Top 12 Russian Vodka Brands

Top 12 Russian Vodka Brands

Although according to the British edition of Drinks International the leader among strong alcoholic beverages in terms of sales retains whiskey, vodka is in second place.

Vodka is not as simple a product as it seems. Primarily and very important is the quality of raw materials, namely alcohol, which is obtained by rectification; and multi-step water treatment. But the product itself is not so simple in its creation. In the making of vodka, complex processes are used with thermal shock and multi-stage filtration, mastered by people at different times.

Vodka is the Russian national drink, and although there are a large number of vodka brands from around the world on the market today, there are still more vodka labels in Russia than anywhere else. Manufacturers offer not just a large, but a huge range of offers in this direction. For this reason, it can be very difficult to orientate and make a purchase. In our today’s article, we will tell you about the twelve best vodka brands from Russia.

A bit of history

We can say that the history of vodka began in the first century A.D. in Alexandria, where the Greeks first developed the distillation process. There is evidence that the Arab physician Ar-Razi, who lived in the ninth and tenth centuries, used alcohol for medicinal purposes. The Crusaders broughttechnology from the Middle East to Europe, and it was here that alcohol began to be produced and used as an alcoholic beverage. The alchemists of Provence, of course, obtained it from grapes. It was this product – wine alcohol – that Genoese merchants brought to the Russian land in the XIV century. They presented it here under the name of aqua vitae – “living water”.

In Russia grapes were not as widespread as in Europe, so the product was modified, and it began to be prepared from cereal crops. According to the main historical version, monk Isidor from Moscow monastery around 1430 guessed to mixalcohol with water to get the first Russian vodka.

The product obtained by Isidor, for a long time, was called bread wine. In written sources, the word “vodka” is first mentioned in 1533. However, this term referred to a tincture of medicinal herbs in vodka, not the pure product.

In official documents, the term first appeared in 1751, whenEmpress Elizabeth issued a decree regulating the production of the drink. Not everyone was allowed to produce vodka under this decree. At that time vodka was produced only by the nobility. In the same XVIII century, Russia developed a technology forthe purification of the drink by coal. In Poland, the first written mention of the word “vodka” also dates back to the 16th century.

Vodka varieties in Russia

Vodka varieties in Russia

According toRussian law, in vodka production it is possible to use alcohol with four degrees of purification:

Basic and Extra – produced from a mixture of any grain, potatoes, molasses, and other starch-containing products, which can be up to 60% in the composition. The product contains not more than 0,05-0,02% of methyl alcohol. It is used for the mass production of budget vodka.

Luxe is made from a mixture of grain with potatoes, but the latter must not exceed 30%. Methyl alcohol share in the product does not exceed 0,02%. It is used for most types of vodka, including premium.

Alpha is produced only from wheat and rye or their mixture. The content of methyl alcohol does not exceed 0,003%. Used for the production of high-quality vodka with a high purity level.

Another type of alcohol has appeared on the market in recent years: Organic. It is produced using the same technology as Alfa, but from environmentally friendly grain, grown, preserved, and processed without any chemicals.

Top 12 Russian Vodka Brands

Stoli

Stoli

This good and inexpensive Russian vodka is praised for its mild and natural taste, as well as impeccable consistency and aroma with a characteristic touch.

The Stolichnaya brand really hit its stride in the 1970s. It was in those years that a large-scale campaign to promote Russian vodka in the U.S. began, under the slogan: Only vodka from Russia is genuine Russian vodka! This company went down in the history of world marketing as one of the most aggressive and successful. Stoli, as the Americans called Stolichnaya vodka, became one of the symbols of Russia known all over the world. It was thanks to “Stolichnaya” vodka that “real Russian vodka” for the first time topped the most prestigious rating of the world’s alcoholic brands – 100 International Top Spirits Brands. 

Stoli

Russian Standard Original Vodka

Russian Standard Original Vodka Logo

Russian Standard Vodka was first released in 1998. The liquor is made using an old recipe that has been practiced by the imperial winemakers since 1894. The bottle has a non-standard outline and resembles the shape of a Tsar Bell. The drink is a vodka with a classic flavor and a pronounced wheat aroma. The basis is taken grain alcohol “Lux”. Additionally, the composition includes sugar and infusion on wheat bread.

It is worth noting that the drink fully justifies its name: the Russian Standard brand accounts for about 30% of premium category vodka sales in Russia. As for the foreign market, the branded products are supplied to more than 80 countries and have won more than 10 prestigious awards.

Russian Standard Original Vodka

Beluga

Beluga

One of the most famous vodka brands not only in Russia but also in the world is Beluga vodka, which is produced at the Mariinsky Distillery. This factory began its history in 1900, and for 117 years it has been producing the highest quality products on the Russian market. Since 2007 the factory belongs to the holding called “Synergy”, which since 2010 has been one of the top three leaders in the production and sale of alcoholic beverages, and since 2017 has been the leader in the Russian market for the production of vodka, spirits, and whiskey.

Beluga is The leader in the premium vodka brands family. The products are supplied to 80 countries worldwide. For production, we take artesian water from a depth of more than 300 meters.

Beluga

Jewel of Russia

Jewel of RussiaThe Jewel of Russia vodka embodies the best traditions of the Russian art of making this drink from the very heart of Russia. Only natural ingredients and ancient recipes are used to create the vodka. The main priority of the brand is to keep the balance between the inimitable softness and the original Russian character of this drink. Originality, high quality and adherence to tradition can be found throughout the production process, starting with the traditional bottle design, which is over 300 years old, and ending with the unique sealing-wax emblem label or hand-painted bottles.

Jewel of Russia

Five Lakes

 

Five Lakes

Alcoholic Siberian Group, which produces Five Lakes, was founded in 1993. Now it is one of the largest vodka producers in Russia. Five Lakes regularly receives prizes at Russian and international contests and exhibitions.

Water from the purest lakes in Siberia is used for production. The brand cares about its name, so it bottles its products in special 0.5-liter bottles which are hard to forget.

The components are Siberian water base, Luxe alcohol, sugar syrup, wheat tincture, sodium bicarbonate, and citric acid. Bottle and cork – the usual, standard. The vodka is well-drinkable and has a pleasant alcoholic flavor.

Five Lakes

Zyr Vodka

Zyr Vodka logo

Zyr Vodka is a Russian grain vodka, which is one of the smoothest spirits you can taste. Vodka connoisseurs can appreciate it and it makes amazing cocktails. If you’re looking for a vodka that you can drink straight up like the best whiskeys in the world, this is a great choice.

Zyr vodka was released in 2003. Its production is based on the 9-5-3 formula: nine filtrations, five distillations, and three tastings. The goal of this process is to ensure consistent, pure quality in every bottle, and it seems to be working because this is an impressive vodka.

Winter wheat and rye grown in the Moscow region are used to producevodka. The fermented grains are distilled five times, then combined with water. The water comes from northwest Russia, near the Finnish border, and is filtered five times before it goes into the distillate.

Zyr Vodka

Imperia

Imperia

In 2004 the super-premium vodka “Russian Standard Imperia” was released for the first time. The technological production process of this luxury vodka includes eightfold distillation, filtration through charcoal filters, and Ural quartz crystals. Such attention to every nuance of production ensures an incredibly soft and clear texture of the vodka and a subtle, barely perceptible flavor with touches of spice and chocolate.

Russian StandardImperia Vodka is produced in strict accordance with the classical recipe, developed by Mendeleev in 1894. Since 2010, each bottle of this vodka is decorated with a certificate of authenticity of origin, which demonstrates the manufacturer’s commitment to the original Russian traditions of vodka production.

Imperia

Green Mark

An excellent brand of spirits based on premium products. It uses premium spirits, softened water, and malic acid, and dual filtration using charcoal and silver gives a pleasant mild taste.

Another important component of this brand is the patented cap design: the “Cap.””Cap” is a metal top with an opening plastic band.Vodka Green Mark first appeared on the Russian market in 2002, and it was just immediately noticed by Russian consumers.

In 2012, Vodka Green Mark ranked third in the world by sales volume. Today this vodka is supplied to more than 20 countries of the world. And it is worth noting that it is very popular there.Moreover, this vodka has been (and still is) repeatedly elected the “Favorite Brand of Russia”.

Green Mark

Baikal

Baikal logo

Another line on our list is, a Russian wolf brand that, according to the manufacturer, contains water from the depths of the purest lake in the world. This vodka is made from “deluxe” grade alcohol and “flavored” with natural honey and infusions of pine nuts and pine buds.

It is produced at the “Alcoholic Plants Gross” LLC, Ulyanovsk city. Contains water from Lake Baikal, alcoholic base Luxe Series, a tincture of pine nuts, and pine buds with honey. Poured into a souvenir bottle. It has a pleasant aroma, there is a nutty aftertaste.

Baikal

 

Hammer + Sickle

Hammer + Sickle

Hammer + Sickleis a vodka that is made from organic ingredients, so it is one hundred percent natural. For the production ofvodka, luxury alcohol is used, as well as selected winter wheat from the Southern regions of Russia. The product undergoes careful distillation and filtration. Water from a deep well is used for vodka production, which undergoes multiple stages of purification. This makes it possible to achieve high quality of the produced vodka. Sickle and Hammer is a vodka that will suit the taste of connoisseurs of high-quality alcohol combined with a pleasant taste.

Hammer + Sickle is a premium quality drink, worthy of the attention of the most demanding and true connoisseurs of strong alcohol.

Hammer + Sickle

Orthodox

Orthodox

Vodka Orthodox – the harmony of tradition with advanced technology. This brand of Russian vodka can be called exclusive, as it is not very well-known even in Russia, although deserves all your attention.

For more than a century at the Mariinsky distillery knowledge about the production of strong drinks has been passed down from generation to generation. It was there, based on a traditional recipe, that Orthodox vodka was introduced. It contains only two ingredients: selected malt liquor and pure Siberian water. Tradition is evident in the bottle: it has a perfect form with irregularities, which were the bottles in the XIX century when it was impossible to achieve a perfectly smooth surface. The quality control method is also borrowed from the past: each bottle is assigned an individual number.

Orthodox

Chistye Rosy

Chistye Rosy

Vodka Chistye Rosy (the name can be translated as Clear Dew) is a unique Russian product, which is the result of painstaking professional work and has no analogs among Russian alcoholic brands. Chistye Rosyis the first Russian organic vodka, certified following European requirements for the production of organic products. Every stage of production of Chistye Rosy organic vodka – from soil preparation for wheat sowing to the final bottling – was certified to comply with European standards by AbCert AG (Germany).

FAQ

What are the main secrets of good vodka?

A classic vodka is an alcoholic drink consisting of only two ingredients: ethyl alcohol and water. It is difficult to spoil it if both components are of high quality. Such a drink has almost no taste or smell and is easy to drink.

Quality alcohol

Alcohol obtained by rectification is used to make vodka. Unlike distillate, it does not retain the taste and aroma of the original raw material, so the first thing to look at is how well it is purified, not what it is made from.

Good water

This is the second component of quality vodka. It is good if the producer writes down what kind of water he uses: artesian water, spring water, melted water from glaciers, and a particular source. It mustn’t be distilled, as such water will be “empty” and tasteless. The water is prepared by removing iron, hardness salts, sulfates, chlorides, and fluorides that give the drink an unpleasant taste, and other impurities.

What are the most famous brands of vodka?

Decent Russian vodkas come out under the brand names Beluga, Morosha, Gallant, Tsarskaya, Kremlin Award, Chistye Rosy, Khaski, Russian Standard, Pyat Ozer, Stolichnaya, Khortitsa, Baikal, etc. Their products hold high positions in annual ratings.  Of the foreign brands, the best-known in Russia are the Swedish Absolut; the Finnish Koskenkorva, Finlandia, Nordic, and Laplandia; the French Summum and Grey Goose; and the Polish Hlebnik.

How to drink vodka?

Vodka-drinking traditions in the West andRussia are very different. In Europe and America, they practically do not drink it in its pure form. It is included in a variety of cocktails.

Here are the most famous of them.

  • Bloody Mary with tomato juice, spicy Tabasco sauce, and celery stalk.
  • Sex on the Beach with pineapple, raspberry, cranberry juice, and peach liqueur.
  • White Russian with coffee liqueur and cream.
  • Black Russian with coffee liqueur (no cream).

But the Russian drinking tradition is completely different. The only thing that makes it similar to the Western one is that forty-degree Russian is drunk strongly chilled. In Russia, it is mostly consumed in its pure form.

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