I have recently been looking for good, cheap options for booze in an attempt to trim back my overall food and drink expenditures, and after looking through the chowhound boards, I am still not satisfied with the answers I have found in regards to budget vodkas. So how about it hounds, what do you recommend? Options that immediately come to mind are Gordon's, Svedka, Smirnoff, Burnett's, Sobieski (can't find it around here though) and Luksusowa, although at 18 dollars Luksusowa is getting close to what something like Ketel One would cost, especially in comparison to an 11 dollar bottle of Gordon's. I see that the Beverage Tasting Institute recommends Gordon's vodka: http://www.tastings.com/spirits/best_... , but I have not been able to find any good reviews of this particular spirit. As a final note, this would primarily be for mixing, although I occasionally do make penne a la vodka.
For mixing, I like either Skyy or Pinacle. I've only just tried Pinacle, but I think it's comparable to Skyy (or is that SKYY?). Skyy is readily available just about everywhere I've been, so that might be good a option for you.
Incidentally, I've also tried Three Olives, and while I think the fact that it doesn't play well with others and tries to insinuate itself to the forefront of every mix drink I've made makes it a bad mixer, others might not think so. It's right around the price range you mentioned (at least in the forsaken land of PA liquor laws).
Mostly, though, I just buy some Belvedere or Chopin and drink less. :)
Both Skyy and Smirnoff are good and moderately priced.In NY about $15/liter.I haven't tried the others that you mentioned,although Gordons is often mentioned as a reliable lower priced producer.I have had their gin and liked it.
I guess I probably should have made this clearer: I have only tried Smirnoff out of all of those that I thought of off the top of my head, and I although I certainly found it acceptable, at 15 dollars it's certainly on the higher end of "recession vodka." Certainly there has to be something between this and Senator's Club (which my college roommates used to make rather hideous jello shots!). Thanks for the responses so far - I'll have to look into Skyy, although it is on the top of the price range here.
I am honestly not a big fan of SKYY, or their newer product SKYY 90. However, I've tried Smirnoff and thought it held up ok to a lot of the big brand names. For a great quality budget vodka, I would seek out Polar Ice from Canada. Very good and very smooth.
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