51+ Best & Banned Russian Vodka Brands in 2023 (Updated)

Russian Vodka Brands in the USA banned best
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A key component of Russian culture is vodka. There are drink specials on happy hour menus, in general, in liquor bottle display areas, and at liquor stores all across the world, but what distinguishes Russian brands from other brands so significantly? A lot of Russian vodka companies make better vodka by using high-quality ingredients and old-fashioned distillation methods. They add quite a kick and are a significant component in a variety of beverages that every bar should be familiar with. Vodka is one of the most in-demand products in Russia. Let’s dive into which brands are the best. In this article, we also looked at Russian vodka brands in the USA and banned Russian vodka brands.

Best Russian Vodka Brands

Russian distillers think vodka is healthier than other alcoholic beverages like whiskey or rum. With this in mind, Russia makes some of the highest-quality vodkas available.

Vodka is also regarded as the greatest alcoholic beverage for shots in Russia, and people prefer it straight up over mixed drinks. Vodka is a common main ingredient in a variety of drinks, from cool summer cocktails to warm winter cocktail recipes. In Russia, it’s consumed in a much more straightforward manner.

#1. Beluga Noble 

Beluga Noble vodka is one of the good Russian Vodka brands because it is made with malt spirit and pure water from Siberian artesian wells. The bottled vodka has a rich yet delicate flavor profile that makes it perfect for mixing classic drinks or drinking straight up.

Beluga vodka’s natural ingredients go through a three-stage filtration process. The vodka is then left outside for 30 days. By keeping the vodka out, distillers may remove the harsh flavor and odor from the finished product, neutralizing it.

#2. Green Mark 

Green Mark is one of the Russian vodka brands that honor its Russian roots and is representative of its past. For each batch, natural Russian components are used. The product is then finished using conventional distillation techniques, which consistently produce a clean finish.

The name of the brand comes from the “green checkmark of approval,” which is part of a quality certification program run by the Russian government. The Russian custom was also incorporated into Green Mark, which led to its rapid popularity.

But Green Mark still gets its ingredients from and makes its products in Russia.

#3. Smirnoff

It should come as no surprise that the most well-known vodka brand is also one of the oldest Russian vodka brands. The alcoholic beverage sector has been led by Smirnoff since 1864.

Despite having Russian roots and a Russian original recipe, the brand has moved on from its origins. The first distillery for Smirnoff was established in Moscow by Pyotr Arsenievich Smirnov. The brand was transferred to the United States following the Russian Revolution. Smirnoff is currently owned by Diageo and is still a US-made product.

In recent years, Smirnoff has surpassed other good liquor brands in terms of sales of both the original and flavored varieties. Master mixologists at Smirnoff create drinks with inspiration from well-known cocktail recipes.

By producing ready-to-drink vodka beverages, strong seltzers, etc., the brand also follows emerging trends.

#4. Moskovskaya Osobaya

Moskovskaya Osobaya, which translates to Muscovite, is proud of its Russian heritage. They are another company that markets the purity of its vodka, which, in their view, translates to a pure wheat vodka that has been triple-distilled.

Moskovskaya Osobaya has a lengthy history despite not having the same level of global recognition as some of the other vodkas. When it was established in 1894, it was simply known as Moskovskaya; however, when the Emperor referred to it as “special” in the early 1900s, the Osobaya (meaning “special”) was added.

However, it tastes like a traditional vodka, which is clear, slightly bitey, and slightly peppery.

#5. Russian Standard 

Russian Standard Vodka is one of the Russian vodka brands that is exceptionally pure. The sweet and silky spirit is also a result of the fusion of craft, technology, history, and revolution.

The company’s name stands for an amazing fusion of science and nature. However, their recipe takes its cues from eminent Russian scientist Dmitri Mendeleev. The topics of stability and the science of natural order were central to Mendeleev’s studies. So, their objective was to establish the ideal ratio of water to alcohol.

The smooth glacial waters of Lake Ladoga are also included in Russian Standard Vodka. From its granite basin, which was carved out by glaciers during the last Ice Age, its water naturally has few contaminants.

The deep, dark soil of the Russian Steppes supports the growth of winter wheat. The grain also affects how the finished product tastes and smells. It may not work well in mixed drink recipes, but it tastes great on the rocks.

A state-of-the-art distillery in St. Petersburg is where all the components are combined. The procedure of distilling vodka more than 250 times yields the finest form of the booze.

#6. Jewel of Russia 

You don’t buy a piece of art with your vodka every day. Each Jewel of Russia bottle includes a hand-painted label with Russian-themed artwork. Each label also includes a small personal touch: the artist’s signature.

Russian components of the highest caliber are used to make the vodka within the stunning bottles. Each recipe uses water from 500-foot-deep artesian wells. Rye and winter wheat are used as the grains for Jewel of Russia vodka.

Using traditional Russian methods, each batch of vodka is distilled in five steps, giving it a clear and smooth finish.

Genuine, premium vodka is available from Jewel of Russia. However, the expensive price tag is probably justified by the opulent spirit. The creative bottles will also make interesting discussion pieces for homes and attractive decor for prisons.

#7. Polugar Classic Rye Vodka

Vodka is interpreted differently in Polugar Classic. That begins with rye being the only component used in the fermenting process.

The use of rye alone has a number of effects on both production and flavor. There are also two processes in the filtration procedure after three copper pot distillations. Before the usual filtering with charcoal, egg whites are added to get rid of any contaminants.

With a distinct rye flavor that comes through in the finished product, it tastes considerably different from the other vodkas on this list.

#8. Hammer + Sickle  

Hammer + Sickle is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for crisp, fresh vodka. The mouthfeel of the vodka is rounder and bolder, with a smooth aftertaste. Even though Hammer & Sickle’s original vodka doesn’t have any flavor, you might be able to taste a hint of vanilla.

All of Hammer + Sickle’s ingredients come from a Russian family that spans several generations. Hammer + Sickle’s vodka places a strong emphasis on culture, as they continuously celebrate their roots in each bottle.

Hammer + Sickle is one of the most expensive brands of vodka from Russia. This is because it is carefully distilled and filtered. Furthermore, the winter wheat from southern Russia’s dark soil gives the products one of the purest flavors available.

Both seasoned drinkers and novices will enjoy Hammer + Sickles’ exquisite taste and respect for Russian culture.

#9. Husky 

Husky’s vodka acquires its flawless finish in harsh and chilly settings. The spring water from Siberia is cleaned using cold filtering techniques.

Filters can absorb more pollutants in chilly temperatures. After this kind of process, Husky vodka is as pure as it can be.

The specific origin of the dog also serves as the source of the name “Husky.” Both the canine and the vodka exhibit characteristics of very cold temperatures. Animal lovers and people who like Russian vodka can’t miss the paw print on the blue bottles of Husky.

#10. Nemiroff

Nemiroff has been producing vodka for well over a century. In 1872, the first distillation took place.

Nemiroff is a fantastic mid-range vodka that, in terms of price, falls between Smirnoff and Jewel of Russia. Because of this, it has enough quality to be enjoyed neat but can also work wonders when blended into drinks like a vodka tonic or Bloody Mary.

Nemiroff is one of the Russian vodka brands you’ll first taste grassy aromas before getting a peppery aftertaste when you drink it straight.

#11. Marmont Siberian

This other Siberian vodka is made at Itkul, which is one of the oldest distilleries in the Altai region. Mamont is a single-estate product, which means the entire process from grain to bottle takes place in one place. It is made with malted barley, malted millet, wheat, and rye, and it has been distilled six times. This vodka is definitely marketed as a high-end drink. It comes in a stylish packaging and has a website to match. However, there are several limited editions, and each one has a design that relates to a certain subject. If you’re feeling really edgy, you might want to try Mamont Blood, a dark crimson sibling spirit that has been flavored and colored with berries and herbs from the Russian Karelian region.

#12. Zyr Vodka 

The “9-5-3” formula used in the production of this Russian vodka is broken down as follows. Nine steps are involved in the filtration process; the first five use water from a source not far from the Finnish border, and the final four involve the spirit after distillation using granules of birch tree charcoal. The vodka is distilled five times from a mash bill of non-GMO winter wheat and rye. The three represent the number of quality control tastings that are conducted on the end distillate, the water used to make it, and the starting grain alcohol. But, unlike some other brands, the company says that it doesn’t add anything to the vodka. Please don’t come seeking any flavored variations because there is only one Zyr expression.

#13. Baikal

Baikal vodka is a clear, smooth vodka that is easy to consume. It is named after Lake Baikal, from which it draws all of its water (at a depth of 500 meters!). Notably, it’s the first vodka in Russia to get this award, and it’s also organic.

After getting their water, Baikal adds flavorings such as linden honey, pine nuts, and pine nut aroma to enhance the flavor. Following that, they put their “classical vodka” in bottles, but they also make a number of different variants with greater flavors.

Baikal is available in revitalizing (flavored with cranberry), fragrant (with extra pine nuts), and warming varieties (with pepper honey).

#14. Stoli

The premium vodka brand Stoli combines new distilling methods with old ones to make a vodka that is both bold and long-lasting. It is also known as Stolichnaya

However, the majority of Stoli’s vodka is distilled from grain. Because some people can’t eat gluten, the company makes a version of its premium vodka that doesn’t contain gluten. The distillation process for the gluten-free variant uses buckwheat and corn.

The ABV of Stoli vodka is also the usual 40%. Always figure out how to figure out ABV before giving alcohol to someone to drink safely and responsibly.

Stoli Group also uses its status as one of the best retailers of fine wine and spirits to promote sustainability. Stoli works with the ReSea Project, which tries to stop plastic waste from ending up in our oceans.

Each purchase of Stoli by a customer has an impact. Stoli pays for the removal of almost ten plastic bottles from rivers and oceans throughout the world for every bottle. Their efforts are certain to have an effect in the future, given the popularity of Stoli spirits.

Russian Vodka Brands in the USA

As we all know that vodka is more peculiar to the Russians but at the same time can be found in the USA too. Here are some Russian vodka brands in the USA you need to know:

#1. Karkov Citrone Vodka

Natural citrus flavors that are crisp with a round, smooth finish. made using four-times-distilled vodka. amazing with soda water and lemonade. Outstanding value!

#2. Karkov Gin

Mineral dust, sweet candied lemon peel, and delicate juniper scents. The body is composed of powdered sugar, cream, lemon peels, and prairie grass and has a light to medium dryish consistency. A soft lemon and milk powder fade mark the end. 86 marks Silver “Best Buy” Award (Crisp, Citrus, Grass, Balanced)

#3. Jewel Of Russia Ultra Black Vodka

The subtle scent has hints of white pepper, wheat crackers, and cigarette tobacco. It is softly gritty. The dry flavor changes to a silky texture and a taste that is both minerally and stone-like at the mid-palate. The palate entry is exquisite but a little heated. Finishes with a bittersweet, bean and kernel-like, and somewhat soy curd-like flavor. A vodka with several layers and a grip that is subdued and discreet.

#4. Ivanabiitch Peach Vodka

Have you ever tried eating a peach without a napkin? That’s exactly what you’re going to receive from this mouthwatering, in-your-face, sticky, sweet peach-drinking delight.

#5. Imperia Vodka

For people who appreciate better things in life, Russian Standard’s IMPERIA Vodka has been meticulously created to the highest standards. Imperia is created utilizing the world’s most sophisticated distillation technique, layer-filtered using quartz crystal from the Ural Mountains, and made from hardy winter wheat and gentle glacier water. It is then given 72 hours to rest in relaxation tanks before being bottled. The outcome is a taste that is incredibly clean and pure, with a faint herbal aroma and an elegant, full body. This vodka is almost flawless and delightful to sip neat.

#6. Ivanabiitch Red Berry Vodka

Like a berry explosion in a bottle, this winning flavor is irresistible! To get instant POW, combine this delicious concoction of luscious berries with any mixer.

#7. Stoli® 100 Proof

To its many fans, Stoli is an actual family of Russian vodkas, produced according to Russian tradition using methods that date back to the fifteenth century. Stolichnaya uses only the best natural ingredients available. The Stoli on the table and the tongue are indiscernible. The distinctive red label sticks out among the crowd. The moment you bring the glass to your mouth, you can tell you are sipping Stoli thanks to the complex layers of flavor and undeniable quality. The most popular vodka in the world is called Stolichnaya. Stolichnaya is a family of Russian vodkas that are made in the traditional Russian way. They are called “Stoli” by their many friends because they are made using techniques from the 1400s. However, Stolichnaya uses only the best natural ingredients available

Russian Vodka Banned Brands

An executive order signed by Biden forbade the importing of Russian seafood, spirits/vodka, and non-industrial diamonds, as well as the exportation of high-end watches, jewelry, clothing, alcohol, and other products favored by the Russian aristocracy to Russia and Belarus. The G-7 nations and European allies declared they would do the same.

In the past, North Korea was the only country subject to U.S. export restrictions on luxury items.

More importantly, the White House said that it will work with European and G-7 leaders to get rid of Russia’s “most-favored-nation” trade status. The individual nations’ legislatures will need to approve the adjustment, but it is anticipated that they will do so soon. If permanent normal trade ties are broken, tariffs on goods from Russia will be allowed to go up by a lot. Russian businesses will find it more challenging to conduct business with the global economy due to higher trade obstacles. Russian Standard, Hammer & Sickle Vodka, Imperia Russian Vodka, Polugar Rye & Wheat, Aviator Vodka, Kutskova Vodka, and Moskovskaya Vodka are some of the other vodkas that are currently banned.

Makers of Stolichnaya Vodka Say Its Product Is Made in Latvia and Shouldn’t Be Banned

Only a few days after Russian troops crossed the border into Ukraine, New Hampshire joined other states in outlawing the sale of “Russia-made” and “Russia-branded” spirits in state-run liquor stores.

It was a symbolic action that has been done before. Following the downing of a Korean Air passenger plane that killed 269 people in 1983, New Hampshire temporarily outlawed Soviet-made alcoholic beverages under the previous governor, John Sununu.

But Sununu’s one-page executive order, which was released on February 26, doesn’t say what makes an alcoholic drink “Russian-branded.” This has led at least one major vodka maker, Stoli Group, to start a PR campaign saying it is being unfairly punished.

The Stoli Group has its headquarters in Latvia and has been producing flavored spirits, including Stolichnaya vodka, since the early 2000s. The business was started in 1938 in the Soviet Union. When Putin became president in 2000, the company’s former CEO, Yuri Shefler, moved it out of Russia. Since then, the company is said to have been critical of the government, and it says it doesn’t do any business in Russia.

Stoli officials say that only New Hampshire has banned their spirits because of the Russian invasion. A total of $460,000 worth of product, according to the firm, was taken from the shelves. With 15,752 cases sold in 2021, Stolichnaya, the brand-name vodka from Stoli, was the 25th most popular alcoholic beverage in the state of New Hampshire.

Sununu went on to say that he has only heard one complaint about the ban, and that was from the CEO of the company.

Due to not knowing where it is right now, the Stoli Group said earlier this month that it has started to rebrand. One change is that the name Stolichnaya is being dropped in favor of Stoli.

Which Vodka Brands Are Made in Russia?

Here are some vodka brands that are made in Russia:

  • Russian Standard
  •  Beluga Noble Russian Vodka and Beluga Noble Russian Gold Vodka
  •  Zyr Russian Vodka

Non-Russian Vodkas

Here are some Russian vodka brands that are not made in Russia:

  • Absolut Vodka, which is Swedish
  •  Ciroc, which is French
  •  Grey Goose, which is French 
  • New Amsterdam, which is American 
  • SKYY Vodka, which is American Smirnoff, which is American
  • Svedka, which is Swedish

Is Smirnoff Vodka Russian?

Smirnoff vodka is a product of Diageo, a British business. Pyotr Arsenievich Smirnov established a vodka distillery in Moscow, which is where the Smirnoff brand had its start (1831–1898). It is available in 130 nations. Products from Smirnoff include malt drinks, vodka, and vodka with flavors. Smirnoff was the vodka that sold the most across the world in 2014.

The vodka is made without aging using a traditional filtering method created by P. A. Smirnov. Vladimir Smirnov, who had to leave Russia during the October Revolution with his father, came up with Recipe No. 21.

What Is the Number One Russian Vodka?

In Russia, Stoli is arguably the most well-known and popular vodka brand. Customers and bartenders like Stoli products because they use both traditional distillation methods and cutting-edge technologies.

Also, the company’s sustainability initiatives provide customers with a sense of direction with every purchase.

In Russia, Stoli is arguably the best-known and most popular vodka brand. Customers and bartenders like Stoli products because they use both traditional distillation methods and cutting-edge technologies.

Is Grey Goose Vodka Russian?

No, Grey Goose Vodka is not a Russian vodka; it’s a vodka from France. Sidney Frank and Francois Thibault, the company’s Maître de Chai (Cellar Master), founded Grey Goose in 1997. Bacardi purchased it in 2004.

After working as a cognac cellar master, Francois was inspired to make a vodka that reflected the real taste and personality of the ingredients. He continues to supervise each stage of the special trip, from field to bottle.

Only winter wheat from Picardie and pure spring water are used to make Grey Goose vodka in France, which is known as the world’s capital of cuisine. This is how the Maitre de Chai did it.

Is Absolut Vodka Russian?

Absolut Vodka is a Swedish vodka made from Swedish winter wheat in the hamlet of Hus in southern Sweden.

What Is the Strongest Vodka in Russia?

The strongest vodka in Russia is Stolichnaya. Russian vodka Stolichnaya 100 is also referred to as “Blue Label.” It is manufactured from rye and wheat. Although it is distilled in Russia, it is packaged and proofed in Latvia. It has a 50% ABV, which is equal to 100 proof.

Is Ketel One Russian?

Cocktail-friendly The company that makes Ketel One vodka is proudly Dutch. The distillery even has its own windmill, and it has been made in the Netherlands for 11 generations!

It’s a spirit that goes well in cocktails, and VinePair’s blind tasting of the top vodkas for Moscow Mules yielded a top-three finish for it. Here are a few things you need to know about Ketel One.

#1. Ketel One Is the Product of Over 300 Years of Distilling Experience

The Nolet family distills Ketel One in Schiedam, the Netherlands. Joannes Nolet started the distillery in 1691, and it is now run by the 10th and 11th generations of the Nolet family.

#2. Ketel One Vodka Is Named After the Distillery’s Original Copper Pot Still

Ketels are what Dutch distillers call pot stills. Carolus Nolet named his vodka recipe Distilleerketel #1 after the oldest coal-fired copper pot in the distillery. This pot, which is shown on the labels, is used to redistill some of the wheat spirits that are used to make Ketel One.

#3. The Family Originally Distilled Jenever

When Joannes Nolet opened the distillery, the main thing it made was jenever, a strong Dutch gin with a strong scent. The family didn’t begin producing its more well-known vodka until the beginning of the 1980s.

#4. The Ketel One Story Begins With 10th-Generation Carolus Nolet

Carolus Nolet assumed management of the family firm in 1979. Nolet traveled to the US in search of new products for the distillery and came across an expanding cocktail scene. Nolet went back to the Netherlands to start making his own high-quality spirit when he was sure that a good vodka would do well in the growing market. However, Ketel One Vodka made its debut in 1983.

#4. The Nolet Family Is Really Fond of Windmills

During the 18th century, Schiedam had about 400 distilleries, so the smart fifth-generation distiller Jacobus Nolet built a large windmill to grind the grain for the town. The Whale is the name of the enormous structure. The Nolet family built another windmill in 2005, this time at the location of its distillery. De Nolet, also called Noletmolen, was built with more than just looks in mind. It was meant to serve a purpose as well. About 20% of the distillery’s electricity comes from De Nolet, which also includes a wind turbine.

#5. Ketel One Undergoes an Unconventional Distillation

Distillers usually use pot stills instead of column stills to make darker, more flavorful spirits like single-malt Scotch or navy rum. For Ketel One vodka, the Nolet distillery uses both column and pot stills, which, according to Carolus Nolet Sr., results in a smoother flavor profile. (Since pots are also preferred in the manufacturing of gin, Nolet probably drew inspiration for the procedure from his family’s distilling experience with jenever.)

#6. Each Bottle Is Personally Approved by the Nolet Family

Before bottling, each batch of Ketel One vodka must be personally tasted and approved by a Nolet family member.

#7. Tradition, Meet Technology

The traditional pot stills used in Ketel One manufacturing are blended with automated column distillation technology, creating the ideal balance between history and modernity. Ketel One’s high-tech warehouse, where packaging, storage, and distribution take place, is located across a canal from the distillery.

The underground Nolet Tunnel, which was just finished, connects these two buildings and lets finished cases move automatically to the warehouse while bottles and supplies move in the opposite direction at the same time.

#8. Ketel One Is Part-Owned by Diageo

To form a 50/50 partnership with Ketel One, Diageo reportedly paid $900 million in 2008. As a result of the joint venture, Diageo got the exclusive right to sell, promote, and distribute Ketel One all over the world. The Nolet family kept control of the distillery, brand rights, and, most importantly, its top-secret distillation recipes as part of the agreement.

What Is the Best Russian Vodka?

The best Russian vodka is Russian Standard. Russian Standard Vodka is made with the best ingredients and goes through more distillations than any other vodka. Its recipe and the way it is made make it a tasty, smooth vodka that people like to drink straight or in cocktails.

The most well-known vodka brands in Russia include Russian Standard, Stoli, and Zyr. All three brands employ premium ingredients that are sourced from Russia.

Each brand employs distillation techniques to guarantee a clean finish and an appealing flavor profile.

Conclusion

I hope that my list has made you think twice about the idea that all vodkas are the same. Vodka is a spirit that comes in a huge variety of tastes, ingredients, and ways to make it.

Try a few different vodkas at once to experience the difference for yourself.

References

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