Vodka is an incredibly nuanced spirit that, in the right circumstances, can be considered “drinkable” in the same way certain whiskeys are, and vodkas made with potatoes are some of the best of all.
With more of a robust, savory flavor profile than variants crafted from sugar beet molasses and the traditional fermented cereal grains, it doesn’t just overpower the senses but takes them on a journey.
In fact, if the vodka is produced artfully, it can articulate on the tongue the terror of the land in which the potatoes were cultivated, just as the grapes will speak of the origin of a fine wine.
So, although the flavor of that first, fateful gulp is still seared into your taste buds, it’s time to rediscover this wonderful spirit with one of these 9 beautifully crafted potato vodkas.
Notes: Apples, stone fruit, butter, vanilla
Have you ever wanted to be whisked away to an English orchard, leaving all your worries behind, and enjoying ripe fruit fresh from the trees? Well, this potato vodka from Chase can take you there!
The silken finish and lingering taste of crisp green apples make it a dynamite tumbler drink to sip of an evening as part of a self-care routine after a hard week, and here’s the thing…it never gets boring on the tongue.
Underscoring the apple are accents of vanilla, butter, and a mixture of summery stone fruit, their sweetness offset by the rich essence of British-grown potatoes — perfect!
My advice is to stick it in the freezer an hour before drinking it, as it’s far too nice to dilute with ice cubes.
Notes: Minerals, potato, pepper
Our American pick is crafted from rich Russet Burbank potatoes and resounds with simple elegance on the tongue. Rather than stuff their vodka with as many flavors as possible, the Blue Ice team has honed in on a few spinal tones and leaned full tilt into them.
Each sip seems to be composed of intricately choreographed tastes that strike on cue every single time. It all starts with a rush of refreshing minerality, then an airy pepper takes center stage for a brief performance before the oils play it off, leaving you with a creamy, earthy finish.
Vodka may have only arrived in America after prohibition in 1935, but when we taste Blue Ice, it’s clear we’re working hard to make up for lost time.
Notes: Vanilla, potato bread, green apple
Distilled in Poland using copper-pot stills exclusively, this Martini mixing masterpiece is rife with strong rustic flavors completely unique to the brand. The early taste rings with sweet green apples, gently subsiding for a wash of savory potato bread and vanilla.
As it hits the back of the throat, it strikes an interesting balance between the velvety smoothness and an enticing heat, two aspects of vodka that are normally at odds to some degree. It’s this intriguing juxtaposition that helps a Martini pop like never before.
But there’s something else about Chopin vodka that makes it a suitable candidate for your next cocktail party, and it’s arguably even more peculiar than the smooth heat. It’s the viscosity.
I know, I know, strange, right? Vodka is a famously thin feeling spirit, but as the crafting process of Chopin champions a less-is-more approach to distillation, a lot of esters and even a certain amount of oils are retained in the final product.
Combine this textural magic with the life-affirming mouth feel and beautiful flavor combination, and you’re left with a vodka as nuanced and surprising as the music of the brand’s namesake.
Notes: Ginger, earth, black pepper
This vodka is the brainchild of Borje Karlsson, formerly of Absolut. His uncompromising approach to everything from the cultivation point on a beautiful and fertile Swedish peninsula, to the single yet thorough distillation process, imbues his vodka with a refined fire.
He uses new spring potatoes exclusively, 10lbs per bottle to be precise. It’s these delicacy spuds that underline the embellishments with a peppery kick and a potent, earthy spice.
Playing lightly on the backdrop of the potatoes is a distinct touch of ginger, adding yet more punch without sacrificing a smooth, rich finish. While it’s not as much of a people pleaser as others on the list like the Monopolowa or 44 North Huckleberry, it goes down an…absolut storm in a Moscow Mule (see what I did there?).
There’s something about doubling down on the ginger in this cocktail usually saved for absolute scorchers that truly electrifies it, and the staunch hints of earth bring a whole new dimension to the drink that makes it far more adventurous on the tongue.
44 North Huckleberry Vodka
Notes: Vanilla, lemon, huckleberry
Fighting the good fight against the swathes of over-processed spirits occupying the American liquor market, the folks over at 44 North have crafted something truly unique.
Distilled using Russet Burbank potatoes and fresh Rocky Mountain water, this vodka has a weighty core flavor that provides the perfect backdrop for the locally cultivated Idaho huckleberries to really sing.
They arrive with a tart sweetness that tingles the tongue and forces a smile to creep across the face with each sip, which, if you ask me, is exactly what you should be looking for in a quality spirit.
While the huckleberries take center stage here, they don’t hog the limelight when introduced to a scooch of citrus, so feel free to squeeze in some fresh lemon and enjoy the ride.
The reason the flavors really come to life in this vodka is that the team over at 44 north had the sense to dial back the typical 40% ABV to a more manageable 35%, forcing the flavorings to the forefront of the drinking experience — well played 44 North!
Notes: Earth, vanilla, potato
There’s an uncompromising freshness at play in this wonderfully earthy potato vodka. Pocketed by the rugged Colorado Rockies, Woody Creek distills their potato vodka a grand total of once, and in doing so, they stay as true to the source material as possible, by which I mean, of course, the potatoes!
Their natural character, supplemented by accents of vanilla, is as complex and pleasing to the senses as the landscape that nurtured their tubers, yet it’s in no way overbearing. Rather, it’s crisp and refreshing, just as suitable for sipping straight as it is for taking a Martini to a whole new level.
Boyd and Blair
Notes: Pineapple, mango, acidity, caramel, toffee
Kudos to Boyd and Blair for having the insight to take vodka to the tropical regions with vibrant infusions of mango and pineapple. It’s a fruity geography rarely explored by the drink, but as soon as you taste that first sip, you’ll be kicking yourself and your co-diners under the dinner table for having not thought of it first.
If the tropical flavorings have piqued your interest, prepare yourself, because Boyd and Blair is so much more than a spiked punch. These interesting primary flavors are expertly galvanized by undertones of toffee and caramel — I’m drooling just writing about it!
I know it may be hard to visualize washing down your oysters with this vodka. The flavors make it sound like a meal in of itself, but there’s a refreshing acidity present in each sip that reins in this vodka more than enough to earn it a place on the table.
Washing over the tongue with a silken lightness, it pairs brilliantly with meals you’d typically associate with a nice cold, crisp white wine.
Notes: Buttercream, lemon peel, vanilla
It’s not the smoothest sip on the list, but this Austrian-made vodka still has all the hallmarks that we look for in a potato variant. Thrice distilled, it’s got a bite to it derived in part from the punchy citric undertones, but the hint of buttercream and vanilla makes for an intriguing counterpoint.
In a word, I’d describe this vodka as robust. In two words: robust and mixable. It’s not overly complex, but it’s rich enough to cut through a cocktail like nobody’s business, giving all of your concoctions a signature something all your friends will marvel at. It’s your new secret weapon!
Notes: Asparagus, fennel, potato skin, nuts
When you think of vodka, Russia automatically comes to mind, but did you know that Russia isn’t the sole origin of this polarizing drink. It was actually developed across a number of nations collectively known as “The Vodka Belt”, and it just so happens that an essential notch in this belt is, you’ve guessed it…Poland.
The Polish exhibit an artful dedication to their distillery craft. It’s not just a celebration of the drink, but a celebration of culture and tradition. It’s the reason that two of their vodkas made it onto this list.
Crafted from Strowbrowa potatoes and filtered through oak chips, Luksusowsa does nothing but justice to the nation’s proud roots. Not only can you taste the naturally deep flavors of the potatoes, but you get a distinct taste of their skin too.
Marry this earthy delight with hints of fennel, nuts, and even to a certain degree, sweet asparagus, and you’ve got an enticing drink indeed, one that should be sipped ice-cold. You’ll notice how the oiliness of the finish allows it to linger on the tongue longer than most vodkas, extending the pleasure of each sip, so you can really focus on the flavors.