Monday, September 26, 2011

5 vodkas that all taste the same… and are cheaper than Grey Goose.

Vodka drinkers are a funny lot. In contrast to imbibers of other spirits, the vodka crowd seems especially attached to a particular brand, with little interest in trying something new. So when you don’t carry Grey Goose (rolls eyes) for their vodka n’ cranberry, all hell breaks loose. Most of the time, they settle for Belvedere, or they really have to slum it and drink Ketel One. I always try to recommend something more affordable and up to par in terms of craftsmanship, which is typically something with a hard-to-pronounce name from Russia. Why pay 10 bucks for a spirit if you’re going to drown it in juice or soda?

A typical conversation:

Bar patron: “I’ll have a grey goose and diet.”

Me: “I’m sorry but we don’t carry Grey Goose. But I can recommend a similar vodka. We have Russian Standard or Hangar One…”

Bar Patron: Interrupts with a look of disgust “Fine, make it a Ketel and diet.”

Me: “Sure…but we also don’t have diet coke.” Smiles apologetically

Bar Patron: Murders me with their eyes

So here are my recommendations for vodka drinkers who want something good and don’t care about brand recognition. And you’ll have a ton of extra money left over to buy cranberry juice!

Russian Standard $22 for 750ml

They say it's the number one selling vodka in Russia! Need I say more? I once accidentally poured this for a Ketel drinker and they didn't know the difference. Mwahaha.

Tito’s Organic $18 for 750ml

Small batch vodka distilled in Austin, Texas. Works great in a Bloody Mary AND it’s organic.

Kirkland Brand Vodka $30 for 1.75L
If you see this in Costco, buy it! No, it won’t fit in your liquor cabinet, but it makes a great conversation piece. I suspect it’s just Belvedere with a different label. They practically give it away.

Svedka $12 for 750

It’s cheap and it tastes like…vodka!

Sobiesky $12 for 750ml

Tastes just like…Svedka! Oh, and the folks in Poland love it.

*Be advised, these are recommendations for vodkas that I find similar to each other. I’m not saying that Ciroc tastes just like Ketel One. I’m not delving into the nuances of rye vodkas vs. potato vodkas. Don’t get your trousers in a knot, vodka drinkers, I’m just here to help!

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