Trying to save money when you buy vodka is tricky because it is very easy to end up with a bad bottle of vodka. Luckily, there are good vodkas that are perfect for those times when your budget is tight. These are inexpensive vodkas that you will actually want to drink, and they can be used to create delicious and frugal cocktails. Ranging in price from $10 to $20, many have a nice selection flavors, and the clear vodkas are excellent candidates for homemade infusions.
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Launched in 2011, New Amsterdam Vodka is a relatively young superstar in the vodka category and a favorite for the frugal drinker. This California vodka is distilled five times from American grains and goes through a three-stage filtration.
The brand's flavored vodka line is filled with fun and tasty finds. Red Berry is one of the originals in the portfolio, and the coconut vodka rivals that from top-shelf brands. The offerings have expanded greatly, so if you're looking for apple, citrus, mango, peach, pineapple, or watermelon vodka, New Amsterdam has you covered.
For the price, New Amsterdam is surprisingly smooth. Don't hesitate to drink any of these vodkas straight or keep them in stock as an everyday mixer. From the vodka tonic to a spicy bloody Mary, they're a perfect foundation for any mixed drink, and the flavored vodkas add a fun twist to a variety of cocktails.
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Deep Eddy Vodka came onto the scene in 2010 and made a big splash in the vodka market. The company's clear and flavored vodkas are at the high end of the "cheap" list, but they are worth every cent.
Produced in Austin, Texas, this is a handcrafted, small-batch vodka. Distilled 10 times from corn in a column still, the vodka is blended with water from a Texas aquifer deep beneath the earth (evidently the "deep eddy"). They're clean, crisp, and simply spectacular, matching many of the premium brands.
The flavors from Deep Eddy come from natural ingredients. That's a rare treat in the vodka market, let alone in value brands. Ranging from sweet tea to ruby red grapefruit, they are as clean and natural as the original vodka and perfect for cocktails or fun shots.
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Svedka is among the cleanest-tasting value brands available. The Swedish vodka is distilled five times from winter wheat, which gives it a subtle sweetness. The use of spring water and continuous distillation ensure it comes out crisp.
The brand is continually expanding its flavors and has some very fun options. Fruit vodkas are the brand's specialty, including the ever-useful citrus, a surprisingly tasty cherry, and sweet peach. Svedka also experiments with combinations like strawberry lemonade and mango pineapple. There's often some fun new flavor popping up, too.
Svedka can work in almost any vodka cocktail you want to mix up. As with all budget brands, stick with the easy mixed drinks and fruity martinis with layers of flavor. There are so many recipes that fall into this category that you will not run out of choices.
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Poland may be best known for potato vodkas, but Sobieski Vodka (popularly called Sobi) is a great Polish rye vodka. The vodka apparently owes its name to John III Sobieski, whose image was on the label for many years. He was the late 17th-century Polish king who drove back the invading Ottoman Turks and briefly restored the kingdom of Poland-Lithuania to greatness for the last time.
Sobieski is one of the best clear vodkas you'll find at a low price. Distilled from Dankowski rye, the vodka goes through a continuous distillation process before it's married to crystal-clear spring water. The rye gives the finished vodka a rich, silky taste that is quite enjoyable on its own.
In true modern vodka fashion, Sobi offers flavored vodkas as well. The portfolio was quite extensive for a few years but has since been refined to only the most useful flavors, including citrus, orange, raspberry, and vanilla. They're an excellent choice in any vodka cocktail, even those like the cosmopolitan in which you might be inclined to pour a top-shelf vodka.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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The Luksusowa Vodka bottle may not catch your eye, but the spirit inside is surprising when you consider its low price. If you have been passing this one up on the liquor store shelf, consider this your chance for redemption.
Luksusowa is a Polish potato vodka that is crafted in the fine traditions of that country's vodka lineage. It is distilled three times, and the finished flavor is smooth, crisp, and clean. Luksusowa does not produce flavored vodkas. The brand prefers to stick with the same recipe and method that has been working very well since 1928.
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Finlandia is a reliable vodka that's easy to find and it can easily serve as any bar's well vodka. Distilled in Finland, this is a well-known name in the liquor industry. The unique aspect is that it is distilled from a special strain of barley that can handle the cold climate and 72 days of full sun Finland enjoys each summer. It also undergoes "more than 200 distillation steps" and is blended with glacial spring water.
As with most vodka brands, Finlandia has a few flavored vodkas available. The once extensive portfolio has been streamlined to grapefruit and raspberry vodkas, though they're as impressive as any other.
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Pinnacle is known for funky flavors. This French vodka built a name on stretching the limits of what you thought vodka should be and regularly releasing some rather bizarre (and admittedly fun) flavors. It's distilled five times from wheat, a popular brand with many loyal fans, and a great deal.
While the original vodka is good, the flavors are where Pinnacle really grabs the cocktail lover's attention, and they like to follow the latest trends. The brand was at the heart of the dessert vodka boom, producing a variety of novelty whipped cream, cake, and pie flavors. Though the likes of cotton candy, cookie dough, and rainbow sherbet are no longer available, Pinnacle still has sweet treat replicas such as salted caramel, cake, and chocolate whipped. If you are looking for a spicy habanero, cool cucumber vodka, or nearly any fruit vodka, they have those as well.
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UV Vodka is one of the most popular and least expensive brands of vodka available. Distilled in Minneapolis by Phillips Distilling Company, the key to the brand's success is its innovative and very colorful flavor line. The clear vodka, which is distilled from Midwest grain, is just as good as any of the others, but the stunning colors are what really make the UV special.
The vibrant array of vodkas span the rainbow. UV Blue is the most famous and a brilliantly simple way to make blue cocktails with the sweet taste of raspberry. UV Apple is the bright green option that's nearly as popular and ideal for those sweet appletinis. From a purple grape vodka to fire-red cherry vodka, and bright orange to pretty pink lemonade, they're a fun splash of color for simple mixed drinks. When you're looking for fun flavors that won't add color, UV also has cake, vanilla, and sriracha vodkas.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Smirnoff Vodka should be almost anywhere you look. It is one of the most reliable and inexpensive vodkas out there. The brand claims to be the world's most popular vodka and the most awarded name in the category.
Smirnoff is a grain-based vodka; the unflavored is available in 80-, 90-, and 100-proof bottles. Originally from Russia (now produced by Diageo in the United Kingdom), it has been around since the early 1900s. The company's groundbreaking marketing campaign in the mid-20th century was instrumental in kicking off the vodka cocktail craze, including the popular Moscow mule.
Smirnoff has a full flavor line that includes blueberry, citrus, coconut, cranberry, green apple, orange, passion fruit, pineapple, raspberry, strawberry, and watermelon. The brand continues to offer sweet whipped cream and caramel vodkas, as well as unusual flavors like peppermint twist, root beer float, and spicy tamarind.
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If you're the type of drinker that gravitates toward cheap liters of vodka, it's worth your time to seek out Denaka Vodka. This may be one of the best vodkas that you never heard of and it tastes nothing like its high-volume, bottom-shelf counterparts.
This wheat vodka from Denmark is resoundingly smooth. Due to its earthy flavor profile, Denaka is great for those casual mixed drinks that are commonly enjoyed during happy hour. The brand also offers orange and vanilla vodkas in standard bottles. If you can't find it in your local liquor store, there are online stores that carry it.