Vodkas at a Cheap Price in 2022

Anthony Baker, The Cocktail Professor, says that many cheap vodkas have a “bite to them” and what he calls “a stench”. Baker believes that this is why his colleagues at the top-profile Manhattan bars, such as The Grill and The Aviary, have looked down upon the spirit. He says, “But I do enjoy a lot of vodkas.” He prefers vodkas with a briskness, no bite or strong aftertaste. The beauty of vodka is its cleanliness. However, this doesn’t mean the spirit must be bland at all prices.

Best Overall: Reyka

  • RegionIceland
  • ABV: 40%
  • Tasting NotesWater, wheat, and slate

Reyka is made from Icelandic glacial water, filtered through 4,000-year-old volcanic rock. It’s then run through Carter-Head stills that are heated by geothermal energy. It’s light-bodied, slightly mineral-water flavour and silky wheat notes. The finished spirit is a sustainably-produced spirit that gives off a crisp, clean kick.

Best for Martinis: Hangar 1

  • RegionCalifornia
  • ABV: 40%
  • Taste Notes: Orange and white pepper.

This vodka was produced at California’s Naval Air Station Alameda. It is a mixture of two spirits: one that is wheat-based and column-distilled vodka and one that is made from viognier grapes. They were both distilled in copper pot stills. This blend delivers the perfect balance of mellow sweetness with savoury, spicy spice. You can mix it clean, dirty, dry, or wet to make a variety of martinis that will please everyone.

Woody Creek Distillers: Best Potato

  • Region: Colorado
  • ABV: 40%
  • Tasting Notes: Potato, pepper, cream

This vodka is made from Colorado Rio Grande russet, Chepita, and Lady Claire potatoes, grown high in the distillers’ fields. It’s the first spud-based vodka Tony Abbou-Ganim (author of Vodka Distilled). It is a bold, big sip that has been distilled only once to enhance the raw material’s “funky and earthy, vegetal” flavour.

Best Russian: Beluga Noble

  • RegionRussia
  • ABV: 40%
  • Taste Notes: Lavendar and wheat.

Baker says the vodka’s “bite of savoriness” is complemented by a super-clean finish. Slava Borisov (a Russian mixologist) is the head of the Travelle bar at The Langham in Chicago. This spirit is made with Siberian artesian water, triple-filtered through birch, silver and quartz, then rest for a month before bottling. Borisov says this expression embodies the Russian expression “as pure as a teardrop”.

Absolut Peppar is the best for Bloody Marys

  • Region: Sweden
  • ABV: 40%
  • Taste Notes: Black pepper and white pepper, Chilli flakes

Abou-Gamin notes black pepper while Baker notes dried red pepper flakes and white pepper in this bristling, but not too intensely-flavoured vodka. This bottle is easy to use for brunch, even an elemental Bloody Mary. Baker says you can make the drink without adding any spice, but this vodka will add mild heat.


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