What’s the Best Vodka?

by | Sep 4, 2019


What’s the best tasting vodka in America? Here’s clue: this IFOD is going to save you lots of money if you are a vodka drinker.

Vodka is the top selling spirit in the U.S., with sales of over $6.2 billion per year. Super-premium brands such as Grey Goose and Ciroc have become very popular over the past few decades, costing multiples of cheaper brands.


The legal definition of “Vodka” is: “neutral spirits so distilled . . . as to be without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color.” Most vodka is made from fermented grains such as sorghum, corn, rice, rye or wheat, though you can also use potatoes, fruits or even just sugar.

Based on blind taste tests, what is the best vodka?

  • A blind taste test sponsored by the New York Times in 2005 of 21 vodkas found Smirnoff to the best tasting. Grey Goose didn’t even make the top ten.
  • Refinery29 held a blind test between Grey Goose, Tito’s and Smirnoff in 2017 and found that Smirnoff was the winner.
  • The Huffington Post conducted a blind taste test among five vodkas in their office and declared Smirnoff the winner.
  • This blind test of seven vodkas had the following result: (1) Absolut, (2) Smirnoff, (3) Svedka, (4) Stoli, (5) Grey Goose, (6) Karkov, (7) Skyy.
  • In this blind taste test an alcohol critic describes Smirnoff as “unoffensive – it tastes like nothing – exactly what the law says vodka should be.”

Many of the premium vodkas don’t fare well in blind taste tests. Much of their popularity is due to marketing and the appearance of their bottle. According to author and spirits expert Fred Minnick in an interview with Business Insider:

Vodka is purely marketingthere is nothing special about it. It is meant to be thrown in with something else and take on the character of whatever it is mixed with. When you buy vodka, you are basically paying for someone’s fat salary and the marketing associated with it. This is not a spirit that was meant to be tasty. “It was meant to be bare — an intoxicant that you could sip without even knowing that you are sipping it.”

Yesterday’s IFOD on whether Expensive Wine Actually Tastes Better

IFOD on Whiskey!

1 Comment

  1. I am not much of a vodka drinker, but I am guilty of looking down on Smirnoff and mostly buy Grey Goose. I’m definitely going to try Smirnoff, but it will be hard to be unbiased.



  1. Measure Once, Cut Twice | The Brancatelli Blog - […] I didn’t care what the label said. I am supported here by the famous Smirnoff-Grey Goose taste test (2005).…

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