Cheap liquor (vodka) vs. expensive liquor (vodka)….. whats the difference?






Can the average person in a bar  enjoys their liquor of choice  tell the difference between  if it’s expensive or cheap? This is sort of interesting. Mainly when it comes to vodka. The drink that taste testing almost doesn’t apply to. When you compare a Burgundy or a Whiskey or a Wine, there so many very distinct variables that clearly lay out the differences between the types of alcoholic drinks you’re trying. However the same doesn’t often apply to vodka.( For example Vodka can literally be made out of anything at all, although most vodka is made from potatoes and grains.)

So…. What is the difference between a cheap vodka and an expensive one? Is there a difference?

Some things to keep in mind:

The filtration of vodka reduces its alcohol content and most people prefered the taste afterwards of a particular brand of vodka. After reading some of the studies I found it also ascertained that most people couldn’t tell the difference between an expensive vodka with higher alcohol content and a cheaper one with lower alcohol content.

It may not be so much that there is such a difference between cheap and expensive. But rather, mostly the alcohol content and that distinguishes one vodka from another. Taking into account, I would imagine, what it was originally made from. For example most vodkas are made from potatoes or grains, which often tend to taste more round and almost buttery like. While the rest are made from fruits and molasses and other things that give it a totally different taste perspective.


I’ve done the plain unflavored vodka taste test in  my early 20’s, probably more than was necessary. And like most young 20 somethings, my out the gate, drink of choice was often vodka. For many reasons but mostly because at that age our liquor knowledge is usually limited and vodka just seems like an easy and good go-to. It also just mixes well with whatever you might have in the fridge during that house party you forgot you were having. I can say that 9 out of ten times I have been able to tell the difference between whatever liquor was in my shot glass. However, setting aside my special drinking skills acquired in my youth, I have come across and seen many a person not able to tell their vodkas apart.

Going by price when comparing taste differences won’t often work because usually imported vodkas are more expensive due to taxes levied from certain governments. Also marketing plays a huge role in the cost of vodka. Extremely popular vodkas, often will raise their prices for the specified purpose of popularity, making it more of a higher status symbol amongst consumers.

All in all, have we answered this question? I don’t think so but it was really fun discovering if there was an actual difference taste wise in regards to my old Vodka. I can mostly tell the difference between cheap and expensive but mainly I can tell the difference between brands, meaning if you happen to be bartender one day in the future and serve me some bottom shelf shit when I ordered Chopin ( which I discovered was my favorite vodka) I can promise you, I will be able to tell and your tip will suffer for it. 🙂 Cheers!



Happy Sipping folks.


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