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Is Vodka Made From Potatoes? Answered (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on August 29, 2022 by Lydia Martin

If you’re a vodka fan, you’ve probably heard of the rumor that some vodka brands are made from potatoes. Is there any truth to it, though? Is vodka really made from potatoes?

Let’s take a look at vodka’s interesting production process and put an end to this rumor once and for all. 

Is Vodka Generally Made From Potatoes? 

Vodka and Potatoes on desk

No, vodka isn’t generally made from potatoes. While three percent of the world’s vodka supply is indeed made from potatoes, wheat or grain is the most common ingredient used in making this clear alcoholic spirit. 

Technically, vodka can be made from any agricultural product, as long as it contains sugar and starch.

Grains, wheat, rice, beets, and potatoes contain sugar and starch, so vodka can be made by fermenting and distilling them. 

Vodka first came about sometime in the 8th or 9th century and likely originated from Russia or Poland. It wasn’t drunk recreationally at first but rather used as a wonder drug to treat various ailments, including the plague.

By the 14th century, it started to be called “vodka,” after the Slavic word “voda,” meaning water. [1

5 Common Vodka Ingredients 

5 Common Vodka Ingredients 

5. Honey

Honey on table with flowers and spoon

Honey is one of the more unconventional ingredients in vodka production. Its raw form is diluted with water so the yeast can consume the sugar, after which it is fermented to create honey wine.

The mash is then distilled only twice (which is rare, as most vodkas are distilled at least thrice), so it keeps its lush and sweet honey characteristics. 

4. Grain

Grain

You’ll probably find that most vodkas out in the market are made from grains like rye, barley, and wheat.

Vodka made from the quintessential grains is nutty and woodsy, with a bread-like sweetness. This type of vodka is best for cocktails. 

3. Fruits

Fruits are another quirky ingredient used to make vodka, but you’ll be surprised that one of the biggest vodka brands in the world, Ciroc, use fruit as their main ingredient: grapes.

Apples are another unconventional vodka ingredient, which can be distilled into a bright, fruity, and clean-tasting vodka. 

2. Corn

Corn

The most popular corn vodka in the country is Tito’s Handmade Vodka, characterized by its buttery, corn-on-the-cob flavor profile.

You can expect that most corn vodkas are mildly sweet, perfect for sipping on the rocks or mixing into vodka-centric cocktails. 

1. Potato

Vodka made from potatoes is often fleshier and fuller in the mouth, with earthy vegetable tones. Contrary to popular belief, Russian vodkas are not made from potatoes because the soil in the country does not grow spuds well. 

Only three percent of the world’s vodka supply are potato vodkas. This is a great option for vodka-lovers looking for something they can sip straight or on the rocks, as it’s more flavorful and intense. 

3 Popular Potato Vodkas To Try 

3 Popular Potato Vodkas To Try 

3. Chopin Potato Vodka

Average Price: Around $30 

Distillery: Chopin 

Alcohol Content: 40% 

Quick Description:

Chopin Potato Vodka is the world’s most awarded potato vodka. We find that it’s a bit of a paradox — on one hand, it’s delicate and soft on the palate, but there is a distinctively dark, earthy aroma that could only come from the potatoes.

Chopin stands out in the vodka market because of its decidedly savory profile. 

2. Zodiac Vodka

Zodiac Vodka

Average Price: Around $20 

Distillery: Distilled Resources 

Alcohol Content: 40% 

Quick Description:

Zodiac Vodka is made from 100 percent locally-sourced potatoes from a quiet Idaho town. They boast about using ingredients so pure and clean that they only have to distill the vodka once and still yield the best results.

We find that its potato notes only come out in the finish, as its palate is primarily of vanilla, lemon, and black pepper. 

1. Karlsson’s Gold Vodka  

Average Price: Around $30 

Distillery: Gripsholm

Alcohol Content: 40% 

Quick Description:

Karlsson’s Gold is a Swedish vodka brand made by distilling new spring potatoes of seven different varieties.

Like Zodiac, it is distilled only once to preserve most of the distinct potato taste. This spirit has a substantial weight and is very oily on the tongue, has a full, earthy aroma, and a lingering, dry finish. 

FAQs 

Which is better, potato vodka or grain vodka?

It depends on your needs. We find that potato vodka is better for sipping or drinking on the rocks because it has a fuller, earthier flavor profile.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to mix vodkas into your cocktails, you’d be better off with grain vodkas as their neutral flavors won’t clash with the mixers you decide to use. More on potato vs grain vodkas here

What is special about potato vodka?

Potato vodka is special because it doesn’t taste or feel like the vodkas you’re probably familiar with. It has a fleshier mouthfeel with a darker, earthier profile.

They are often drunk neat or served on the rocks because they are more flavorful than grain vodkas. 

In A Nutshell

Yes, some vodkas are made from potatoes, although it’s not a huge percentage in the market. 

Only three percent of the vodkas out in the market are made from potatoes, with a huge chunk of them being made from grains, wheat, or corn.

While vodkas are basically flavorless, it’s not the same with potato vodkas, as they tend to have a vegetal, earthy flavor profile and a fleshier mouthfeel. 

Other unconventional ingredients in vodka production include fruits, corn, and honey. 

Reference: 

  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/vodka

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