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4 popular budget vodka bottles, ranked

There are values to be found in the vodka world


If you’re not a big vodka drinker, you might not even realize that some vodkas are great, some are good, and quite a few are downright awful. Even though vodka is crafted to have as little flavor as possible thanks to multiple distillations and filtrations, it still carries flavors from the ingredients used (softness from wheat, creaminess for potatoes, sweetness from corn, and spice from rye).

On top of that, just like with whiskey, rum, tequila, and other spirits, there are varying levels of quality in the vodka world. Countless “premium” bottles will set you back more than you’re likely happy to spend on a clear, un-aged spirit. There are also more bottom-shelf, harsh, borderline rubbing-alcohol-tasting vodkas that you should avoid at all costs. The biggest section is between these two levels. This is the budget-friendly, high-quality bottles.

What makes a budget vodka?

Vodka bottles
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The term “budget” is a little different in the vodka world than in the whiskey world. A budget single malt Scotch whisky might set you back $60, while a surprisingly flavorable, mixable vodka might cost you less than $30. There are many reasons for this price difference, the biggest being the fact that you can only charge so much for an un-aged spirit. As pure as a distiller makes their vodka, it’s only really the core ingredients that drive up the price. This is why there are so many bargains when it comes to vodka.

4 fan-favorite budget vodka bottles, ranked

Absolut Vodka
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Like many spirits, vodka has quite a few brands that are beloved by their drinkers. Some are more expensive and just aren’t worth the hefty price tag (especially when blindly tasted with less expensive options). But other fan favorites are budget-friendly and deserve permanent spots in your home bar. We found four of those vodka-soaked diamonds in the proverbial rough. Keep scrolling to see them all.

4.) Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Tito's Handmade Vodka

If its no-frill bottle doesn’t get the point across, the price tag will. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is very inexpensive. Depending on where you live, a bottle will likely set you back less than $20. Distilled in Austin, Texas, Tito’s is a corn-based, naturally gluten-free vodka perfect for mixing into your favorite vodka-based cocktails. It even manages to be an emergency sipper with its notes of sweet corn, vanilla, and gentle spices. All in all, it’s just a versatile, memorable vodka.

3.) Absolut Vodka

absolut vodka white background
Absolut Vodka

You might surprised to hear that Absolut is a budget vodka because it’s so well-known. But, for its quality and name recognition, it’s surprisingly well-priced. This Swedish-made vodka has a base of winter wheat, giving it a soft, smooth, highly mixable flavor profile. Its flavor profile of cereal grains, vanilla, caramel, and light spices is perfect for a Bloody Mary or any number of popular vodka-based cocktails. There’s a reason Absolut is such a popular choice among vodka drinkers.

2.) Ketel One Vodka

Ketel One Vodka
Ketel One

If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably think that Ketel One was overly expensive. It’s one of the best values on the vodka market. A bottle of this Dutch-made, wheat-based vodka will set you back less than $20. Thanks to the wheat, it has a clean, almost creamy flavor profile featuring notes of vanilla, citrus peels, licorice, and gentle spices. It’s the perfect base for a Vodka Martini and many classic vodka-based cocktails. This is the type of bottle you’ll want available for mixing at all times.

1.) Prairie Organic Vodka

Prairie Organic Vodka
Prairie Organic

Not only is this vodka certified organic, but it’s also an absolute steal at around $20 for a 750ml bottle. This organic “farm-crafted” vodka is made with 100% USDA-certified organic corn. It’s surprisingly smooth and sippable if you’re the type of drinker who enjoys vodka neat or on the rocks. But, with flavors like sweet corn, vanilla, orchard fruits, wildflowers, and light spices, it’s also a great vodka for mixing. If you only buy one bottle from this list, make it Prairie Organic Vodka. One sip and it will find a permanent place on your home bar cart or in your liquor cabinet.

Bottom line

Bloody Mary
Nicole Honchariw/Unsplash

Vodka is a unique spirit. As we mentioned above, it’s crafted to be as flavorless as possible. But this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t carry any flavors and aromas from the included ingredients and the distillation and filtration processes. It does. This is why, when bargain hunting in the vodka world, never go too cheap or you’ll end up with a spirit you’d rather use to start your lawnmower than mix into your favorite cocktails.

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Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
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