Best Vodka: Top 5 Bottles Most Recommended By Experts

Craving a crisp, clean spirit to elevate your cocktails or enjoy neat? Look no further than vodka, the versatile drink that’s conquered bars and home shelves alike. But with countless brands and varieties lining the liquor store aisles, choosing the  top bottles can be daunting. Fear not, intrepid spirit explorer! This guide will cut through the hype and unveil the best vodkas, from smooth sippers to cocktail champions, ensuring your next pour is pure perfection.

When sipping on a quality vodka or mixing it in a drink, it stands out in purity and versatility. Crafted through meticulous distillation processes, premium vodkas offer a smooth and refined taste that’s perfect neat or mixed into cocktails. Whether enjoyed on the rocks or as the foundation for your favorite drinks, the finest vodkas deliver a distinctive and enjoyable drinking experience.

Additionally, the plain nature of vodka may be the right choice for those looking for a drink with less sugar. Without mixers, juices, sodas, etc., vodka could be beneficial for those looking to have a nice time without excess sugar or carbohydrates.

Vodka, the crystal-clear spirit, can be a blank canvas for creative cocktails or a smooth sip savored neat. But with endless brands and dizzying claims, navigating the vodka aisle can feel like cracking a code. Fear not, intrepid explorer! This guide will equip you with the knowledge to discern the truly best vodka for your every desire.

What Makes a Vodka “The Best”?

Vodka’s quality hinges on three key factors:

  • Ingredients: The best vodkas use high-quality grains like wheat, rye, or potatoes, free from impurities.
  • Distillation: Multiple distillations and filtration processes result in a cleaner, purer spirit.
  • Water: The water used in dilution plays a crucial role in taste and texture. Look for brands that utilize natural spring water or undergo additional purification.

Beyond the Basics: Decoding Vodka Lingo

  • Neutral vs. Characterful: Neutral vodkas are flavorless canvases for cocktails, while characterful vodkas have subtle hints of grain, spice, or citrus.
  • Proof: Higher proof (alcohol content) can lead to a harsher bite, while lower proof vodkas tend to be smoother. Choose based on your preference.
  • Filtration: Charcoal, activated carbon, and even diamonds can be used to filter vodka. Generally, more filtration leads to a smoother taste.

In order to help you appreciate vodka just a bit more and see what’s out there other than what you may typically find, StudyFinds set out to find the best bottles. For our research, we visited 10 leading expert websites to see which vodkas were rated the best. Did we miss one? Let us know in the comments below!

a dirty martini sitting on a bar
Dirty Martini (Photo by Johann Trasch on Unsplash)

The List: Best Vodka, According to Experts

1. Absolut Elyx

Absolut may not be the first brand to come to mind, but sure enough, reviewers agree that Absolut Elyx is an excellent choice! Made in a small Swedish town in the southernmost part of the country, it’s nothing short of special and the “luxury” creation by Absolut. The grains are sourced from just one estate and its manually distilled in vintage copper still to create its smooth mouthfeel.

Absolut Elyx
Absolut Elyx (

“It’s a beautiful, velvety liquid when it gets to that temperature, then it reveals itself as it warms up…cuts through caviar like a knife; it goes with pickled herring, stinky cheese, charcuterie, foie gras, gravlax—anything cured,” said Tony Abou-Ganim, star bartender and author of “Vodka Distilled” to Liquor.

This is considered one of the best-tasting vodkas, and it doesn’t break the bank! This vodka is great for sipping on its own or mixing into martinis. It also goes well with cured meats commonly found on charcuterie boards, as well as different cheeses.

GearMoose says Absolut Elyx is “known for its soft flavors of buttery caramel, nutty sweetness, vanilla, and spicy, peppery rye.”

Meanwhile, Parade describes it as an “exceptionally refined vodka that’s crafted entirely at the hand of the Master Distiller—without the use of computers. A very rare vodka-making feat these days.”

2. Belvedere

Though the roots of vodka trace back to Sweden, Russia, and Poland, there’s an ongoing debate on if Russia or Poland were truly the pioneers. Regardless of your thoughts, this Polish vodka follows a 600-year-old recipe, and the taste shows its reliability. “Crafted from Dankowskie Gold rye and quadruple distilled, this ultra-premium vodka is the definition of the word ‘smooth,'” says Town and Country.

Belvedere Vodka
Belvedere Vodka (


This vodka uses very minimal ingredients and sources its rye from only eight farming partners. This allows the manufacturers to trace exactly where their main ingredient comes from, making it a reliably pure product.

“It’s void of sugar, additives and gluten, and is considered to be the first super-premium vodka in the world. Upon first sip you might detect notes of vanilla, white pepper and spices—or perhaps clotted cream,” adds Parade.

3. Grey Goose

Originating from the world-renowned Cognac region of France, this vodka was one of the first super-premium varieties to ever be on the market. “With its toasty notes and hints of spice combine with a creamy finish, it’s easy to see why it remains a classic,” states Town and Country.

It has a clean, balanced flavor that keeps people running back to it. “Made from the finest French ingredients – soft winter wheat and Gensac spring water filtered through Grande Champagne limestone – it’s exceptionally well-balanced with a fresh, herbaceous flavour and a hint of rye,” notes Esquire.

“This French vodka is known for its notes of vanilla, nutty sweetness, and peppery rye. It’s sweet, spicy, and well-suited for slow sipping,” adds GearMoose.

4. Hangar 1

The United States makes some pretty good stuff, too. Distilled in California, Hangar 1 is a unique vodka that’s crafted from wine. “Distilled from grains and grapes, the aromas of this American vodka instantly recall pear drops. Further bursts of orchard fruit and citrus emerge on the palate, making this an ideal candidate for elevated Lemon Drops,” explains Vine Pair.

Hangar 1
Hangar 1 Vodka (

The vodka gets its name from its humble origins. First developed in 2002 in an airport hangar, this vodka is still produced at the old Naval Air Station Alameda on San Francisco Bay, though in a newer distillery.

“Hangar 1 is a vodka that will please everyone at the party, from newbies wanting a slightly fruity touch to their Cosmopolitans to seasoned imbibers looking for a rounded floral perfume in their Gibson,” adds Liquor.

5. Chopin

This vodka is considered one of the most classic and traditionally made kinds since it’s mainly made of potato. Though simply distilled, the flavor remains complex in one of the best ways. “Instead of something you throw into a cocktail with more flavorful ingredients, Chopin vodka is all about bold flavor for true vodka lovers. You can get three different single-ingredient vodkas from the brand—potato, rye, and wheat. The potato is a favorite for its uniquely creamy, full-flavor profile,” says Delish.

The company is all about distilling with care, setting this bottle apart and making it a thoughtful choice for your freezer.

“Made using young potatoes grown on the Chopin distillery estate, the spirit rests for two years in 50-year-old Polish oak barrels before being bottled by hand. While it shows no color nor influence of wood, the profile is notably harmonious with hints of fruit emerging on the nose and an intense palate that sets up an exceedingly lengthy finish,” adds Vine Pair.

Editor’s Choice: Tito’s Handmade Vodka

“All of the vodkas in this list are fine selections, but Tito’s has long been a go-to for me,” says StudyFinds Editor-in-Chief Steve Fink. “The Austin, Texas-based vodka is smooth, flavorful, and most importantly, since I’m not a huge vodka drinker, I don’t cringe the slightest bit if I’m sipping it straight. Perhaps the best part? It’s not nearly as expensive as some of the ‘designer‘ names out there, including some on this list. I guess it’s no surprise that Tito wound up making the perfect vodka: the guy’s last name is ‘Beveridge,’ after all! You can’t make this stuff up!”

You might also be interested in:


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.

Follow on Google News

About the Author

StudyFinds Staff

StudyFinds sets out to find new research that speaks to mass audiences — without all the scientific jargon. The stories we publish are digestible, summarized versions of research that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate.

The contents of this website do not constitute advice and are provided for informational purposes only. See our full disclaimer


  1. Any top xx list of vodkas that has Grey Goose is a waste of my time reading. It’s marketing 101 on steroids, an average vodka masquerading as a wold class vodka.

  2. I agree with most of that list. Except my favorite and the better of any of those listed is Stoli Elit. In fact Elyx is Absolute’s attempt to copy that. But it’s not even close.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *