The Absolute Best Vodka Brands, Ranked

Whether your go-to drink is a vodka soda, a dirty martini, or an ice-cold shot, choosing the right vodka brand matters if you want a great beverage. Although vodka used to be defined simply as a clear, colorless spirit that doesn't have a distinct flavor or aroma, in 2020 the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) officially dropped the requirement that it must be neutral. It can now be made in a range of styles and flavors while still being legally considered "vodka" in the U.S. This versatile liquor is distilled from cereal grains, potatoes, fruit, or corn, and filtered using various methods. Regardless of how it's produced, vodka must have a minimum ABV of 40%.  

A trip to nearly any bar or liquor store will reveal a wide range of vodka options in terms of taste, quality, and price point. With all the choices out there, let's take a look at the best vodka brands on the market, so you'll know exactly what to reach for the next time your thirst needs quenching.

20. Smirnoff

Despite Smirnoff's Russian name and origins, its vodka is distilled across the globe (via Metro). If you want vodka that's tasty enough to drink on its own, this is not the brand for you. That being said, it's a go-to for when you want something that's affordable, but won't make you feel like you're drinking pure rubbing alcohol.

Smirnoff sells more vodka than any other brand in the world (via The Spirits Business), so you'll be in good company when you reach for a bottle, which comes in a variety of flavors, styles, and proofs. The brand even offers a Zero Sugar Infusions line of flavored vodkas that when combined with soda water, makes for a refreshing, low-calorie spritz. If you want to keep things classic, Smirnoff's familiar red label bottle has an average sticker price of just $14 as of publication, so it won't break the bank, either. 

We recommend sticking to mixed drinks like a vodka lemonade or screwdriver if you're going to drink Smirnoff. (The 100-proof blue label bottle is an ideal vodka for a White Russian.) If you're using a nice enough mixer, you probably won't even notice that you aren't drinking top-shelf.

19. New Amsterdam

Bartenders know that when it comes to stocking the well, New Amsterdam is a completely respectable choice. This spirits brand offers vodka in several styles and flavors, including Pink Whitney — a millennial-friendly pink lemonade-flavored vodka.

This is another brand we wouldn't recommend drinking straight or in a spirit-forward cocktail like a martini since it's not necessarily smooth — brace your palate for a bit of a burn. That being said, if you want a vodka soda, it strikes a good balance between being affordable and being drinkable. This isn't a bad choice for a cocktail if you like drinking vodka, either. 

With a current average price of $11 for a 750-milliliter bottle of its original vodka, consider New Amsterdam when you're hosting a party and want to serve a large-format punch. You can easily mix up a tasty concoction that will keep any crowd happy for less than what you'd pay for a few drinks at an upscale cocktail bar. Despite its low price tag, it's high-quality enough that you won't have to feel guilty about giving your guests the cheap stuff.

18. Pinnacle

This brand made our list solely because of its unique flavored vodka options. While flavored vodkas aren't everyone's cup of tea (or in this case, booze), they can be used to make tasty shots and cocktails that are quaffable enough to make you forget that you're drinking alcohol — so proceed with caution.

Pinnacle offers a whopping 30 different varieties of vodka, all of which are impressively made from a base that's been distilled five times to enhance smoothness and drinkability. Whether your jam is something tropical and fruity like guava lime or something more daring like habanero, we can almost guarantee Pinnacle has a flavor for you. The brand's whipped cream flavor is particularly popular, and if you ever find yourself wanting to make your coffee a little stronger, this is the way to spike your cup of joe. Pinnacle isn't for serious vodka connoisseurs, but it is for people who think drinking should be fun.

17. Nikka

Originally a sole purveyor of whiskey, this Japanese brand expanded its offerings to include vodka in 2017. One of the most unique characteristics of Nikka Coffey Vodka is that it's distilled from a blend of corn and barley. The two ingredients are distilled separately and then expertly combined to create a vodka that has a signature texture and flavor. The result is a spirit that's delicate yet zesty, with a distinct milky, creamy mouthfeel. The precision that goes into blending helps alleviate the burn and sting that usually accompanies vodka, so don't waste this one on a mixed drink that will hide its soft, nuanced flavor.

Nikka Coffey is undeniably a well-crafted vodka, and it's not a brand you'll see at every liquor store or on every back bar in the U.S. With a current average price tag of $42, it isn't as cheap as other options — but we think it's a great deal for such an artisan product.

16. Cîroc

This French brand is known as an ultra-premium, luxury vodka option that's synonymous with living the good life — and it tastes pretty good, too. According to Forbes, after Sean "Diddy" Combs joined the Cîroc team in 2007, the brand transformed into a major player in the vodka world. 

Unlike most other big brands on the market, Cîroc is made from grapes instead of other more common bases like potatoes or grains. This gives the vodka a slightly different flavor profile than many of its competitors. Its classic vodka is citrusy on the nose, and there's also a hint of sweetness from the grapes once it hits your palette. Just keep in mind that these notes don't pair well with everything, so choose your mixers and garnishes wisely. For example, it's much better for a lemon drop martini than it is for a dirty martini with blue cheese olives. Cîroc also offers a few flavors as well as limited edition vodkas that can make fun additions to your bar cart.

15. Crystal Head

We can confidently say that Crystal Head has some of the best, most out-there packaging out there. Luckily, this brand is about more than just good looks. Its signature skull-shaped bottles might catch your eye, but its products are tasty and versatile enough to keep you coming back for more.

Crystal Head's additive-free offerings include vodkas that are made from both corn and wheat, as well as a line called Onyx that's distilled from blue agave. Innovation is at the heart of this brand, and even its filtration system is unique as it filters some of its vodka using semi-precious crystals called Herkimer diamonds.

Crystal Head's Original Vodka is crisp and silky with subtle notes of vanilla and just a hint of sweetness. We love this brand for sipping on the rocks, or for pouring a shot that's as fun as it is smooth. Not to mention, those bottles make great decorations once they're empty!

14. Beluga

If you want to drink vodka straight from the freezer, we highly recommend grabbing a bottle of this Russian classic. Hailing from the Mariinsk Distillery in deep Siberia, Beluga takes its name from Russia's famous caviar-producing breed of sturgeon, as indicated on the brand's logo.

Beluga has been around since 2002, and there are currently several notable lines of vodka in its portfolio that are made from Siberian winter wheat and distilled using fresh, clean, icy Siberian water. Beluga Noble is a popular choice that has notes of oatmeal, vanilla, and honey. Though it's technically not a flavored vodka, writes suggests that it is lightly flavored after it's been distilled. While the flavors make it much easier to throw back a shot the next time you find yourself eating caviar, if you want a more neutral experience, this vodka might not be for you.

Luckily, the brand also has a few elevated options like Beluga Celebration, Beluga Allure, Beluga Transatlantic Racing, and Beluga Gold which are great for when you know your evening is going to include toast after toast. 

13. Harridan

This female-founded, female-owned, and all-around female-empowering brand is making waves in the spirit world — and crafting delicious booze. Based in upstate New York, Harridan vodka is made using 100% organic, local corn. At 44% ABV, the brand claims its overproof vodka is an homage and honor to the bold women for which it was named. (According to the brand's website, the word "harridan" is defined as a "bossy and/or belligerent old woman.")

Not only is Harridan softer and milder than you might imagine given its ABV, but there are also nice notes of fruit and warming spices that make it a flavorful sipper. We suggest serving this on the rocks with a twist of lemon to enhance the vibrant flavors without covering up the characteristics the brand works so hard to create.

Another noteworthy thing about Harridan is that its glass bottles are blown in Mexico using recycled glass — and no two are exactly alike.

12. Prairie

When you want to reach for a brand that puts sustainably at the forefront of its mission, Prairie is the perfect choice. Not only is its vodka (made from non-GMO corn) 100% organic, but the brand also prides itself on caring for the farmers and neighbors who help make up the Prairie community. Nothing is wasted during Prairie's distillation process. Extra grains are used to feed livestock, leftover spirits are transformed into biofuels, and the entire process is powered entirely by renewable energy.

The Prairie line includes a standard vodka and several flavored varieties. The company also produces organic gin and a selection of canned, pre-made cocktails such as Vodka Cucumber Lemonade. In terms of taste, Prairie doesn't miss when it comes to flavor. It's incredibly clean, crisp, and bright, which makes it a wonderful addition to cocktails where the vodka is the star ingredient. We also recommend pairing it with ingredients that are light and fresh like herbs and citrus (basil vodka lemonade, anyone?).

11. Pur

Claiming to be the "World's Most Awarded Canadian Vodka," Pur has received 83 awards since the brand's inception in 2009 according to the brand's website. Once you sip on this top-notch spirit, you'll understand what all the hype is about. The brand was founded by Montrealer Nicolas Duvernois, who worked as a janitor at a children's hospital in order to fund his passion project (via Montrealer Online). His hard work paid off, and today the Pur lineup includes an original version as well as several flavored vodkas and a canned, ready-to-drink Moscow Mule.

This is a vodka brand that truly lives up to its name, with notes of minerality that are reminiscent of the cold Canadian waters used to filter this artisan spirit. Don't hesitate to drink this one on the rocks, neat, in an extra-dry martini, or in one of the brand's signature cocktail recipes like the Canadian Mule (vodka, lime, ginger, and maple syrup).

10. Stoli

Before we dive into this one, let's clear a few things up about the name. Although most people have always referred to the brand colloquially as Stoli, the official name was Stolichnaya until early 2022 when the company went through a rebrand (via NPR). Now, onto the vodka.

Distilled from wheat in a historic distillery in Latvia, Stoli is a classic for a reason. It's by no means considered top-shelf or a craft brand, but Stoli makes its vodka with exacting standards and impressive attention to detail for such a large company.

Its portfolio includes a classic line, a premium version called Stoli Gold, and flavored varieties that are made with zero artificial flavors or ingredients. Stoli's original vodka is slightly peppery, with a zing that makes it a great choice to pair with food. If you're indulging in Eastern European fare, having a cold bottle of Stoli on the table is highly recommended.

9. Belvedere

Polish rye is used to create this brand's line of iconic vodkas. Belvedere is a high-end brand that delivers a great product. Its master distillers rely on a 600-year-old legacy to impart flavor and quality into every product. The Belvedere brand includes a classic version, several unique flavors like Blueberry Lemongrass, and limited-release bottles crafted from single estate rye. 

While the flagship vodka makes an absolutely top-notch vesper martini (Belvedere is the official vodka of the James Bond movies), we recommend reaching for one of the single estate ryes for a luxurious treat. You can choose between its Lake Bartężek and Smogóry Forest versions, which is noteworthy because Belvedere is truly showcasing the fact that just like with wine, terroir is important in vodka production. Try them on the rocks to let the flavors open up, and picture yourself on a frosty winter day by the lake in Poland as you enjoy what is hopefully the beginning of a new way to think about vodka.

8. Grey Goose

We know that Grey Goose Vodka tends to get a bad reputation in the spirits world for its hefty price tag — and we agree it's expensive for what it is. Admittedly, a lot of what you're paying for with Grey Goose is marketing, with it frequently appearing in pop culture references and acting as the sponsor for major events like the U.S. Open.

Before you write off this brand altogether, hear us out. Grey Goose is a high-quality vodka that's versatile and easy to drink. The French brand's standard offering is neutral and mild with a clean aroma and minimal aftertaste. It's a quintessential iteration of what many people think vodka should taste like. If you're a flavored vodka fan, Grey Goose offers a wide selection of offerings. We're especially fond of the bottles in its Essences line which are infused with real fruit and botanicals. 

However, in our opinion, the best thing about Grey Goose is its ubiquity. It's an extremely prevalent top-shelf option, so you'll have less trouble finding it when you're traveling or patronizing a bar with a limited selection. It's a reliable standby that delivers on quality every time — as long as you're willing to pay the price.

7. Chopin

Chopin outwardly rejects the idea that vodka shouldn't taste like anything. This boutique brand puts heavy emphasis on crafting a vodka that does more than just act as a vehicle for delivering ethanol, using quality ingredients to make its signature spirit taste distinctive.

What ultimately sets this brand apart is the fact that it offers three versions of vodka made from three different ingredients: potato, rye, and wheat. Chopin set out to create these three varieties with the idea that it would be the perfect way to demonstrate how unique vodkas can taste — and we think it succeeded.

Whether you want the spicy, peppery notes of Chopin Rye, the creamy, full-bodied flavor of Chopin Potato, or the mellow mildness of Chopin Wheat, these options should please any palate. If you're a vodka drinker who's interested in learning more about your go-to spirit, Chopin is a brand that will help to educate you while you imbibe.

6. Hangar 1

Crafted in Northern California, Hangar 1 takes a seasonal, local approach to create its signature spirit. From its standard vodka to a variety of flavored creations, to its exclusive lines, this brand puts exceptional care into every bottle.

The classic Hangar 1 Straight Vodka is made from a blend of grapes and grains. The idea is that this combination allows for the vodka to be smooth while still maintaining a depth of flavor. The result is a balance of floral and fruity notes that aren't overwhelming. We love that it appeals to both vodka purists and innovators alike.

The flavored line offers options you won't see anywhere else. With choices like Honeycomb, Makrut Lime, and Rose, these aren't your run-of-the-mill, artificial-ingredient-laden shooters. There is even a unique, aromatic, premium Distiller's Exclusive Fennel Vodka. If you're feeling adventurous, try it as the brand suggests with tonic, simple syrup, and rhubarb bitters.

5. Suntory

If you don't think you like vodka, try Haku from Suntory. This Japanese rice vodka is one of the softest, smoothest, and most delicate options out there. (The name "Haku" comes from the Japanese word for "white" and refers to its white rice origins.) It's mild and sweet, offering a faint nod to the sake with which it shares its base grain.  Haku filters their vodka through bamboo charcoal and the result is a product that's smooth, slightly starchy, and very easy to drink.

As part of the larger Beam-Suntory family, it's one of the many Japanese spirits that are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. Haku made its American debut in 2018, and we believe this is a brand to keep an eye on. This vodka is our absolute favorite for a highball, and it's also extremely enjoyable on the rocks. While it's not our favorite in a dirty martini (the soft, sweet flavors clash with the harsh salinity of the olive brine), it's great for a martini with a twist.

4. Tito's

Most people know that Tito's vodka is popular, and we agree with the masses on this one. Tito's is Texas-made vodka made from corn — and people can't get enough of it. According to data from VinePair, in 2020 the brand grew to account for an impressive 25% of the national vodka market share, with a revenue of $1.4 billion. That's a lot of vodka.

The hype that surrounds this brand is warranted. It's a great product that's easy to love. Unlike most brands, Tito's only offers one variety of vodka. Forget the flavors, infusions, and the premium bottles — Tito's is Tito's. It has a rich mouthfeel, and though it goes down smooth, it has enough of a kick to keep things interesting (and remind you that you're drinking vodka). People also gravitate towards Tito's since it's gluten-free, as nothing is added after distillation that could contain gluten, per the company's website. We can't think of anything Tito's doesn't work well for, making it an easy, versatile, crowd-pleasing choice.

3. Absolut

We love Absolut because of its phenomenal range and impressive quality. The iconic original Absolut Vodka is crisp and pure, with a reasonable current average price of just $20. It's ideal for cocktails and doesn't make for a bad chilled shot either. For those who prefer to drink their vodka straight, it's worth upgrading to the luxury copper bottle Absolut Elyx. Made with single estate winter wheat, it shines sans mixers.

The Swedish brand also has a noteworthy line of flavored vodkas, with the most iconic being Absolut Citron — a popular choice for whipping up a classic Cosmopolitan. Launched in 1986, Absolut Peppar is the world's first flavored vodka, and there's nothing better in a Bloody Mary.

Absolut prides itself on using single-origin wheat from southern Sweden. The brand takes care to trace the entire production process, which means you can trust their products will always be consistent and high-quality.

2. Ketel One

Ketel One has everything going for it: It tastes good, is widely available, moderately priced, and you can drink it any way you please. Hailing from the Netherlands, the jack-of-all-trades brand is distilled from wheat, which gives it a round, balanced flavor. It has enough toasty, grainy notes to retain complexity and depth, but is neutral enough that you don't have to worry about it clashing with other flavors.

Beyond its classic version, Ketel One also offers a few simple flavors along with its Botanical line that contains zero added sugar or artificial ingredients. (If you want to use a flavored product, it presents a good alternative to many brands' offerings.)

We appreciate that Ketel One is nice enough to serve to people with sophisticated palates, yet approachable enough that you won't feel intimidated by its price or reputation. So, next time you saddle up to the bar for a vodka martini, this is your brand.

1. Reyka

There are a lot of vodkas out there, but Reyka is our favorite. Many facets of this brand are unique, with a major one being that it was the first distillery in Iceland. Produced in a small town called Borgarnes, Reyka uses glacial water and volcanic rock filtration to craft a grain-based vodka that tastes just like you'd imagine — clean, pure, dry, and with just the right level of minerality.

It's no surprise that the perfect accompaniment to a vodka made from glacial water is ice. While we'd be happy to sip this vodka on the rocks any day, it also makes an excellent dry martini. Despite the craftsmanship that goes into this vodka — and the fact that it tastes as good or better than most ultra-premium options — it's still reasonably priced.

Unfortunately, not a lot of bars have caught on to this incredible brand. However, this just gives you even more of a reason to pick up a bottle for your bar cart and start savoring this Icelandic joy at home.