Vodka is one of the most popular liquor options in the United States and worldwide. This clear liquor is popular primarily because of its versatility. Whether you want a savory Bloody Mary or a fruity Apple Martini, vodka is your choice.
You can make vodka with grains, potatoes, or even grapes, but in this guide, we’ll focus on vodka made from potatoes. Read on to learn about the distillation process and find 12 vodka brands made from potatoes that you need to try.
Many brands use potatoes to make their vodka, but it only makes up about three percent of the total market. Grains like wheat, rice, corn, and sorghum (cereal grain) are far more often used to make vodka.
To make vodka, you need starch; many different ingredients create this clear liquor. Grains are the most common source, and potatoes make up a small portion, but other examples include beets, soybeans, crystal sugar, grapes, or molasses.
Using unique ingredients (aside from grains and potatoes) to create vodka has led to various legislative restrictions on what can and cannot be considered. Traditional vodka producers championed these legislative restrictions, especially those in the “Vodka Belt” (Finland, Estonia, Poland, Sweden, and Lithuania), a group of countries associated with vodka production.
Production of vodka happens through a distillation process. Vodka is a colorless and supposedly “flavorless” neutral liquor. The idea of vodka as a flavorless liquor has been disputed over the years, and now, people consider the tasting profile of vodka to be much more important and tangible.
Ingredients go through a general four-step process to become vodka: fermentation, distillation, filtration, and refining.
The starch or starch-like base ferments, creating ethanol, also called grain alcohol or drinking alcohol. The ethanol is strained so that it’s a pure and clear liquid.
Distillation is when the liquid is evaporated and then condensed to create a purer drink. Vodka typically goes through several rounds of distillation.
The liquid is filtered through carbon and/or charcoal filters to remove any remaining impurities.
Refining refers to any final steps to create the preferred vodka of the brand. Adding water or other liquids to dilute the alcohol to the correct content happens during this step.
When making potato vodka, you start by chopping potatoes. The result is the same whether this is done by hand or machine. The diced potatoes then go into a boiling pot to soften. The softened potatoes can be mixed with yeast and either a barley mixture or straight sugar, depending on the preferred method.
The potatoes are left to ferment, which produces ethanol.
The process is fairly similar to making vodka with potatoes, as stated above. You start by selecting your grain or a mix of grains (wheat, sorghum, rice, barley, etc.) and mix it with water and yeast.
Mixing these ingredients creates a mash similar to the potato mash, and the fermentation process produces ethanol.
While vodka is traditionally unflavored, many flavored vodkas have gained popularity over the years. Fruit-flavored vodka is trendy as it is sweet and can help create fruity and interesting cocktails with little effort.
To create flavored vodka, flavor additives (both natural and unnatural) go into the mixture after the distillation process. Flavored vodkas often contain added sugar to give them a sweet flavor, and that sugar is added after fermentation and distillation conclude.
Here are 12 vodka brands made from potatoes that we recommend.
Chopin Potato Vodka is the most awarded potato vodka worldwide. This vodka has a bit of heft, with a robust earthy potato taste and subtle vanilla aroma.
This is what you want if you’re looking for the perfect vodka for a martini.
Zodiac Vodka takes advantage of what Idaho does best: potatoes. This vodka uses 100% potatoes for its fermentation process, making it a naturally gluten-free liquor.
Zodiac Vodka is filtered once, leaving a slightly sweet and warm flavor behind. In addition to its original vodka, the brand offers a black cherry-flavored vodka made from potatoes.
Monopolowa Vodka is an Austrian vodka that uses a traditional family recipe. The dry vodka taste makes it the perfect cocktail companion, especially for martinis.
This brand is perfect if you’re looking for premium taste on a lower budget.
Cape Cod Vodka is a liquor created using a traditional, time-honored process and recipe. This vodka takes time and effort, and it shows in the superior quality and taste you’ll experience.
A combination of potatoes and corn goes into this vodka, which has a refreshing and clear flavor.
Leopold Bros Silver Tree Vodka is a small-batch vodka created by actual brothers Todd and Scott Leopold. The company is based in Colorado and prides itself on using local, direct-source ingredients.
This vodka combines potatoes, wheat, and barley to create a smooth liquor perfect for mixing a cocktail.
Woody Creek Vodka is a unique creation in our list and the broader world of vodka. Vodka companies often pride themselves on the many, many times their vodka was distilled. However, Woody Creek Vodka goes through the distillation process just once.
We think it should become a new trend because the result is fantastic and bursting with flavor.
Vesica Vodka has a naturally sweet and fruity flavor that your typical grain-based vodka can’t offer. The potatoes seem to have melted off as the sugar crystals formed during fermentation because the flavor here is undeniable.
In addition, Vesica offers some flavored potato-based vodkas, including coconut, pineapple, peach, and green apple.
Chase Vodka is a British vodka that’s more than just a pretty bottle. This liquor has a distinct buttery vanilla taste that makes it ideal for a sweet cocktail or just served straight in a glass.
Chase is the ideal brand if you’re hoping to mix up the perfect screwdriver.
Vikingfjord Vodka uses glacial water and potatoes grown off the banks of Mjøsa, Norway’s largest lake. The quality is superior here as the purification process is incredibly rigorous.
This is the brand for you if you’re looking for luxurious vodka with no impurities.
Luksusowa Vodka is a Polish vodka that dates back to 1928, even using the same basic recipe for its vodka. The traditional process pays off in a bold taste you may not expect from vodka.
The taste is unbelievably smooth, so you can easily have some of this premium vodka served neat.
Born and Bred Potato Vodka is a reasonably new brand championed by famous actor Channing Tatum. The company is based in Driggs, Idaho, and uses only local Idaho potatoes in its vodka.
This vodka is distilled twenty times and charcoal-filtered for a clean, crispy taste.
44 North Vodka is a brand that has several options for flavored potato-based vodka. We’ve decided to feature the huckleberry flavor because it tastes just as great on its own as it does in a crafty cocktail.
The brand offers other flavors, including watermelon, nectarine, cherry, plain potato vodka, and wheat vodka.
Here are some frequently asked questions about vodka and potato-based vodkas.
No, Smirnoff vodka is not made from potatoes. People often believe the brand uses potatoes, but Smirnoff vodka uses corn for its fermentation process. Many people mistakenly believe that Smirnoff is a Russian company, but the brand is British.
Many believe the distillation process of vodka removes gluten entirely from the liquor. However, many people with severe gluten sensitivity or Celiac Disease have adverse reactions to grain-based alcohol such as vodka.
Although there may be exceptions, the majority of potato-based vodka is gluten-free. Many of the brands on the above list are gluten-free. You should always double-check the ingredients of any liquor if you have gluten sensitivity or Celiac Disease.
There is a common misconception that most Russian vodka is made from potatoes, but most Russian vodka uses grains. Wheat, sorghum, rye, and corn are the most common ingredients in Russian vodka.
One of the most well-known Russian vodka brands, Russian Standard, uses sorghum (cereal grain) for its vodka.
The most expensive vodka in the world is Royal Dragon Vodka, a Hong Kong company that distills its vodka in Lithuania. A bottle of The Eye of the Dragon, the brand’s top-tier offer, costs 5.5 million dollars.
More vodka flavors: