Here’s What Your Favorite Vodka Is Made From
Vodka is one of the most diverse spirits in the world. Yes, it’s often flavorless (and intentionally so), but variety in vodka comes from something much deeper: what the spirit is made from.
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau defines vodka as, “neutral spirits distilled or treated after distillation with charcoal or other materials so as to be without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color.” That leaves a lot of flexibility, and distilleries take full advantage of the ambiguities in the definition. By U.S. law, vodka can be made from anything that has fermentable sugars. Once that fermentation is done, it’s distilled a number of times to create vodka.
Some distillers stick with a historical wheat, rye or barley recipe for a fermentable base. Others make use of corn or potatoes. A few get into more obscure bases like grapes, sweet potatoes or pears. Here is what 41 of the more popular vodkas are made from.
Hangar 1 (mix of grapes and wheat)
Leopold Bros Silver Tree (potato, wheat and barley)
Purity Vodka (wheat and barley)
Reyka (wheat and barley)
Van Gogh (wheat, corn and barley)
Zirkova (wheat and rye)
Zyr (wheat and rye)
* Listed as having mixed ingredients, but do not reveal what that mix is.