Our Verdict of the Best Vodka for Cocktails:
Best Overall Vodka: Smirnoff Red Label.
Best Budget Vodka: Russian Standard 70cl.
Best Value For Money: Smirnoff Red Label.
Vodka People Buy the Most: Smirnoff Red Label.
Best Rated Vodka: Haku – 4.9 out of 5 with 46 reviews.
Honourable Mention: Grey Goose.
Vodka is a fantastic base for cocktails.
…Because it has a neutral flavour that mixes well with other flavours.
It’s the Chameleon of the cocktail world.
…But what is the best Vodka for cocktails?
Let’s not beat around around the bush. Our recommendation is:
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BUT if you’re interested in finding out why we think it’s the best Vodka, continue reading.
In this article:
- You’ll learn which is the best Vodka for Cocktails based on value for money.
- You’ll find out which Vodka has the best biggest and best reputation.
- You’ll discover which Vodka sells the best on Amazon.
- You’ll learn which Vodka is highest rated.
That’s a lot to unpack, so let’s dive right in.
Table of Contents
- 1. The Brands of Vodka in Contention
- 2. How I’m Gonna Choose the Best Vodka for Cocktails
- 3. Best Vodka for Cocktails By Value for Money
- 4. Best Vodka for Cocktails by Brand Reputation
- 4.1. Wait…Who is YouGov?
- 4.2. The Results
- 5. Best Vodka for Cocktails By Amazon Bestseller List
- 6. Best Vodka for Cocktails By Amazon Rating
- 7. Overall Best Vodka for Cocktails
The Brands of Vodka in Contention
So which brands of Vodka will we be comparing?
…Here’s the list:
- Smirnoff Red Label.
- Grey Goose.
- Skyy Premium.
- Crystal Head.
- Russian Standard.
- Żubrówka Bison Grass.
Are there any brands of Vodka you feel need to be on this list, but aren’t? Get in touch via Twitter or Facebook at let us know!
…Anyway, let’s first take al look at what exactly are we going to do to figure out the best Vodka for cocktails.
How I’m Gonna Choose the Best Vodka for Cocktails
The best way to work out which is the best Vodka for cocktails is to:
- Analyse them.
- Compare them.
- Rank them.
- Assign them points.
I think the best and fairest comparison comes from actual stats and data, rather than opinion.
So I’m going to compare and rank each brand of vodka on the following criteria:
- Best value for money.
- Best by reputation.
- Best by rank on the Amazon bestseller list for vodka.
- Best by best Amazon rating.
Sound good? Great! Let’s start comparing Vodka!
First up, what is the best Vodka for cocktails based on value for money?
Best Vodka for Cocktails By Value for Money
Value for money is one of the most important factors people take into account when buying Vodka for cocktails.
…Because very few people will buy a £30 plus bottle of Vodka just to add a mixer to it.
Most the time, people spending that much on a bottle of Vodak are buying primarily for taste. These are connoisseurs who want to sip it and enjoy the flavour.
That said, some of the more expensive Vodkas on the market can add a lot to a cocktail.
…anyway, wherever your heads at in terms of how much you would buy a bottle of vodka for, here’s a comparison of vodka, based on value for money.
Please note, since most of the brands of Vodka come in 70cl bottles (only 2 are available in 1L bottles), I’ll be comparing prices just for 70cl bottles.
|1||Russian Standard 70cl||£12||12 points|
|2||Smirnoff Red Label 70cl||£13||11 points|
|3||Wyborowa 70cl||£16.69||10 points|
|4||Skyy Premium 70cl||£17.99||9 points|
|5||Absolut 70cl||£18||8 points|
|6||Żubrówka Bison Grass 70cl||£20||7 points|
|7||Reyka 70cl||£22||6 points|
|8||Ciroc Snap Frost 70cl||£27.09||5 points|
|9||Haku 70cl||£29.99||4 points|
|10||Belvedere Vodka 70cl||£31.99||3 points|
|11||Grey Goose 70cl||£32.99||2 points|
|12||Crystal Head 70cl||£39.89||1 point|
As you can see from the list, Russian Standard and Smirnoff Red Label top the list, with a bit of a gap to Wyborowa in third place.
All three are great value for their money.
…However, perhaps not the best value for money available to buy.
What do I mean?
…I mean, as mentioned previously, the list above represents value for money based solely on 70cl bottles.
If you were to consider 1-litre bottles and consider the value based on the amount of alcohol, the table would be slightly different.
Now let’s take a look at which is the best Vodka for cocktails based solely on brand reputation.
Best Vodka for Cocktails by Brand Reputation
This is a part of the test that gets a little..sketchy.
Let me explain.
We used YouGov ratings to determine which brands of Vodka are the most popular with the British public.
Wait…Who is YouGov?
According to their website:
"YouGov is an international research data and analytics group headquartered in London.
Our data-led offering supports and improves a wide spectrum of marketing activities of a customer-base including media owners, brands and media agencies. We work with some of the world’s most recognised brands.
With a proprietary panel of over 8 million people globally and operations in the UK, North America, Mainland Europe, the Nordics, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, YouGov has one of the world’s largest research networks.
YouGov data is regularly referenced by the press worldwide and we are the most quoted market research source in the UK."
So, this is a great source of data to base our comparisons on. And this data covers all spirits and not just Vodka, so you can even compare the Vodka brands with spirit brands too. Cool stuff.
But let’s get to the REAL question you want the answer to…
…how did YouGov rank the brands of Vodka?
Let’s take a look.
On the face of it, the results were as you might expect…
…or more accurately, how I expected it to be: Smirnoff and Absolut at the top of the pile, battling for first and second places.
But there was a problem…
The main problem with using these stats from YouGov ratings was the fact that not all brands were listed...
…or were they?
Some of the brands of Vodka on the list are actually a part of bigger brands and therefore individually didn’t appear on the list.
For example, Skky Premium Vodka doesn’t appear on the list but is actually a part of the Campari group (click here to find out more about Campari).
However, it didn’t seem entirely fair these be included on the list, as the Campari brand is certainly a more popular brand as a whole than Skky Premium Vodka is on its own.
Also, there are some brands of vodka that just aren’t on the list.
…I’m not sure, but my best guess is that they’ve just not appeared in the YouGov data stream for whatever reason.
In any case, 6 out of the 12 Vodka brands did not appear on the list and it’s relatively surprising which ones made the cut and which didn’t.
For example, Żubrówka made the cut yet Wyborowa didn’t. In my mind, Wyborowa is a much more recognised brand, but there ya go.
…ANYWAY, let’s see which brands of Vodka actually made the list and in which order.
|3||Grey Goose||10 points|
|5||Russian Standard||8 points|
|7||Crystal Head||0 points|
The results of the brand reputation are quite clear…on the face of it.
As I (and probably you) expected, Smirnoff and Absolut are the two most recognised brands of Vodka. But that doesn’t tell the whole story.
The YouGov list contained 184 different alcohol brands. Smirnoff ranked the 2nd most popular brand of alcohol in the UK (just behind Baileys Irish Cream).
…2nd. That’s impressive.
The next most popular brand of Vodka was Absolut.
…But Absolut was way down the overall list in 28th, with Grey Goose coming in 3rd for Vodka, but 38th overall.
So despite Smirnoff and Absolut being 1st and 2nd on this comparison list, on the YouGov list, they’re 26 places apart.
Best Vodka for Cocktails By Brand Reputation Verdict
Despite the issues with not all Vodka brands being on the list, I think this is still a valuable comparison.
That said, when I add up the points in this comparison post, I’ll show two tables: one with the best vodka by reputation points and one without.
I think that’s the fairest way to go about it.
Now, let’s moved on to comparing the best Vodka for Cocktails based on the Amazon bestseller list.
Best Vodka for Cocktails By Amazon Bestseller List
Comparing the best Vodka for cocktails based on the Amazon bestseller list for Vodka is quite an important metric.
…Because it shows exactly which brands of Vodka are the most purchased despite the price.
And it’s lead to a couple of interesting observations.
Take a look for yourselves.
|1||Smirnoff Red Label 1L||12 points|
|2||Absolut 1L||11 points|
|3||Russian Standard 70cl||10 points|
|4||Grey Goose 70cl||9 points|
|5||Ciroc Snap Frost 70cl||8 points|
|6||Reyka 70cl cl||7 points|
|7||Crystal Head 70cl||6 points|
|8||Belvedere Vodka 70cl||5 points|
|9||Haku 70cl||4 points|
|10||Skyy Premium 70cl||3 points|
|11||Wyborowa 70cl||2 points|
|12||Żubrówka Bison Grass 70cl||1 point|
Bigger Bottles = Better Value for Money
The two brands of Vodka which offer 1-litre bottles (compared to 70cl ones) sell the best.
Of course, the 1-litre bottles are a little more expensive but they do offer a little more value for money.
As of writing this the 1-litre bottle of Smirnoff costs £16, with the 70cl version costing £13. The 70cl works out at costing £18.57 per 1-litre, a rather sizeable £2.57 increase.
The difference between Absolut 70cl versus Absolut 1-litre bottles tells a similar tale.
Quality Vodka Sells
Earlier in the article, I mentioned that not many people would pay top dollar for a vodka they’re just going to mix into a cocktail.
That may be true, but nobody told the Amazon bestseller list this.
Grey Goose came in 4th place, despite being the second most expensive vodka in our comparison list.
Crystal head is 7th on the bestsellers list, despite being the most expensive on the list.
This says a lot.
…It says people don’t mind paying for quality vodka and there just might be something in investing a little more in your spirits.
But let’s move on: the next metric I’m going to use to compare the brands of vodka is their Amazon rating.
Let’s take a look.
Best Vodka for Cocktails By Amazon Rating
This is another metric to compare because not only does it tell us how well each vodka is rated by buyers, but also how many buyers actually went out of their way to leave a review.
The results of this metric were a little surprising.
…Take a look for yourselves.
|1||Haku – 4.9 out of 5 with 46 reviews||12 points|
|2||Grey Goose – 4.8 out of 5 with 740 reviews||11 points|
|3||Absolut- 4.8 out of 5 with 492 reviews||10 points|
|4||Ciroc – 4.8 out of 5 with 396 reviews||9 points|
|5||Smirnoff Red Label – 4.8 out of 5 with 304 reviews||8 points|
|6||Crystal Head – 4.6 out of 5 with 845 reviews||7 points|
|7||Wyborowa – 4.6 out of 5 with 497 reviews||6 points|
|8||Belvedere – 4.6 out of 5 with 290 reviews||5 points|
|9||Skyy Premium – 4.6 out of 5 with 184 reviews||4 points|
|10||Żubrówka Bison Grass – 4.6 out of 5 with 164 reviews||3 points|
|11||Russian Standard – 4.6 out of 5 with 6 reviews||2 points|
|12||Reyka – 4.5 out of 5 with 160 reviews||1 point|
Good Vodka Was Picked
I think the results of this comparison show just how good a selection of vodka I’m comparing here.
The lowest rating on the list is 4.5 out of 5.
But equally as impressive as the rating each vodka had was the number of reviews each vodka had.
The results of the comparison wouldn’t have been as good if one of the brands of vodka had just one 5 star review. That metric would have been next to meaningless.
The lowest number of reviews for a brand of vodka was 6. This was Russian Standard and there could have been two reasons why there aren’t as many reviews:
- Russian Standard has only recently started to sell on Amazon (most likely).
- Because Russian Standard is "cheap and cheerful" and does the job, people don’t tend to come back and leave a review.
…But this is just speculation.
The Best Rated Vodka
I think it’s interested that Haku is the best-rated vodka, but I think it’s even more interesting that Grey Goose came 2nd on the list.
Haku got a score of 4.9 with 46 reviews, but Grey Goose got a 4.8 rating with 740 reviews…
And when you also consider the Amazon bestseller list metric, then Grey Goose is even more impressive.
It has to be a strong contender in the overall best vodka for cocktails standing, right?
Let’s take a look.
Overall Best Vodka for Cocktails
So this is it…
…the final rankings to determine the best vodka for cocktails.
As I mentioned earlier in the article, I’m going to split up the final results into two different sections:
- Results where the brand reputation rankings are included.
- Results where the brand reputation rankings are not included.
Let’s dive right in with the final results where the reputation factor is included.
Best Vodka for Cocktails With Brand Reputation Comparison
|3||Russian Standard||32 points|
|3=||Grey Goose||32 points|
|7||Żubrówka Bison Grass||18 points|
|9||Skyy Premium||16 points|
|10=||Crystal Head||14 points|
I think given the previous comparison tables, Smirnoff and Absolut were always going to grab the first two places.
Those two brands of vodka basically topped every comparison table in this article.
Impressively, Grey Goose managed to come joint 3rd with Russian Standard after coming second to last in the value for money comparison.
Best Vodka for Cocktails Without Brand Reputation Comparison
Now let’s take a look at the best vodka for cocktails leaderboard without brand reputation incldued in the total points.
|3||Russian Standard||24 points|
|4||Grey Goose||22 points|
|8||Skyy Premium||16 points|
|9=||Crystal Head||14 points|
|12||Żubrówka Bison Grass||11 points|
As you can see, not much as changed in the top 4 places on the comparison table. Grey Goose has dropped 2 points to be placed lower than Russian Standard, but that’s about it.
At the bottom of the table, there’s one big change. Żubrówka Bison Grass has dropped from joint 7th place to last place.
What’s the Best Vodka for Cocktails: Our Verdict
I think it’s clear which Vodka is the best for cocktails: Smirnoff.
…I mean it’s topped (or has been near the top) of almost every comparison we’ve made in this study.Related Article
Is Smirnoff Good Vodka? Our Honest Review
But we have to say that Grey Goose gets an honourable mention. I think it nearing the top of the table for the Amazon bestseller list AND the highest rated list speaks volumes.
…OK, it’s not the cheapest Vodka available, but sometimes you get what you pay for.
…Now let me give you a little overview of each comparison so you can choose the vodka that meets the criteria that are important to you.
- Most Cheap & Cheerful Vodka: Russian Standard 70cl.
- Best Value For Money: Smirnoff Red Label 1L.
- Vodka People Buy the Most: Smirnoff Red Label 1L.
- Best Rated Vodka: Haku – 4.9 out of 5 with 46 reviews.
- Honourable Mention: Grey Goose.
Want Some Cocktail Ideas?
Okay, now that I’ve covered which is the best vodka for cocktails, you’re probably thinking: I wanna make some cocktails!
Great news! We have over 100 FREE quick & easy cocktail recipes that you can make at home.
Our incredible list of recipes also includes 40 of the Best Quick & Easy Cocktail Recipes with Vodka in case you wanted to try our Vodka recommendation out.