Historically, potato vodka was more common in Poland and Russia, while grain-based vodka was more prevalent in other regions. And contrary to the popular notion, most vodkas are not distilled from potatoes.
Is all vodka made from potatoes?
The most common ingredients used in vodka production are wheat or grain, and only 3% of the world’s supply of vodka is created from potatoes. Practically, vodka can be made using any agricultural product as long as it has sugars and starch.
For example, grains, wheat, rice and potatoes contain sugars and starch, which can be fermented and distilled to make vodka.
Common ingredients of vodka
- Potato: The mouthfeel of potato-based vodka is usually fleshier and richer with earthy vegetable tones. Given that it is stronger and more delicious than other vodkas, this is a good choice for vodka enthusiasts searching for something they can enjoy straight or on the rocks.
- Corn: Tito’s Handmade Vodka is the most famous corn vodka. These corn vodkas are mildly sweet and perfect to mix into vodka-centric cocktails.
- Fruits: Vodkas such as Ciroc and Pinnacle vodka use grapes as their main ingredient. A few vodkas also use apples as one of the ingredients.
- Grain: Most vodkas available in the market are produced from grains such as wheat, barley and rye. The traditional grain-based vodka has a bread-like sweetness and a nutty, woodsy flavor. For cocktails, this brand of vodka is ideal.
- Honey: Honey is an unconventional ingredient in vodka production. The raw form of the honey is diluted with water so that yeast can consume the sugar, which is then fermented to create honey wine. Most vodkas are at least thrice distilled. However, the mash is only distilled twice further to preserve its luscious, sweet, honey-like qualities.
Potato vodka vs grain vodka
Potato vodkas are better to sip or drink on the rocks as they provide a fuller and earthier flavor profile. If you like mixing vodkas into cocktails, grain vodkas would be a better alternative, as their neutral flavors are less likely to clash with the mixtures you decide to use.
The good news is that grain and potato vodka are typically sugar-free despite both substrates being high in carbohydrates. Grains like rye and barley are gluten-rich, and potato vodkas are gluten-free.
Only approximately 3% of the vodkas are made from potatoes, while a large chunk of vodkas is produced using grains or corn. The distinctive taste of potato vodkas makes them perfect for drinking neat or over ice.
So those who prefer to sip more flavored vodkas can get the best potato vodkas in New Zealand from Ellerslie Liquor Centre.
1. Is Absolut vodka made from potatoes?
Absolut vodka is not made from potatoes but from winter wheat, a type of grain.
2. Is Russian vodka made from potatoes?
Russian vodka can be made from various ingredients, including potatoes, grains like wheat or rye, and grapes or other fruits. Though few vodkas are produced from potatoes, not all Russian vodkas are made from potatoes.