Top 12 Russian Vodka Brands

Top 12 Russian Vodka Brands

According to Drinks International (a British publication), vodka is the second most popular drink, second only to whisky. This means that vodka is the queen of alcoholic beverages, while whiskey is the king. Despite the simplicity of vodka, today, this drink forms several categories, one of which is luxury. We will consider this particular category and reveal the most famous Russian brands.

Premium vodka is a complex product. It takes into account many factors affecting quality, so its creation is a multi-stage and lengthy process that requires careful control. In particular, two nuances related to impeccable purity are important:

  • the first is perfect alcohol obtained by rectification;
  • the second is crystal clear and well-filtered water.

And that’s not all, as modern types of Russian vodka, in addition to heat-shock and multi-stage purification, are subjected to other production technologies. For example, they are enriched with natural flavors of additional ingredients by blending, infusion, and other methods.

In addition, vodka is always accompanied by the word “Russian” since it is considered the national drink of the inhabitants of Russia. It is there that the largest number of brands of alcohol is a 40-degree product. Accordingly, the range of offers is quite rich, but not every one of them belongs to the luxury category.

Therefore, we have collected the relevant information to make it easier for buyers to navigate the variety of offers presented on store shelves. So, we present the 12 best brands of vodka to your attention. But before that, let’s briefly familiarize ourselves with the history of this drink.

A bit of history

It is believed that vodka has ancient roots, dating back to the first century AD when the Greeks in Alexandria discovered the technology of distillation. According to records, the Arab physician Al-Razi, who lived in the IX-X centuries, already used alcohol for medical purposes as a disinfectant.

Later, the Crusaders borrowed the recipe and brought it to Europe from the Middle East. It was in European countries that alcohol began to be produced as an alcoholic beverage that spread to other regions. However, the raw materials were different in each case.

  • In French Provence, alcohol was obtained from the squeeze of fermented grapes. In this form, it also penetrated into the Russian lands: in the XIV century, Genoese merchants brought it and called it “living water” – aqua vitae.
  • In Russia, grapes were less widespread than in European countries, so the technology of alcohol production was significantly changed. It began to be distilled from cereal grains, which were abundant.

Then, the first vodka appeared in Russia. According to official sources, around 1430, a monk of a Moscow monastery added water to alcohol, resulting in a 40-degree product. The alcoholic drink that Isidore “invented” was called “bread wine.” This name stuck with it for a long time until the word “vodka” appeared in 1533.

This term is found in Russian written sources and in the chronicles of Poland (also in the 16th century). But in ancient times, it denoted only tinctures of medicinal plants. It was made exactly on vodka and was considered a product with herbal additives.

In 1751, Russian Empress Elizabeth Petrovna first mentioned vodka in official state documents. She issued a decree regulating the production of this type of alcoholic beverage. According to it, not everyone was allowed to produce vodka. Only noblemen were allowed to produce vodka.

Around the same time (in the second half of the XVIII century), vodka purification with charcoal was tested in Russia. As a result, the name “Russian” always accompanies the name “vodka,” as it is considered the Russian national drink.

Types of Russian Vodka

Types of Russian Vodka

Based on technological requirements, vodka is produced on the basis of four types of alcohol, differing in degree of purification:

  • alpha;
  • lux;
  • extra;
  • basic.

Alpha. Alcohol of this category is used to produce super-quality and most expensive varieties of vodka, which are exported to other countries. Does not contain methanol (or in insignificant amounts – up to 0.003%), as it undergoes multistage thorough filtration. It is made from wheat and rye (separately or in a mixture).

Lux. It is the basis for premium vodka brands and high-quality drinks. It also undergoes many stages of purification – so that the methanol content does not exceed the threshold of 0.02%. It is made from grains and potatoes with a starch content of no more than 35%.

Optional. Serves for the production of middle-class vodka. This category of raw materials is characterized by a slightly more thorough filtration than the alcohol of the main group and assumes a low level of methanol – in the range of 0.05-0.02%. Such alcohol is intended for the production of alcoholic beverages of medium quality. It is distilled from any grain mixtures, molasses, potatoes, and other starchy products.

Basic. It is used for vodka tinctures and liqueurs, as well as for budget-level vodkas. Raw materials are obtained from grain, potatoes, sugar beets, and molasses. Starch content in potatoes can reach 60%. As for grain crops, they are used in arbitrary proportions – there are no exact ratios for them. Purification from impurities and methanol is minimal.

Currently, another category of alcohol has appeared – organic. This alcohol is produced according to the same standards as the raw materials of the “Alpha” group. However, it uses only ecologically clean grain crops grown in safe zones where there are no harmful impurities in water, air, or soil. Grain is harvested in optimal conditions, processed, and stored without the use of chemicals.

Popular Russian Vodka Brands

We offer you the chance to familiarize yourself with famous Russian vodka brands. The list is arranged not by elitism or quality but in alphabetical order. Each lover of this alcoholic beverage will be able to determine for themselves the most suitable version of the product.


Baikal Logo

This is not just a vodka – it is a tribute to the largest and deepest freshwater lake in the world. It contains more than 20% of the world’s freshwater reserves. Naturally, this water serves as one of the ingredients of “life-giving moisture” with the corresponding alcohol content.

The brand bears the same name as the lake, from the depths of which the crystal clear water is taken. This vodka is produced at LLC “Ulyanovsk Distilleries Gross.” Additionally, its composition includes:

  • pine nuts;
  • natural honey;
  • pine buds.

From these ingredients, an infusion is prepared, which is then mixed with the alcohol base and Baikal water. The result is a luxury vodka with a pleasant forest flavor and a dominant nutty aftertaste. The drink is bottled in souvenir bottles.



Beluga Logo

The brand of the Mariinsky Distillery takes an honorable place among Russian vodka brands. It is named in honor of the most valuable type of fish, which emphasizes its high quality. At present, Beluga is one of the leading types of alcoholic products, widely popular abroad and exported to 80 countries. Artesian water taken from a depth of more than 300 meters is used for the production of vodka.

The company producing this vodka was founded in 1900 and has been pleasing lovers of strong alcohol with its luxurious taste for many years. In 2007, it was included in the “Synergy” holding. Already in three years, this brought the parent company to a high level of recognition – in 2010, it entered the top three among alcoholic beverage producers.


Chistye Rosy

Chistye Rosy Logo

Dew is the purest moisture that forms on plants in the wee hours of the morning. It is a morning blessing, an invigorating source, drops scattered on grass and flowers. This is the meaning that the creators of this Russian vodka wanted to convey in its name. Vodka “Pure Dews” is the result of the painstaking work of professionals, which resulted in an environmentally friendly alcoholic beverage.

This is the first brand of alcoholic products certified according to European standards. The production of vodka covers many stages, each of which complies with the norms of AbCert AG (Germany). The company carefully controls everything – from preparing the land for sowing grain to the final bottling of vodka into branded bottles. The result is a unique Russian high-quality alcohol.

Chistye Rosy

Five Lakes

Five Lakes Logo

Russian vodka “Five Lakes” is a product of the Alcoholic Siberian Group. This company has been working in the domestic market since 1993, providing high-quality products and winning awards at exhibitions and competitions at various levels. Today, it is one of the largest alcohol producers in Russia, strictly adhering to special technologies. For example, the production of vodka uses an impeccable base – crystal clear water from Siberian lakes.

The company produces its premium line in accordance with high standards, selecting the best raw materials:

  • luxury class alcohol;
  • wheat infusion;
  • citric acid;
  • baking soda;
  • sugar syrup.

Thanks to its natural composition, this Russian vodka is easy to drink and has a subtle flavor. The product is bottled in branded glass bottles with a capacity of 0.5 liters.

Five Lakes

Green Mark

Green Mark Logo

Another alcoholic brand that produces alcoholic beverages based on premium products is “Green Brand.” Its name directly indicates that this is a natural vodka made from natural and safe raw materials. In particular, its composition includes:

  • premium class alcohol;
  • malic acid;
  • softened water.

In addition, the alcohol undergoes double purification – filtration using silver and charcoal. Only after that, it is bottled. The bottles are standard, but the corks are unique – patented special design. Thanks to this technology, a surprisingly mild taste and reliable sealing in glass containers are achieved.

In 2012, this alcoholic brand took third place in terms of global sales. Now, its products are supplied to more than 20 countries around the world. In Russia itself, it has long been recognized as a favorite brand among the local population.

Green Mark

Hammer + Sickle

Hammer + Sickle Logo

This Russian vodka is also considered organic since it is made from natural ingredients. Consequently, “Hammer + Sickle” – is a 100 percent natural product. The manufacturer selects for it:

  • elite-class alcohol obtained from the grains of selected winter wheat grown in the south of the country;
  • crystal-clear water of multi-stage purification, extracted from a deeply drilled well.

The drink itself also undergoes thorough filtration, which makes it possible to achieve unrivaled quality – no wonder that this vodka belongs to the group of premium-class alcohol worthy of the attention of true connoisseurs of spirits.

Hammer + Sickle


Imperia Logo

The Imperia brand appeared in 2004 and since then has won the hearts of lovers of premium-class spirits. Russian Standard Imperia vodka is based on ancient traditions and technologies developed by scientist Dmitry Mendeleev in 1894. The classic recipe is built on a unique combination of super high-quality ingredients. The advantages of this product are undeniable:

  • eightfold distillation;
  • filtration through Ural quartz crystals;
  • purification through carbon filters.

The result is worthy of the fact that each bottle bears a sign of the authenticity of the origin of Russian vodka and a certificate of compliance with the original traditions of making 40-degree alcohol. This designation has been adorning the labels since 2010. The flavor of elite alcohol is characterized by incredible softness with notes of chocolate and spices.


Jewel of Russia

Jewel of Russia Logo

This brand of vodka embodies the best traditions of Russian art in the preparation of alcoholic beverages. The manufacturer chooses ancient recipes and natural components for it. His main task is to preserve the optimal harmony between the inherent character and amazing softness of the alcohol, so he chooses multi-stage filtration and the highest-grade alcohol.

As a result, the vodka “Jewel of Russia” turns out to be high-quality, classic, and crystal clear. Fidelity to tradition is traced in every action during production, in every design touch, and in every ingredient used. Great attention is paid even to the shape of the bottles and the original label in the form of sealing wax. Sometimes hand-painting is applied.

Jewel of Russia


Orthodox Logo

Another vodka brand of the Mariinsky distillery strictly adheres to the balance of traditional Russian customs and advanced technologies. It offers only elite products, striking with its smoothness and subtle flavor. At the same time, “Pravoslavnaya” is an exclusive alcohol, so each bottle is assigned an individual number. The drink consists of only two components:

  • pure water from Siberian rivers;
  • selected malt liquor.

Fine taste and loyalty to tradition are reflected in the bottle: it has a perfect shape, but its surface is covered with irregularities as if it were a container of the XIX century, not XXI. At that time, it was impossible to achieve perfect smoothness, so the manufacturer has preserved the authenticity.


Russian Standard Original Vodka

Russian Standard Original Vodka Logo

This Russian vodka first appeared on the market in 1998. From the very beginning, it was produced according to an ancient recipe used by tsarist winemakers. This alcohol has very ancient roots, dating back to 1894. Its belonging to the imperial court is emphasized even by the shape of the bottle: it looks like a royal bell – a historical relic.

The company uses luxury grain alcohol as a base. Wheat bread infusion (for flavor) and sugar (for strength) are added to it. The result is a vodka with a bright bread smell and traditional taste. In the country of production, this brand is widely known: it accounts for 30% of premium alcohol sales. Russian Standard Original vodka has been recognized with ten awards.

Russian Standard Original Vodka


Stoli Logo

The full name of this brand is Stolichnaya, and the abbreviated name is an American colloquialism. Thanks to Stoli, Russian vodka took first place in the prestigious International Top 100 Spirits Brands ranking. The vodka’s fame peaked in the 1970s.

Residents of many countries highly appreciated the Russian premium product. This marked the beginning of a global campaign to promote this type of alcohol. The affordable but worthy alcoholic product gained recognition due to its naturalness, purity, mild taste, characteristic aroma, and impeccable consistency.


Zyr Vodka

Zyr Vodka Logo

Appeared on the market in 2003 and still remains one of the softest alcoholic drinks of its kind. Moreover, this drink has proved to be an excellent base for cocktails. In terms of taste, this Russian vodka is comparable to the best whiskeys: it is easy to drink and does not cause negative effects, as it is produced according to the formula 9:5:3.

  • The first digit indicates the number of filtration.
  • The second designation indicates the number of distillations.
  • The third point speaks about the number of test tastings.

Thus, vodka “Zyr” gets on the table in an amazing consistency because the manufacturer’s task is to keep the crystal clear contents of each bottle. This Russian vodka is made from winter rye grown in the Moscow region. Water is taken from the northwestern regions of Russia, not far from Finland. It is filtered five times before being sent for distillation. The fermented grains are also distilled five times.

Zyr Vodka


Consumers from other countries often have various questions about Russian vodka, as it is a mysterious product for them. Therefore, any information related to it arouses interest. So, let’s answer them in order.

What determines the quality of vodka?

The traditional components of Russian vodka are ethyl alcohol and water. They affect this product, and the taste and odor depend on its quality. The purer the ingredients, the higher the category of the alcoholic beverage. It should be crystal clear and easy to drink – without any negative effects.

Criteria for optimal alcohol. Rectified product is better than distilled since it does not have the smell and taste of raw materials. Therefore, when choosing Russian vodka, pay attention to the degree of its purification, not to the material of manufacture.

Criteria of suitable water. It is important that the company indicates on the label what water is included in the composition of its alcohol: spring, glacial melt, artesian, or from a specific source (its name). The water must be simply pure since, after distillation, it loses its flavor and becomes “empty.” However, fluorides, chlorides, sulfates, hardness salts, iron, and other impurities should be removed from it.

How to drink vodka properly?

The traditions of drinking Russian vodka in Russia and in the West are different. In European and American countries, it is practically not consumed in pure form – only as part of cocktails. Here are a few popular recipes.

  • Black Russian: with the addition of coffee liqueur.
  • White Russian: also with coffee liqueur, but with added cream.
  • Sex on the Beach: vodka mixed with peach liqueur and several types of juices (cranberry, raspberry, pineapple).
  • Bloody Mary: consists of tomato juice, celery stalk, and Tabasco hot sauce.

In Russia, the drinking traditions are quite different. There, Russian vodka is consumed in its pure form – no additives or mixtures. The only thing that is allowed is cooling the bottle with the drink to 40 degrees. However, it is also cooled in other countries.

Which foreign vodka is the most famous?

Among foreign brands representing vodka, the most popular are Absolut (Sweden), Laplandia, Nordic, Finlandia, Koskenkorva (Finland), Grey Goose, Summum (France), and Hlebnik (Poland).