The world of vodka is vast and diverse, with countless brands vying for your attention. However, for those seeking an exceptional experience, the realm of luxury vodkas beckons. These premium spirits, crafted with meticulous attention to detail and exceptional ingredients, offer a level of smoothness, refinement, and nuance that sets them apart from their mainstream counterparts. Whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur or simply looking to elevate your next cocktail or celebratory toast, exploring the world of luxury vodka can be a truly rewarding journey. This article delves into the world’s finest vodkas, exploring their unique characteristics, production methods, and the stories behind their creation. So, raise a glass and prepare to embark on a voyage of discovery through the exquisite world of the best luxury vodka.
Are you looking to add a high-end bottle to your bar? StudyFinds lists the top seven best luxury vodka brands most recommended by 10 experts. Did one of your favorites not make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
➡️ How Our “Best Of The Best” Lists Are Created
StudyFinds’ “Best of the Best” articles are put together with the idea of taking the work out of common consumer research. Ever find yourself searching for a product or service on Google and reading multiple reviews to find items listed across many of them? Our Best of the Best lists are created with that process in mind, with each item ranked by how frequently it appears on expert reviews or lists. With Best of the Best, you are getting consensus picks — making them truly the best of the best!
The List: Best Luxury Vodkas, According to Experts
Topping the list of best luxury vodkas is Absolut. Luxe Digital ranks it best overall. “Unlike many vodkas on the market (we’re looking at you, Smirnoff), Absolut contains no added sugar. This, combined with its premium taste and determination to use only the highest quality ingredients, positions the brand as our best overall vodka in the world. While Absolut offers plenty of flavor variations, its original, unflavored vodka should be a staple of any liquor cabinet. It’s one of the cleanest vodkas available, with a crisp, pure taste that’s somehow also full-bodied and complex.”
“Absolut is a bar-staple vodka because it really does tick all the boxes,” writes Evening Standard. “It’s not especially expensive on a per-liter basis. It’s a neutral vodka (with subtle hints of sweetness and black pepper), which means it works in a full range of long drinks. It’s made using Swedish winter wheat, which is grown on one single estate in Southern Sweden and is sustainably sourced. Absolut may come in a full range of flavors but it’s hard to beat the OG.”
One of the more popular versions is the Absolut Elyx. “While you may not think of a mainstay brand like Sweden’s Absolut as coming with a locally-sourced pedigree, the brand works to craft everything from the wheat and water that goes into the distillation to the glass bottles it packages in from around its home base in southern Sweden,” notes Town & Country Magazine. “Their ultra-luxe Elyx (42.3% ABV) range is even sourced from grains from a single estate and manually distilled in a vintage copper still to create an extra-smooth spirit that’s perfect for martinis and other vodka-forward cocktail applications.”
Experts love Belvedere Vodka for its flavorful notes. “Made from Dankowskie Gold rye and quadruple-distilled, this vodka is bright, with vanilla, almond and citrus notes,” says Decanter. “There’s also a distinct peppery spice thanks to the rye. Belvedere means ‘beautiful to see’, and is inspired by the neoclassical Belweder Palace in Warsaw – the distinctive building that adorns every beautiful frosted bottle.”
“Polish vodka is revered around the world, and Belvedere is our go-to brand. The brand skips the filtration step altogether, which allows the subtle rye flavor to shine through,” writes Elle. “You’re left with a spirit with a botanical edge — slightly sweet and floral — with a hint of minerality and citrus that scored well with our panel.”
Evening Standard notes, “Belvedere Pure Vodka is perpetually one of the top-rated vodkas around and uses one specific type of Polish rye to complete its magical process. A clean, crisp vodka that’s filtered enough times to avoid any kind of hangover (writer’s experience only: not – yet – scientifically proven), Belvedere Pure Vodka is just as pure as its name suggests. Smooth, sharp and gorgeous with tonic water, this 40 percent ABV vodka deserves to be enjoyed on special occasions when you’re looking for something a little fancier.”
3. Grey Goose
Coming third on the list is the ever-popular Grey Goose. “Made with French winter wheat and water from the Cognac region, this French vodka (40% ABV) was one of the first super-premium vodkas ever to hit the market,” states Town & Country Magazine. “With its toasty notes and hints of spice combine with a creamy finish, it’s easy to see why it remains a classic.”
“So popular that its fans often don’t bother with the full name: It’s like Beyoncé, or Cher, or Tiger. Just: Goose. Based on French winter wheat and spring water, this has a plush texture that carries notes of citrus and subtle flowers,” says Food & Wine. “It’s stellar in a broad range of cocktails and makes for a particularly unforgettable Vesper.”
Travel Distilled recommends Grey Goose VX. “Grey Goose shook up the vodka world when it first appeared, having the audacity to make a vodka in the heart of France’s cognac country, by a distiller poached from the cognac industry. Their Grey Goose VX even adds 5% of cognac to the vodka for a fascinating fruity, spicy result with a touch of sweetness.”
Another vodka brand favorite is Ciroc. Elle calls it the best grape vodka. “To understand Ciroc’s appeal, first you need a bit of background. The unique spirit is made from frozen French grapes, which explains the prominent sweetness in each sip. Juicy and refreshing lemon provides balance, making this the ultimate choice for a classic vodka martini.”
“Ciroc Vodka is one of the smoothest vodkas around and sits comfortably in the ‘premium’ category with a whole list of celebrity fans to match,” says Evening Standard. “Made from ‘snap frost’ grapes that are cold fermented before being distilled in a combination of steel and copper stills, it’s a little more refined than your average vodka and comes with a crisp, refreshing taste to match. Its grape foundation makes Ciroc a little fruitier than many others, which means it lends itself to subtle, fruity cocktails.”
The Luxury Editor recommends Ciroc Passion Vodka. Why? “Cîroc Passion Vodka is a new spirit that is luscious, sun–kissed, and silky–smooth. Subtle notes of pineapple, mango, citrus, and hibiscus results in a taste experience that is lusciously different and elegantly smooth. The ombré bottle is inspired by tropical island sunsets, and the contents of the bottle reflect that vibe perfectly.”
Coming in fifth on the list is Dan Aykroyd’s Crystal Head Vodka and its incredibly cool bottle. “Crystal Head Vodka is a premium vodka brand that uses only the highest–quality ingredients and is quadruple-distilled and blended with pristine water, then filtered seven times,” says The Luxury Editor. “It is filtered three times through layers of semi-precious crystals known as Herkimer diamonds, for an exceptionally pure, smooth vodka. The company was founded by Dan Aykroyd and John Alexander, and the iconic skull–shaped bottle was designed by them as a symbol of life. The company‘s mission is to inspire creativity in their consumers and to bring out their creativity without compromise.”
Luxe Digital says it’s the best vodka for a cosmopolitan. “It uses glacial water from Newfoundland to produce a deliciously flavorful vodka with notes of cake frosting and toasted corn. Other notes include peach, black pepper, lemon, and other fruits. It’s so smooth that it’s almost creamy, with hints of vanilla throughout and a unique bottle to display it in. Crystal Head is an award-winning brand and it’s easy to see why.”
Mashed is a fan of the limited-edition Crystal Head John Alexander. “Crystal Head vodka stands out for its top-shelf drink placed in different skull-shaped crystal bottles, but the brand’s John Alexander bottle is like no other. The brand introduced the limited-edition vodka in 2018 to celebrate its 10-year anniversary. Alexander is one of the founders who came up with the iconic design for the skull head, and he is also an artist. The vodka inside the brand’s standard expression is derived from corn, but the bottle itself is gallery-worthy.”
Experts also favor Tito’s Handmade Vodka that’s distilled in Texas’s state capital. “Crafted in Austin, in Texas’s first legal distillery since Prohibition, this corn-based vodka (40% ABV) uses the classic pot still method — a rarity on the vodka scene,” says Town & Country Magazine. “The flavor is slightly sweet with a black pepper note that balances things out whether you’re craving a cocktail that’s on the sweet side or skews savory.”
“This corn-based vodka, distilled in Austin, Texas, is fresh, subtly sweet, and seamed with spice, making it perfect for a Gibson, a dirty Martini, or even a cocktail with a bit of pickle brine in it,” notes Food & Wine.
Travel Distilled writes, “One of the best-known names in US vodka is Tito’s from Texas, partly because they are very good at publicity but they do have a first class product to back it up. Don’t be fooled by its relatively cheap price – it makes a good sipping vodka as well as cocktail mixer.”
7. X Muse
Rounding out the top seven luxury vodkas is X Muse. “X Muse is the first blended barley vodka inspired by the spirit-making traditions of Scotland,” says The Luxury Editor. “Drawn from the history and experience of Scottish spirit-making, heritage barley and the purest water combine to produce a remarkable vodka of the richest, deepest character and qualities creating a new luxury spirit which is great to sip and is also fantastic for cocktails.”
“Pronounced ‘tenth muse’, this Scottish vodka from the Bonnington Estate just west of Edinburgh is a smart spirit full of character,” writes Decanter. “Made from a blend of two different barley varieties (Maris Otter and Plumage Archer), it’s simultaneously creamy and flinty, with flavors of bread, walnuts and hazelnuts, dry cream soda and spicy chilli pepper on the finish.”
Elle highly recommends X Muse Heritage Barley Vodka, calling it the best luxury vodka. “Pronounced ‘tenth muse’, this Scottish spirit — made from barley — is designed for sipping. Testers found it reminded them of grappa (the Italian, grape-based beverage you might have tried on holiday) — with an impressive depth of flavor and light sweetness that lingers.”
What to look for in a luxury bottle:
Vodka is known for its clean and neutral taste, but some premium and artisanal vodkas may have subtle flavor notes that make them stand out. These notes can be quite subtle compared to other spirits like whiskey or rum. Here’s a list of some of the best vodka notes you might encounter in high-quality vodkas:
- Creamy: A smooth and velvety mouthfeel, often associated with well-distilled and filtered vodkas.
- Citrus: Hints of lemon, lime, or orange zest, providing a subtle citrusy freshness.
- Peppery: A mild, spicy kick on the finish, which can add complexity to the vodka’s profile.
- Herbal: Subtle herbal undertones, reminiscent of grass, mint, or basil.
- Nutty: Faint notes of almonds, hazelnuts, or cashews, contributing to a delicate nuttiness.
If you are not an expert on liquor, it could be difficult to tell a bottle of high-quality vodka from your regular rail varieties. But, it happens that there are actually quite a few characteristics that can take vodka to the next level. Luxury vodkas elevate the vodka experience by embodying a combination of exceptional characteristics:
- Premium Ingredients: Luxury vodkas are crafted from the finest ingredients, often utilizing hand-selected grains, pure spring water, and time-honored distillation techniques.
- Artisan Distillation: Luxury vodkas undergo meticulous distillation processes, often involving multiple passes through copper stills to achieve unparalleled purity and smoothness.
- Unique Flavor Profiles: Luxury vodkas showcase distinctive flavor profiles, ranging from subtle nuances to bold, complex expressions.
- Limited Production: Luxury vodkas are often produced in limited quantities, adding to their exclusivity and desirability.
- Travel Distilled
- Robb Report
- Evening Standard
- The Luxury Editor
- Town & Country Magazine
- Luxe Digital
- Food & Wine
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.