Vodka is a staple in Russian culture. Drink specials on happy hour menus-and in general liquor bottle display places-and liquor stores worldwide carry vodka–but what makes Russian brands so much better than others?
Many Russian vodka brands use rich ingredients and old-fashioned distillation processes that improve the overall quality of the spirit. They’re the main ingredient in countless drinks every bartender should know and add quite a kick.
When you order vodka cocktails, the bartender may ask you for your vodka preference. By knowing the differences between one vodka to another, you’ll be able to choose knowing what to expect. Learn all about bartending practices from our complete bartender's guide book.
Vodka is one of the most high demand products in Russia. Let’s dive into which brands are the best.
Top 10 Russian Vodka Brands
Russians view vodka as the best alcohol for shots and prefer drinking it neat over adding it to cocktails. You’ll often find vodka as a primary ingredient across beverages ranging from refreshing summer cocktails to cozy winter cocktail recipes. However, it’s drunk in a much simpler fashion in Russia.
Let’s take a closer look at the ten best Russian vodka brands to drink right now:
Pure water from Siberian artesian wells and malt spirit make Beluga Noble vodka a stellar choice. The bottled vodka has a rich yet soft flavor profile ideal for making popular cocktails or sipping neat.
The natural components of Beluga’s vodka pass through a three-step filtration system. Then, the vodka is set out for thirty days. Distillers can eliminate the hard flavor and odor by leaving the vodka out, neutralizing the final product.
As a vodka that remains loyal to its Russian Roots, Green Mark is reflective of its heritage. Natural Russian ingredients are part of each batch. Then, traditional distillation methods complete the product to deliver a clean finish every time.
The brand’s name comes from Russia’s “green checkmark of approval” from the Russian government’s quality assurance. By implementing aspects of Russian tradition, Green Mark quickly became a favorite.
To this day, Green Mark’s ingredient sourcing and production remain in Russia.
Hammer + Sickle
If you’re searching for fresh and crisp vodka, Hammer + Sickle is a delicious option. The vodka offers a rounder and bold mouthfeel with a smooth finish. Even though Hammer + Sickle’s original vodka isn’t flavored, you might detect slight notes of vanilla.
Hammer + Sickle sources all of its ingredients from a multi-generational family in Russia. Culture is a principal component of Hammer + Sickle’s vodka, as they constantly honor their heritage through every bottle.
The meticulous distillation and filtration systems make Hammer + Sickle vodka one of the most luxurious brands from Russia. Plus, the winter wheat from the black soil of Southern Russia provides the products with one of the cleanest tastes you can find.
Vodka connoisseurs and new consumers will appreciate the homage that Hammer + Sickles pays to Russian culture and its perfect taste.
Harsh and cold environments are where Husky’s vodka gets its pristine finish. Cold filtration technologies clean the spring water from Siberia.
Frigid temperatures allow the filters to absorb more impurities. After passing through this kind of system, Husky vodka is pure at the highest level.
The inspiration for the name “Husky” comes from the dog of the exact origin. The vodka and dog breed both showcase traits of ice-cold temperatures. Russian vodka enthusiasts and animal lovers can’t miss the paw print engraving on the crisp blue bottles from Husky.
Jewel of Russia
It’s not every day that you purchase a piece of art with your liquor. Each Jewel of Russia bottle has a hand-painted label featuring imagery reflective of Russian culture. The artist’s signature also offers each label a slight personal touch.
The vodka inside the beautiful bottles consists of high-quality Russian ingredients. The water in each recipe comes from 500-feet-deep artesian wells. Winter wheat and rye function as the grain sources in Jewel of Russia vodka.
Each batch of vodka goes through a five-stage distillation process of traditional Russian methods, resulting in a smooth and clean finish.
Jewel of Russia offers authentic, top-shelf vodka. The luxurious spirit is likely worth the high price tag. Plus, the artistic bottles will serve as stunning decor behind bars and conversation pieces in homes.
Marmont vodka is a Russian vodka from one of the country’s oldest distilleries. The premium-quality vodka comes from a balance of craftsmanship and tradition.
Marmont uses natural ingredients and implements a sustainable distillation process for a luxurious result. Marmont’s flavor profile is bold, smooth, and crisp. Its production method has roots in Russia, making it a national favorite.
Russian Standard Vodka is an ultra-clean, high-quality vodka. The smooth and delicious spirit stems from a cross between craft, technology, history, and revolution.
The brand represents an incredible convergence of science and nature. The inspiration for their recipe comes from famous Russian scientist Dmitri Mendeleev. Mendeleev's research revolved around stability and the science of natural order. So, their goal was to create the perfect balance of water and alcohol.
Russian Standard Vodka incorporates the soft glacial waters of Lake Ladoga. This water naturally contains few impurities from its granite basin created by glaciers during the last Ice Age.
The winter wheat grows throughout the rich black soil of the Russian Steppes. The grain contributes to the final result’s unique flavor and aroma profile. Though it may not suit mixed drink recipes, it is ideal on the rocks.
All ingredients are brought together in a state-of-the-art distillery in St. Petersburg. The vodka goes through a distillation process over 250 times, resulting in the purest version of the liquor.
It’s no surprise that the oldest vodka brand is also the most popular. Since 1864, Smirnoff has been a pioneer in the alcoholic beverage industry.
Though the original recipe and origin come from Russia, its roots are no longer part of the brand. Pyotr Arsenievich Smirnov founded Smirnoff’s first distillery in Moscow. After the Russian Revolution, the brand was sold to the United States. As of now, Smirnoff is owned by Diageo and is still a product of the United States.
Smirnoff has become the best-selling well liquor brand for the classic version and flavored options in recent years. Smirnoff’s formulators are master mixologists and create beverages inspired by popular cocktail recipes.
The brand also keeps up with emerging trends by creating ready-to-drink vodka beverages, hard seltzers, etc.
As the premium vodka brand, Stoli merges modern distilling processes with original traditions to produce a bold, timeless vodka.
Stoli distills most of its vodka from grain. The brand also caters to dietary restrictions and offers a gluten-free version of its premium vodka. The gluten-free version uses corn and buckwheat during the distillation process.
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Stoli Group also uses its influence as one of the top premium wine and spirits sellers to promote sustainability. Stoli collaborates with the ReSea Project, which aims to fight plastic pollution throughout our oceans.
Customers make a difference with each Stoli purchase. For every bottle, Stoli funds the removal of roughly ten plastic bottles from oceans and rivers worldwide. Considering the reputation of Stoli spirits, their efforts are sure to make an impact in the years to come.
The blend of Russian winter wheat and rye produces a clean finish. Zyr delivers a pure style of Russian vodka that is favorable to many consumers.
Zyr vodka goes through five distillation stages, allowing the result to contain maximum purity and a smooth finish. After this process, crystal clear water is added to the vodka.
Frequently Asked Questions About Russian Vodka Brands
What Is the Best Russian Vodka?
Russian Standard Vodka contains the highest quality ingredients and goes through the distillation process more than any other vodka. Its recipe and production methods result in a delicious, smooth vodka popular for sipping neat and in cocktails.
What Brands of Vodka Are Popular In Russia?
Russian Standard, Stoli, and Zyr are a few of the most popular vodka brands in Russia. All three brands use top-notch ingredients from Russian territory.
Each brand uses distillation processes that ensure a crisp finish with an enjoyable flavor profile.
What Is the Number One Russian Vodka?
Stoli is probably the most famous and favorable vodka brand in Russia. Consumers and bar staff prefer Stoli products since they use traditional methods with modern distillation technologies.
Plus, the company’s sustainability efforts give customers a sense of purpose upon each sale.