Vodka is to Russia what wine is to France — you can assume they do it better. The country has optimal soils for growing grains, and various accounts have proved that they were producing the liquor as early as the 14th century.
According to the Distilled Spirits Council, just 1.3% of vodka imports in America come from Russia. So what vodka is made in Russia? Let’s find out!
10 Vodka Brands Made in Russia
1. Russian Standard
First on the list is called Russian Standard. Russian Standard is unabashedly bold and spicy, with a slightly oily texture. This Russian-made alcohol comes from locally-sourced winter wheat and soft glacial waters and is filtered quadruple times through charcoal.
Zyr is one of the best vodkas for sipping cold and even better when it warms up to room temperature in your hands. This drink stays sweet, thanks to the Moscow-grown winter wheat and rye, unlike others with strong medicinal notes.
Siberia is home to the Husky: the famous dog breed and vodka. As one of the coldest regions globally, this brand uses a cold filtration process for its vodka. The brand uses crystal clear water from the Arctic Circle, lending to the liquor an incredible crispness that is impossible to replicate by the rest.
4. Hammer + Sickle
Hammer + Sickle is one of the rarest Russian-made products you can find in the country. The liquor is made from winter wheat grown from a region called “Black Earth,” famous for the soil’s high mineral content. Its finish is pure and crisp, with sweet vanilla and almond notes.
5. Green Mark
Green Mark pays homage to the “green mark” the Russian government’s quality assurance agency, Glavspirttrest, bestowed upon great vodkas from the 1920s to the 1950s. It is made from Russian winter wheat and blended with artesian well water. It is quite malty, with notes of star anise and fennel fronds.
6. Mamont Siberian
The Mamont Siberian brand is named after a mammoth specimen found in 2002 and takes its bottle shape from the tusk of the species. This is a proudly neutral vodka produced in small batches, making it a great base for cocktails.
7. Beluga Gold
Beluga from Russia is probably one of the most expensive vodka brands. It’s produced from the malted spirit and pure Getreidemalz Siberian spring water and rested for 90 days before being bottled to reach perfect harmony.
Perhaps the vodka that holds Russian heritage near to its heart is Polugar. They recreated 18th and 19th-century copper pot stills for their distillery and used traditional washing and malting of grains — nothing else. Polugar isn’t something we associate contemporary vodkas with but rather an aromatic bread wine.
9. Jewel of Russia
As the name suggests, Jewel of Russia is a gem amongst other vodka brands out in the market. This Russian-made liquor combines hard winter wheat and rye with water drawn from deep artesian wells to create a final spirit with a rich and full mouthfeel.
Imperia is a luxury bottle from Russian Standard. It is made from winter wheat and distilled eight times before being filtered with quartz crystals. The result is a clean drink with a faint almond flavor, something neutral that you can easily blend into cocktails.
5 Russian Sounding Vodka Brands That Aren’t Russian Made
1. Karkov Vodka
While Karkov sounds like it should be from Russia, it isn’t. The Crosby Lake Spirits Company produces this brand in Minnesota. The spirit has a crisp and clean finish, perfect for mixing into a cocktail.
Romanov is another Russian-sounding brand made in the United States. This Indian brand derives its name from the Romanov dynasty and is one of the most accessible vodkas (it has quite the reputation with college students!). We don’t advise drinking this one on its own because of the pungent ethanol burn.
Stoli Vodka, formerly called Stolichnaya Vodka, used to be from Russia… that is until its owner Yuri Shefler was exiled from the country two decades ago. The reason? Shefler contests that he should have sole ownership of Stoli Group and its products as a private business, while the Russian government claims privatization was never fully effected.
Today, all Stoli products are manufactured and bottled in Riga, Latvia. 
Rachmaninoff is a German-produced vodka. Despite its inexpensive price tag, we can attest to this spirit’s caliber — after all, it has received both gold and silver awards from the International Wine and Spirit Competition! The liquor is triple distilled with a light, fresh taste, perfect for sipping, shots, or mixed drinks.
You’d be surprised to know that the largest vodka brand in the world, Smirnoff, is not actually from Russia — it is owned and produced by the Diageo company. Though the brand has Moscow roots, Smirnoff products haven’t been produced in Russia since the early 1900s.
In terms of flavor, you can never go wrong with Smirnoff vodka— its super-smooth taste has been the basis for most vodka worldwide.
Non-Russian Vodka Brands You Should Try
Absolut vodka hails from Ahus, Sweden. This imported vodka is made from distilling winter wheat and water infinite times to produce a rich and full-bodied liquor, yet still smooth and mellow. They are also known for using the same recipe from over a hundred years ago.
Ciroc, from France, uses grapes instead of grain. Fine French grapes are carefully handpicked and made into wine before being distilled five times in column stills to create vodka. As a result, Ciroc vodka veers away from traditional vodka by having a distinct fruity flavor.
The luxury vodka brand Grey Goose also has French origins. Before the vodka was materialized, an idea to develop a luxury vodka for the American market was formulated. To make the spirits, they sourced French-grown ingredients: soft single-origin winter wheat from Picardy and spring water from Gensac-La-Pallue.
Is Tito’s Vodka made in Russia?
No. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is not made in Russia. This vodka brand is America’s original craft vodka. It is produced from the deep heart of Austin at Texas’ oldest legal distillery.
Is Russian vodka made from potatoes?
No, Russian vodka is not made from potatoes. Russia makes use of mostly grains in vodka production today. While most vodka was originally made from potatoes, distillers noticed that spuds do not grow well in frozen ground and instead used grain as an alternative — which turned out great!
Are Russian vodkas expensive?
Some Russian vodka brands are expensive, like Jewel of Russia and Beluga. However, it’s quite easy to find quality Russian vodka without breaking the bank. Russian Standard and Green Mark are relatively inexpensive while still maintaining sublime quality.
Russia is the gold standard for quality vodka, and we shouldn’t expect anything less from them, seeing as how they consider this liquor their national drink. Whether at a wedding, funeral, child birth, holidays, or in bars, you can expect the Russians to have a bottle in their hands!
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!