What is Vodka Proof? Complete Guide (2023 Updated)

Last Updated on October 25, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Vodka is a versatile cocktail beverage. Along with gin and beer, it is a popular distilled alcohol. But what is vodka proof? How strong is this spirit? 

To help you answer this question, our team made a thorough research about vodka’s alcohol proof along with the ABV of each brand.

All You Need to Know About Vodka Proof

Vodka Bottles

The term “alcohol proof” is used to measure alcohol content present in drinks. Vodka’s alcohol content is measured in proof or by alcohol by volume (ABV). It is not the same as ABV, which weighs the alcohol content as a percentage. In the US, alcohol proof is double the ABV. Proofs can be seen in bottles.

Therefore, if a drink or spirit has a 35% ABV, it is termed 70 proof. For instance, the European Union and the United Kingdom adhere to the International Organization of Legal Metrology guidelines. 

The ABV standard refers to the OIML-developed scale. 80 is the vodka proof which amounts to 40% ABV. The United States mandates all vodka to be at least 80 proof. However, this level varies per country, but it is still popular.

Why Vodka Is Measured in Proof

The term “proof” was named after the government of England, which imposed a higher tax on liquor, having a larger percentage of alcohol at different rates depending on the potency of the alcohol. As a result, testing to determine the alcohol strength of a certain liquor was established.

As a result, the correct taxation rate was imposed. The King wants to be paid! However, measuring alcohol content was imprecise [1].

Popular Vodka Brands 

Pinnacle Vodka

Vodka Brand Alcohol By Volume Proof
Svedka  40% ABV 80 proof
Pinnacle  40% ABV 80 proof
Absolut 40% ABV 80 proof
Smirnoff  40% ABV 80 proof
Stolichnaya (Stoli) 40% ABV 80 proof
Skyy  40% ABV 80 proof
Burnetts  40% ABV 80 proof
Ciroc  40% ABV 80 proof
Belvedere  40% ABV 80 proof
Grey Goose  40% ABV 80 proof

3 Ways To Determine Alcohol Proof

3 Ways To Determine Alcohol Proof

1. The Gunpowder Method

The gunpowder method is the initial method for determining the alcohol content. This testing involved soaking a gunpowder pellet in wine. It was lit to determine the amount of alcohol contained in the liquor. But before the gunpowder method, there existed another, less reliable procedure.

If it burnt, the spirit was deemed “above proof.” If it did not burn, it was considered “under proof.” And if it was “proof” and burnt blue, the alcohol content was perfect. But before the gunpowder test performed on spirits like vodka, a less exact method was used.

2. Burn or No Burn Method

Flaming Vodka Shot glasses with bacardi

On the other hand, a burn or no burn test is a procedure in which liquors are assessed based on their alcohol’s flammability after being revealed to an ignition source. If the ethanol does not ignite, it is “underproof,” but if it does ignite, it is classified “above proof.”

Because the flammability of alcohol is highly dependent on its temperature, this test proved to be less exact. [2] 

3. Today’s Testing Method

Since then, a more precise and sophisticated way of assessing alcohol proof has been created, known as specific gravity. This sort of test includes determining the liquor’s density ratio and comparing it to water.

Once the particular gravity technique was invented, the traditional proofing methods went out of favor. It provides exact alcohol content measurements, the basis for ABV, the most extensively used standard in the world. However, out of many countries worldwide, the US is the only country that still employs the alcohol-proof system. But, does vodka evaporate?

3 Vodka Proof Ranges 

3 Vodka Proof Ranges 

1. 80 Proof

This is the standard vodka proof in the United States and many other countries. Many brands adhere to this standard to give you the neutral flavor and smoothness you desire.

2. 90 Proof

smirnoff 90 proof on table

This proof is equivalent to 45% alcohol by volume. Numerous manufacturers that make 80 proof vodka also create 90 proof versions. This range is an excellent alternative if you want a stronger alcohol concentration without losing the light flavor.

3. 100 Proof

If you’re searching for a real boost in your vodka, opt for 100 proof. These are some of the most potent alternatives since they contain 50% ABV. Some of the most popular spirits provide 100 proof, which allows you to boost the strength of your alcoholic beverages for a small additional cost.

Also Read:


Is 70 proof Vodka strong?

No, 70 proof vodka is not very strong at all. Depending on the recipe and other additives, vodka’s ABV ranges from 35% to 95%. Taking shots of quality vodka might quickly make you feel tipsy. Even a single shot of vodka might sometimes be enough to get somebody drunk.

What is the highest proof Vodka?

The highest proof of vodka is 192 proof or 96% of alcohol by volume. Spirytus Vodka is the brand with this amount of content. 

So, What Is Vodka Proof?

The name Vodka is the Russian word for water. This liquor is known for its taste and color neutrality. The ideal vodka proof range for smoothness and mildness is 80 or 40% ABV. You may expect flavorful blended drinks with a light aftertaste with this much alcohol.

Understanding vodka proof can help you choose the best vodka brands for you. Higher alcohol-level content vodka is available, but it may not be the quality you seek.



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here or feel free to give Lydia a tip.

One thought on “What is Vodka Proof? Complete Guide (2023 Updated)

  • March 16, 2023 2:48 pm at 2:48 pm

    My local stores in Ohio sell a 40 proof Kamchatka vodka. What is it? Is it still Vodka or is it considered something else?


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