, mashed yellow apples, and vanilla crème, all carried on a particularly velvety texture.
Distilled in Italy from a base of organic Italian wheat grown in Piedmont, filtered through black diamonds, and finally micro-oxygenated, this is a silky, elegant, and delicate vodka that’s kissed with notes of peach, almond, and springtime flowers, with a whisper of mintiness on the finish.
Chopin Family Reserve Extra Rare Young Potato Vodka
This would make for a decadent vodka Martini, but it certainly rewards sipping on its own, too: Citrus oils, white licorice, and sweet root vegetable notes swirl from the glass and are carried on a remarkable silky frame.
FAIR Quinoa Vodka
Fair Trade certified, organic quinoa from the Bolivian Altiplano forms the heart of this vodka (corn spirit is also incorporated), which is distilled in Cognac, France. It’s a vegan, gluten-free spirit whose subtle sweetness, suggestions of mashed Marcona almonds, and silky texture benefit a wide range of cocktails.
This vodka, produced in Finland, is made entirely from Finnish Suomi barley and then brought to proof with glacier water from the Rajamäki spring. The resulting spirit expresses less fruit than many counterparts and more in the way of minerality. It’s a bracing vodka that makes an excellent ice-cold Martini, preferably very dry, with a twist of lemon oils. This can be found for around $20, which makes it an easy and smart addition to your home bar set-up.
So popular that its fans often don’t bother with the full name: It’s like Beyoncé, or Cher, or Tiger. Just: Goose. Based on French winter wheat and spring water, this boasts a plush texture that carries notes of citrus and subtle flowers. It’s stellar in a broad range of cocktails, and makes for a particularly unforgettable Vesper.
Crafted from Japanese rice and filtered through charcoal made of bamboo, this vodka from Suntory is generous and subtle. Its sippable sweetness frames flavors of vanilla and almond blossoms.
Humboldt Distillery Vodka
Certified organic and crafted in Fortuna, California, this is a clean, warming vodka that’s both plush and generous. Made from American sugarcane and distilled four times, it hints at chamomile and spearmint alongside lemon oils, and very subtle spice.
All of the proceeds from sales of this vodka go to Razom, which helps fund humanitarian causes and relief organizations in Ukraine. It’s a well-vetted organization, and the vodka, produced from California grapes and American grain, is a velvet-textured spirit with notes of pears, lemons, and minerality through the finish. It’s excellent in a Gibson.
One of the true vodka heavyweights, the telltale lemon notes in Ketel One make it well-suited to a Martini with a twist, and its spice stands up to the onions in a Gibson.
Ocean Organic Vodka
Distilled in Hawaii from organically grown sugar cane, then cut to proof with purified deep-sea water from 3,000 feet below the surface at the base of Mauna Kea, this is a fascinating vodka that balances sweet autumn orchard fruit and subtle salinity (making it excellent with fried and cured snacks), all carried on a light, energetic texture. The company also supports the Pacific Whale Foundation, so you can stir up a Martini with it and feel like you’re doing right by the planet…the definition of a win-win!
Ogden’s Own Distillery Five Husbands Vodka
This Utah-based distillery has been a sponsor of the Utah Pride Festival for a number of years, and crafts a range of notable spirits. Five Husbands was initially a limited-release bottling for the 2019 festival, but it’s since become part of their core range, with some of the profits from sales going to various LGBTQ+ organizations. As for the vodka itself, it’s assertive and subtly lifted, with a simmer of spice through the finish — a nice counterpoint to cranberry and club soda.
Tattersall Small Batch Vodka
Gluten-free and certified USDA organic, this is distilled from corn that was grown on the Minnesota farm owned by the family of the head distiller. It’s an assertive yet balanced spirit, with flavors of corn nuts and sweet potatoes complicated with quiet herbal notes that make the finish particularly fresh and well-suited to cocktails, especially when made with good dry vermouth.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
This corn-based vodka, distilled in Austin, Texas, is fresh, subtly sweet, and seamed with spice, making it perfect for a Gibson, a dirty Martini, or even one with a bit of pickle brine in it.
Crafted entirely from apples grown in New York State, and distilled by Sauvage Distillery in Charlotteville, NY, this is a wonderful different side of vodka: Ripe apple sweetness frames it all, and hints of brown-butter cookies and vanilla ring through the long, delicious finish. Try this one on the rocks, neat, or in a very dry Martini.
Woody Creek Vodka
This 100% Colorado-potato vodka boasts notable aromatic complexity, with dried flowers and dehydrated apples, before a ripe, almost sweet palate of melons and mashed pears. While this will work in a range of cocktails, it’s easily good enough to sip on its own.
This is not a vodka — it doesn’t fit the technical definition — but a fantastic alternative spirit for a home bar that can be used in many of the same cocktails, though with slightly different results. It’s distilled from the whey that’s left over from dairy production, and has a distinct coconut custard-like character alongside notes of orange creamsicle, mashed bananas, and vanilla pastry crème. In a riff on a Negroni (trust us here!), it’s remarkable.