Vodka is a clear spirit that is a popular addition to cocktails and can also be enjoyed neat, especially in shots. However, not all vodka is created equal. That’s because there are different types of vodka which can be categorised into standard, premium and super premium vodka.
Each level of vodka has its own production process that will ultimately make it into something run of the mill or extraordinary. If you’ve never given it much thought before, it’s worth exploring the different tiers of vodka to best to understand what you are experiencing when you drink it.
So, if you are wondering, ‘What’s the difference between standard, premium and super premium vodka?’, here is everything you need to know.
Also referred to as ‘bottom shelf vodka’, standard vodka refers to any brand of vodka that is considered typical in terms of the ingredients, production process, presentation and overall taste. There are some incredibly popular brands of vodka that are classed as standard vodka, with Sminorff and Russian Standard being a couple of examples.
The main difference with standard vodka is that lesser quality ingredients are used during the fermentation process, such as potatoes and sugar-beet rather than higher quality grains that are found in premium vodka. When the product is then distilled, it tends to go through less refinement with the focus being on producing a familiar vodka taste rather than anything extraordinary.
The characteristics of a ‘good’ vodka are something that doesn’t leave a strong taste or sensation in the mouth. When consumed neat, standard vodkas can sometimes produce this and have a strong ethanol smell. However, with the right mixer drinks standard vodka is still perfectly enjoyable. Another advantage is that compared with premium brands, standard vodka is much more affordable.
Standard Vodka Brands
If you enjoy vodka and are ready to step up the class factor, then premium vodka is just the ticket. The advantage of premium vodka is that it has a much more refined taste and overall brand appeal compared with standard vodka, but for the most part is still reasonably priced. Premium vodka brands that may be familiar to you include Absolut, Ciroc and Grey Goose.
Premium vodkas are different from the outset. They use a higher quality mix of ingredients as well as bespoke botanical infusions. More emphasis is put on producing a pleasing taste, removing the sharpness that can be found in cheaper brands.
During the distilling stage, premium vodka goes through a much stricter process to refine the finished product. Often, the liquid will be distilled more times too, which can be seen on the label with phrases such as ‘triple distilled’ or even ‘5x distilled.’ What the vodka is passed through during the distilling stage plays a part too, and can include things such as quartz sand and other luxury materials.
Premium Vodka Brands
Super Premium Vodka
As the name suggests, super premium vodka is blends which meet only the highest quality and craftsmanship. Even compared with premium vodka, super premium vodkas are in a league of their own and are highly revered by vodka connoisseurs. What sets them apart is the ingredients used, the distilling process and also the overall appeal of the brand.
The most expensive super-premium vodka on the market is Billionaire Vodka, coming in at a cool $3.7M (approximately £3M) per bottle. The company is based at Caverswall Castle in England and uses the natural spring water (said to be some of the best in the world) that surrounds the grounds of the castle to triple distil the vodka.
After being filtered through Nordic birch charcoal, it is then passed through sand made from crushed diamonds and gems. No expense is spared at the bottling stage either, as each bottle of Billionaire Vodka is given a solid gold label and neckband that is encrusted with diamonds. A hand-mounted seal made from platinum adds the finishing touch, to what is an exquisite super-premium vodka, reserved for the wealthiest individuals on the planet.
Super Premium Vodka Brands
- Billionaire Vodka
- Bohemian Brands
- Crystal Head
- Oval Vodka
- Pure Milk
To Sum Up
We hope you’ve found the above information on what’s the difference between standard, premium and super premium vodka helpful. Essentially, the category of the vodka is related to how it’s made and what from. The higher the category, the more refinement the vodka has seen before it reaches the shelves. Though, with the right serving methods, all levels of vodkas can be enjoyed as intended.
Here at Bring Me Drink we sell a wide range of beers and spirits including vodka. Our vodka spans standard and premium brands, as well as flavoured vodka too. Be sure to leave us a comment below with your favourite vodka recipes. If you need any help or advice selecting the right vodka for your occasion, please get in touch or follow us on Facebook and we’d be more than happy to assist you.