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A Quick Guide: How Much Does a Handle of Vodka Cost?

one bottle of Absolute Vodka and Absolute Elyx Vodka with a glass on the side

Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Ever wondered, ‘How much does a handle of vodka cost?’ Well, I’ve got the inside scoop for you. 

Whether you’re planning a celebration or just curious about the price tag, join me as we dive into the world of vodka pricing and discover the secrets behind the cost of a handle. 

Let’s shake things up and find out where quality meets affordability!

Introduction

What is a handle for vodka?

A vodka handle is a specific bottle size commonly found in the United States, which holds approximately 1.75 liters (59.2 fluid ounces) of vodka. [1]

It is larger than a standard bottle of vodka, typically holding the equivalent of two regular 750ml bottles. 

The term “handle” comes from the handle-like design on the bottle, making it easier to carry.

What is the importance of knowing the cost of a handle of vodka?

Knowing the cost of a handle of vodka is essential for several reasons:

  • First, it allows consumers to budget their alcohol expenses better. 
  • Secondly, understanding the price variations and factors influencing the cost helps consumers make informed decisions when selecting a vodka brand. 
  • Additionally, knowing the average cost of a handle of vodka can help identify potential deals or promotions.

a bottle of vodka at the dining table

Factors Affecting the Cost

What are the key factors that influenced the price of a handle of vodka?

Several factors impact the cost of a handle of vodka. Some of the key factors include:

Brand reputation and popularity

The reputation and popularity of a vodka brand play an important role in determining its price. 

Well-established and premium vodka brands with a strong reputation for quality and craftsmanship often command higher prices compared to lesser-known or budget brands. 

Consumers are often willing to pay more for a brand they trust and perceive to be of higher quality.

Production method and quality of ingredients used

The production method and the quality of ingredients used in making vodka can significantly affect its price. 

Premium vodka is commonly made from high-quality ingredients, such as high-grade wheat or potatoes, which can be more expensive. 

Additionally, the production process, including the number of distillation cycles and filtration techniques employed, can impact the smoothness and purity of the vodka, contributing to its price.

Distillation process and filtration techniques

Vodka can undergo multiple distillation cycles to remove impurities and achieve a smoother taste. 

Each distillation cycle adds to the production charge, which can affect the final cost of the vodka. 

Similarly, advanced filtration techniques are used to further purify the vodka, which can also contribute to its price.

Packaging and presentation

The packaging and presentation of a vodka bottle can also influence its price. Premium vodkas often come in elegantly designed bottles with unique branding and labeling. 

The quality of the bottle and the presentation can enhance the overall experience of the product, making it more attractive to consumers and justifying a higher price.

Distribution and retailer markup

The distribution process and the retailer’s markup also contribute to the final price of a handle of vodka. Manufacturers sell vodka to distributors, who then sell it to retailers. 

Each step in the distribution chain adds a margin, which affects the retail price. The distribution structure can vary depending on the region and the specific supply chain involved.

Local and federal taxes

Taxes imposed by local and federal governments can significantly impact the price of vodka. 

These taxes can vary depending on location and might include sales, excise, or other alcohol-specific taxes. 

The taxes collected from the sale of alcoholic beverages contribute to government revenue and can vary significantly between different regions.

vodka cocktails ready to be served

Average Cost of a Handle of Vodka

What is the average cost of a handle of vodka in the United States?

The average cost of a handle of vodka in the United States ranges from $20 to $40. However, prices can vary depending on the part mentioned earlier.

How does the cost compare to other types of alcoholic beverages?

Vodka is generally considered one of the more affordable spirits compared to other alcoholic beverages like whiskey, tequila, or rum. 

This affordability is one reason why vodka is a popular alternative for mixed drinks and cocktails.

What are the most popular brands of vodka?

The popularity of vodka brands can vary depending on the region and consumer preferences. Here are some of the most popular vodka brands, along with their average prices for handles (1.75 liters):

  • Smirnoff: Smirnoff is one of the most well-known vodka brands globally. Its handle of vodka is often priced between $20 to $30.
  • Absolut: Absolut is another popular vodka brand known for its wide range of flavors. The average price for a handle of Absolut vodka ranges from $25 to $35.
  • Grey Goose: Grey Goose is a premium vodka brand known for its smooth and refined taste. Handles of Grey Goose vodka are typically priced between $45 to $55.
  • Tito’s Handmade Vodka: Tito’s has gained popularity for its craft approach to vodka production. A handle of Tito’s Handmade Vodka generally costs around $35 to $45.
  • Ketel One: Ketel One is renowned for its traditional copper-pot distillation process. Handles of Ketel One vodka are priced around $40 to $50.
  • Ciroc: Ciroc stands out for its use of grapes in distillation. The average price for a handle of Ciroc vodka is around $40 to $50.
  • Absolut Elyx: Absolut Elyx is a premium offering from the Absolut brand, known for its luxurious presentation. A handle of Absolut Elyx vodka is generally priced between $50 to $60.
  • Belvedere: Belvedere is a high-end vodka brand often associated with luxury. Handles of Belvedere vodka are priced between $40 to $60.
  • Stolichnaya (Stoli): Stoli is a well-established Russian vodka brand. Handles of Stolichnaya vodka typically range from $25 to $35.
  • Russian Standard: Russian Standard is another popular Russian vodka brand known for its smooth taste. Handles of Russian Standard vodka are generally priced around $25 to $35.

Premium Versus Budget Vodka

What distinguishes premium vodka from budget vodka?

Premium vodka is typically made from high-quality ingredients, distilled multiple times, and undergoes sophisticated filtration processes to create a smoother and purer taste. 

On the other hand, budget vodka may use lower-quality ingredients and undergo fewer distillation cycles, resulting in a more affordable but potentially harsher taste.

How does the price of premium vodka differ from budget vodka?

Premium vodka brands are usually more expensive, with handle prices ranging from $30 to $60 or more. On the other hand, budget vodka handles can be found for as low as $20. 

The price difference reflects the level of craftsmanship, purity, and brand perception associated with each category.

Other Considerations

How does the cost of a handle of vodka compare to other types of spirits like whiskey or rum?

The average price of a handle (1.75 liters) of vodka in the United States ranges from $20 to $40, depending on the brand, quality, and purchase location. 

It’s worth noting that prices might have changed since then due to various factors such as inflation, changes in production value, and market demand.

Comparing the cost of a handle of vodka to other types of spirits like whiskey or rum, vodka is generally more affordable. 

Whiskey and rum, especially premium or aged varieties, tend to be more expensive due to longer maturation processes and the complexity of their flavors. 

On average, a handle of whiskey or rum can cost anywhere from $40 to $80 or even more, depending on the brand and quality.

How many drinks can you make with just a handle of vodka?

The number of drinks you can make with a handle of vodka (1.75 liters) depends on several factors, including the size of each drink, the recipe or cocktail being used, and individual pouring habits. 

Generally, a standard drink or cocktail typically contains around 1.5 to 2 ounces (44 to 59 milliliters) of vodka. [2]

Let’s consider some scenarios to estimate the number of drinks you can make with a handle of vodka:

  • Standard Mixed Drinks: If you’re making standard mixed drinks like a vodka soda, cranberry, or tonic with 1.5 ounces of vodka per drink, you can get approximately 39 to 47 drinks from a handle.
  • Martini or Cosmopolitan: Cocktails like a classic martini or cosmopolitan usually require 2 ounces of vodka per drink. In this case, you can make approximately 29 drinks from a handle.
  • Highballs and Long Drinks: If you’re making highball drinks like a Moscow Mule, Bloody Mary, or Screwdriver with 2 ounces of vodka per drink, you can get around 29 drinks from a handle.
  • Shots: For shots like a Lemon Drop or Kamikaze, which typically contain 1 ounce of vodka per shot, you can make approximately 59 shots from a handle.

Keep in mind that these estimates are based on typical drink recipes and standard serving sizes. The number of servings may vary if you or your guests prefer stronger or weaker drinks. 

Additionally, some cocktails may require additional ingredients, which can also affect the number of drinks you can make.

It’s essential to drink responsibly and be mindful of the alcohol content in each drink, regardless of the number of servings you can make from a handle of vodka. 

Always follow local alcohol consumption guidelines and know your own limits when enjoying alcoholic beverages.

What are the alternatives to buying a full-sized bottle?

Suppose you’re looking for alternatives to buying a full-sized bottle of vodka. 

In that case, several options are available, especially if you want to try different brands or flavors without committing to a large purchase. 

Here are some alternatives to consider:

Miniature Bottles

Many liquor stores offer miniature bottles of vodka, commonly known as “minis” or “nips.” These small bottles usually contain around 50ml of vodka, allowing you to sample different brands or flavors without investing in a full-sized bottle.

Vodka Samplers or Gift Sets

Some liquor stores and online retailers offer vodka sampler packs or gift sets. These sets may include several small bottles of different vodka varieties, allowing you to try a range of options at once.

Cocktail Kits

Some companies offer cocktail kits that come with all the ingredients and small bottles of vodka needed to make a specific cocktail. This allows you to try new cocktail recipes without having to buy full-sized bottles of each ingredient.

Vodka Flights at Bars or Tasting Events

Some bars or distilleries offer vodka flights, allowing you to sample multiple varieties in smaller tasting portions. Tasting events and distillery tours may also provide opportunities to try different vodkas.

BYOB Restaurants

If you’re interested in trying a specific vodka with your meal, consider visiting a “Bring Your Own Bottle” (BYOB) restaurant. You can bring a small bottle of vodka to enjoy with your meal without purchasing a full-sized bottle.

Vodka Samples at Tasting Events

Keep an eye out for vodka-tasting events or festivals in your area. These events often offer samples of different vodkas from various brands.

Vodka Cocktails at Bars

If you’re interested in trying a particular vodka in a cocktail, visit a bar that offers a diverse cocktail menu. You can order a cocktail with the vodka you choose without buying a full-sized bottle.

By exploring these alternatives, you can enjoy a variety of vodka options without the commitment of purchasing a full-sized bottle. 

Additionally, trying different vodkas through these alternatives can help you discover new favorites and amplify your palate. Always remember to drink responsibly and within your limits.

FAQs

How much is 750 ml of vodka?

750 ml of vodka is a standard bottle size commonly known as a “fifth” or a “handle.” 

It is equivalent to three-quarters of a liter or 0.75 liters. 

A 750 ml bottle of vodka in the United States typically contains about 25.4 fluid ounces.

How much money is vodka?

The cost of vodka can vary widely depending on several factors, including the brand, quality, region, and any ongoing promotions or discounts. 

The price of vodka ranges from budget options at around $10 to $20 per 750 ml bottle to premium and super-premium brands that can cost $30 or more for the same size bottle.

References

  1. https://home.binwise.com/blog/handle-of-liquor#toc-what-is-a-handle-of-liquor-
  2. https://www.thrillist.com/glossary/how-many-shots-handle
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