The truth is, I’m not a huge vodka drinker. Sure, I can enjoy a really well made vodka, but most of them are just smoke and mirrors, trying to hide their flaws through tons and tons of filtration. Luckily, I do know a thing or two about spirits (even vodka) and I’m pretty good at seeing through the marketing hype to identify the best of the best and help you find the perfect bottle for the holidays this year. Without further ado, here are the 5 vodkas that deserve serious consideration for your holiday gift giving.
Absolut Vodka- Some things are just classics. Rich and creamy, this vodka is the perfect choice for a vodka martini, and yet versatile enough to mix well with whatever else you might throw at it. I always keep a bottle of Absolut on hand for Bloody Marys, vodka Martinis and Moscow Mules. Buy this for- your boss who drinks vodka martinis or your douchey friend who drinks overpriced vodka and doesn’t know any better.
Absolut Citron Vodka- I hate flavored vodkas. I really do. Except Absolut, the originator of the flavored vodka category with the first release of Citron. While all of Absolut’s flavors are clean and genuine (and don’t feature flavors like purple, marshmallow or cotton candy), Citron remains the best of the best. With a clean, citrus flavor, eminent mixability and a great price point, a bottle of Absolut Citron will be greeted with a smile this season. Buy this for- Your friend who drinks vodka sodas with a twist, anyone who appreciates Lemondrops and those that live in cold weather climates that would appreciate the bright flavor of Citron during the gray winter days.
Karlsson’s Gold Vodka- Most potato vodkas are so filtered that the base flavor is nonexistent. Not so with Karlsson’s. The flavor is mind-blowing and a must try for any serious vodka afficionado. Perhaps best consumed on the rocks, and maybe with a twist, this is a vodka to open people’s eyes to the possibilities of vodka. Buy this for- Your father in law who drinks vodka rocks, those who appreciate the finer things in life and that friend of yours who has horrid taste in everything. A person should have good taste in at least one thing and Karlsson’s Gold is a good place to start.
Dry Fly Washington Wheat Vodka- What Karlsson’s is to potato vodka, Dry Fly is to wheat. Made from grain grown just miles from the distillery, this Washington state vodka will convert even the most ardent vodka snob. Buy this for- Doctors, lawyers, judges and politicians. Oh, and people you like too. This is pretty damn good craft vodka, not neutral grain spirit that was bought, cut, filtered and sold to consumers for an exorbitant amount of money, Dry Fly is one of the few “craft” distillers that actually make their vodka from scratch.
Alchemia Ginger Infused Polish Vodka- While the people at Galliano probably won’t be too happy when they see the Alchemia vodka bottle, this is an impressive Polish vodka with a great ginger bite. Try this one in a Moscow Mule or mixed with apple cider for an outstanding drink. Alchemia makes chocolate and wild cherry versions too (untasted, although I am eager to), which may warrant a look. Buy this for- Your fashion obsessed friend who will appreciate the design of both the bottle and the vodka inside. Or your friend who works in finance and sucks down vodka sodas like he’s the second coming of Bernie Madoff. Ginger settles the stomach and in this market, buy him a few extra bottles. He might need them soon.