10 American Craft Vodkas You Should Know

  • 01 of 11

    The Art of American Craft Vodkas

    There are many great American-made vodkas that can stand alone in a Vodka Martini.
    A truly great vodka should be able to stand on its own or in a simple Vodka Martini and there are some fantastic American-made vodkas that can do just that. Mark Loader/StockFood Creative/Getty Images

    Vodka is a relative newbie in the American cocktail scene, making its first big appearances in the middle of the last century. Though we were used to liquor and produced a fair share of the world's rums and whiskies, this clear, 'tasteless' spirit drew us in and its hold has never let go.


    Russia, Poland, and other European countries have long been known for their exceptional vodkas, though the United States is quickly gaining ground.


    In the last few decades we have seen the American-made vodka...MORE market explode. Many of these brands are hand-crafted and produced by extremely talented master distillers. They not only care about the taste of their vodkas, but the ingredients and processes behind them. Distilling vodka has become a new American artform.


    This craft market had a slow start, with just a handful of brands making really great vodka. Today there are countless vodkas produced throughout the country, each with their own style and many taking advantage of locally available resources.


    In the following pages we will explore a few of those brands and learn what makes each vodka special.


    Published: August 26, 2015


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  • 02 of 11

    Charbay Vodka

    Charbay Vodka - Premium Crafted California Vodka
    Charbay is distilled at one of the best distilleries and wineries in California's Napa Valley and these premium vodkas are a true delight in any cocktail. Photo Courtesy: © Charbay

    I was introduced to Charbay over a decade ago and it was one of my first experiences with American craft vodka. It has remained a personal favorite since that first sip.


    Charbay is distilled in California's Napa Valley and with that geographical esteem, one would expect it to be a very fine beverage. The Karakasevic family has a long tradition of making fabulous wines and spirits and the quality of their vodkas is unsurpassed.


    The distillers take great pride in their craft and use only American...MORE corn that is GMO-free in their vodkas. The flavored vodkas are produced only once a year when the fruits have reached their peak and are ready for the natural extraction process that takes months to complete.


    Charbay has perfected small-batch vodka and they have some very fine whiskies, rums, and tequilas as well.


    • Vodka distilled to 192 proof from GMO-free corn grown in the Midwest. Flavors produced from real fruit extractions.
    • Produced by Charbay Winery & Distillery, Napa Valley, California
    • 40% alcohol/volume (80 proof)
    • Retails for around $36/750ml bottle
    • Full flavor line includes: Blood Orange, Green Tea, Meyer Lemon, Pomegranate, Red Raspberry, Ruby Red Grapefruit

    Published: August 26, 2015


    Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.


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  • 03 of 11

    Square One Organic Vodka

    Square One Organic Vodka - Premium Crafted Rye Vodka Produced in the United States
    A premium and organic rye vodka, Square One is one of the best vodkas produced in America today. Photo Courtesy: © Square One Spirits

    Around the time of Square One's debut on the market the term organic brought up thoughts of over-priced food and drink that were often unworthy of the cost. It was the quality of products like this vodka that helped re-shape our attitudes.


    Square One Organic Vodka is a clean, smooth vodka that you want to drink on its own. It revolutionized what I thought organic could be while staying competitive on price with other premium vodkas.http://cocktails.about.com/od/vodkareviews/tp/5-Most-Popular-Brand...MOREs-Of-Premium-Vodka.htm


    This vodka is distilled from North Dakota rye and boasts a certified organic fermentation process (not an easy task). The water is sourced from the clean aquifers of Wyoming's Tetons, and every aspect of the vodka's production has an environmentally friendly aspect.


    A great vodka that you can feel good about drinking, that is Square One, plain and simple.


    • Distilled from certified organic rye grown in North Dakota, using a certified organic fermentation process.
    • Produced by Square One Organic Spirits, Novato, California
    • 40% alcohol/volume (80 proof)
    • Price: $30-35/750 mL bottle
    • Full flavor line includes: Bergamot, Basil, Botanical, Cucumber

    Published: August 26, 2015


    Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.


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  • 04 of 11

    Corbin Vodka

    Corbin Vodka - Handcrafted California Sweet Potato Vodka
    Not your average vodka, Corbin is a California vodka distilled from sweet potatoes and it is a fun, delightful vodka you have to experience. Photo Courtesy: © Corbin Vodka

    For a truly unique vodka experience, you have to try Corbin. Without a doubt, this is a clear vodka unlike any you have tried and it all comes from the sweet potato.


    It requires 10 pounds of raw sweet potatoes to create every bottle of Corbin Vodka and every spud is grown on the family estate. The Souza's are farmers turned distillers who have created a fantastic farm-to-bottle vodka that is the first of its kind and a genuine experience.


    The vodka is exceptional. It is sweet and has hints of...MORE caramel and a perfect nuttiness that is very enjoyable. Corbin is just as good in cocktails as any other vodka, so mix to your heart's content.


    Corbin also produces a sweet potato gin and liqueur as well as two rye whiskies (one of which uses sweet potatoes, of course).


    About Corbin Vodka



    Published: August 26, 2015


    Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.


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  • 05 of 11

    44˚ North Vodka

    44˚ North Vodka - Crafted Idaho Potato Vodka
    A very fun American-made vodka, 44˚ North Vodka is pure Idaho potato (and one wheat vodka) with some interesting flavors. Photo Courtesy: © 44˚ North Vodka

    One of the leaders in the American craft vodka movement, 44˚ North Vodka keeps a relatively low profile, but inside each of these bottles is a vodka that is filled with spirit.


    44˚ North Vodka is distilled from the famous Burbank and Russet potatoes of its home state of Idaho. Using a five-column still and Rocky Mountain spring water, the vodka is the pure essence of a well-crafted potato vodka and one of the best produced in the U.S. today.


    The clear potato vodka from this distillery is a wonder...MORE and I have tried the Mountain Huckleberry, which is an unique experience all its own. All of the 44˚ North Vodkas should follow suit in quality and their ability to mix up a fine cocktail.


    About 44˚ North Vodka:


    • Premium Idaho Burbank and Russet Potato vodka produced in Boise, Idaho.
    • Produced by 44˚ North Vodka
    • 40% alcohol/volume (80 proof)
    • Retails for around $32/ 750ml bottle
    • Full vodka line includes: Magic Valley Wheat and the flavors Mountain Huckleberry, Rainier Cherry, Sunnyslope Nectarine

    Published: August 26, 2015


    Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.


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  • 06 of 11

    Blue Ice American Vodka

    Blue Ice American Vodka - Premium Potato Vodka from Idaho
    Blue Ice American Vodka is one of the best potato vodkas found in the U.S. and it all relies on that famous Idaho potato. Photo Courtesy: © Blue Ice American Vodka

    Americans know the beauty that is the Idaho potato. It is vodkas like Blue Ice that utilize these home-grown spuds that can rival any potato vodka coming out of Poland.


    Produced in the heart of potato country, Blue Ice American Vodka is a fantastic example of a modern potato vodka. It is distilled five times, filtered for five more, and blended with those coveted waters of the Snake River Aquifer that distillers hold so dear.


    Blue Ice is a clean, slightly silky vodka that is invigorating. The...MORE price is also reasonable, so feel free to mix this into your favorite vodka drinks.


    About Blue Ice American Vodka


    • Distilled with Idaho Russet Burbank Potatoes, four-column still and filtered five times.
    • Produced by Distilled Resources at Silver Creek Distillery in Rigby, Idaho.
    • 40% alcohol/volume (80 proof)
    • Retails for around $20-24 per 750 ml bottle
    • Full vodka line includes: Organic Wheat and G Vodka (multi-grain), with flavors  Creme Brulee, Blue Raspberry, Island Coconut, Sweet Peach

    Published: August 26, 2015


    Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.


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  • 07 of 11

    Zodiac Vodka

    Zodiac Vodka - American Potato Vodka
    Crystal clear, Zodiac vodka is a clean and smooth as it looks and it is all American made. Photo Courtesy: © Zodiac Vodka

    Potato vodka is definitely a trend in American-crafted spirits and it is only natural that distillers grab on to those great Idaho spuds. Zodiac is one of those potato-loving greats and since its 2014 relaunch, it is gaining ground as a great vodka.


    Produced in Rigby, Idaho from locally-grown potatoes, Zodiac goes through a 91-stage distillation in a four-column still. It utilizes those clean waters from the Snake River Aquifer, and is filtered with Canadian birch charcoal.


    The resulting vodka is...MORE sipping-worthy, particularly tempting over ice. The price makes it ideal for creating quality vodka cocktails any day of the week.


    About Zodiac Vodka:


    • Premium American potato vodka produced in Rigby, Idaho.
    • Produced by Zodiac USA, LLC
    • 40% alcohol/volume (80 proof)
    • Retails for around $25/ 750ml bottle
    • Full flavor line includes: Black Cherry

    Published: August 26, 2015


    Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.


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  • 08 of 11

    Cold River Vodka

    Cold River Vodka - Premium Crafted Potato Vodka from Maine
    A fun potato vodka from Maine, Cold River Vodka is smooth, tasty, and the perfect fit for any cocktail.

    Honestly, it has been a few years since I tasted Cold River Vodka, but it was a memorable experience and one that I am going to have to relive.


    Hailing from the great state of Maine, Cold River is another fine potato vodka. The locally grown potatoes are distilled three times in small batches using a copper pot still. Each bottle is filled and numbered by hand in true independent distillery style.


    Cold River Vodka is a rich potato vodka that makes a mean Vodka Martini. If you are in to gin, the...MORE distillery has you covered as well.


    About Cold River Vodka:



    Published: August 26, 2015


    Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.


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  • 09 of 11

    AnestasiA Vodka

    Anestasia Vodka
    A stunning bottle holds the smooth, crystal clear Anestasia Vodka. Photo Courtesy: © Anestasia Vodka

    The bottle is sure to capture your attention and the liquid it holds is a perfect example of a really great American vodka.


    The inspiration comes from the founder, Yuliya Momontova-Calian's Eastern European roots in vodka making. Anestasia is produced in Oregon from American-grown corn and both the distillation and filtration are run five different times.


    The result is an exceptionally smooth sipping vodka that also makes a fine cocktail.


    Keep reading about Anestasia Vodka...


    • Distilled from American...MORE corn, five times distilled and five times filtered in volcanic rock and quartz crystal.
    • Produced in Bend, Oregon
    • 40% alcohol/volume (80 proof)
    • Retails for around $39/750ml bottle

    Published: August 26, 2015


    Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.


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  • 10 of 11

    Dry Fly Vodka

    Dry Fly Vodka - Small Batch Wheat Vodka from Washington State
    Distilled in small batches, the amazingly smooth wheat vodka from Dry Fly Distilling is a treasure in American-made spirits. Photo Courtesy: © Dry Fly Distilling

    Dry Fly is a great microdistillery in the Northwest that has been making quite a name for themselves. It is well-deserved as all of their spirits are fantastic and the wheat vodka is no exception.


    Distilled from locally-sourced winter wheat, this Washington State vodka is pure perfection in a glass. Unlike other wheat vodkas, this neither too harsh nor too floral. The distillers at Dry Fly have found the perfect balance.


    Dry Fly Vodka is one that you will not mind drinking straight, in fact it is...MORE one of the best direct-pour vodkas. The price is reasonable for the high quality, making it a good candidate for creating top-shelf cocktails.


    About Dry Fly Vodka


    • Micro-distilled vodka produced from locally-sourced winter wheat in Washington.
    • Produced by Dry Fly Distilling Company, Spokane, Washington
    • Retails for around $30/750 ml bottle
    • 40% alcohol/volume (80 proof)

    Published: August 26, 2015


    Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.


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  • 11 of 11

    Prairie Organic Vodka

    Prairie Organic Vodka - Organic Corn Vodka Produced in America
    Prairie Organic Vodka is a fine example of great corn vodka that is both organic and handcrafted in the United States. Photo Courtesy: © Ed Phillips and Sons Co.

    Organic and environmentally and locally responsible, these are just a few of the great things about Prairie Organic Vodka. The vodka's pretty good too.


    Prairie is a Minnesota-made corn vodka that uses the grains grown by stake-holding farmers working close to the distillery. The entire operation is certified organic and kosher, the waste is used to fuel the operation, and even the bottles are made from recycled glass.


    This is a vodka that you won't mind mixing into any vodka cocktail that...MORE comes your way. It's truly a delight and at the price it is a great value as well.


    About Prairie Organic Vodka


    • Organic vodka distilled from corn grown in Minnesota near the distillery.
    • Produced by Ed Phillips and Sons Co. of Phillips, Minnesota
    • Retails for around $25/750 ml bottle
    • 40% alcohol/volume (80 proof)
    • Full flavor line includes: Cucumber

    Published: August 26, 2015


    Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.