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!