Saving money on vodka is a tricky subject because it is very easy to get a really bad and cheap vodka. There are many brands that cost around $10 for a 750 ml bottle and some are considerably better than others. Those listed below, depending on the market, will only cost you about $10.
Most vodkas that go for the $10, like McCormick, Popov and Hawkeye. Unless you use a filtering system of your own like the Vodkastick or want an enormous hangover tomorrow, I recommend you stay away from those. The cost savings is not worth it.
1. KU:L Vodka
There is a new vodka in town that falls into this price range, but is by far cleaner, smoother and more flavorful than the majority. KU:L is a surprisingly impressive Polish vodka that you might expect to pay $20 for, but this bottled gem with the "cool" label is a mere $10-12.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to vodkas in the $10 range, KU:L ("the new cool") is by far the best you can find to date and is sure to become a favorite. This is a smooth, flavorful and non-astringent vodka that blows others at that price point out of the water. It is impressive enough to be trusted in any vodka cocktail and to appreciate it’s full economical beauty, I suggest you try chilled and straight. The art deco-style label with bold graphics and colors is a work of art to itself and if your local liquor store has it you won't be able to miss it – and you will not want to.
- The best vodka available to date for around $10
- As big on taste as vodka can get
- Superiorly smooth and overall an impressive vodka
- Currently has a somewhat limited availability
- Polish grain vodka distilled five times.
- Producted at Polmos Bialystok Distillery, Poland's oldest distillery
- Distributed by Al Capone Distributing, Chicago, Illinois
- 40% alc/volume (80 proof)
- Retails for around $11/750ml bottle
- Gold Medal Winner, 91 points
KU:L has a very clean fragrance that is semi-sweet and semi-herbal. The entry is refreshingly silky and leads to the warm, oh-so-smooth taste of luscious grains and a hint of sage that continues to display a subtle sweetness. KU:L finishes by not letting you forget it was there and this long, dark, warm ending is quite refreshing.
2. Svedka Vodka
If you shop around you can find Svedka Vodka for right around $10 and it will likely be a liter, which breaks my liter rule, but this one's worth it. Svedka is one of the cleanest value brands available, is distilled from wheat and is imported from Sweden. Almost any vodka cocktail you want to mix Svedka in, you'll likely enjoy it especially when you think about the green it's going to save you.
3. UV Vodka
UV Vodka is one of the most popular value brands of vodka available. The key behind the brand's success is its innovative and colorful flavor line and the clear vodka distilled from Midwest grain is just as good as any of the others.
The flavor line includes UV Blue Raspberry, UV Orange, UV Grape, UV Citrus, UV Cherry, and UV Apple. I also want to point out that UV Pink Lemonade is a pre-mixed cocktail. UV Ruby Red Graprefruit set to release in March 2015.
4. Denaka Vodka
Denaka Vodka may be one of the best vodkas you never heard of. This wheat vodka from Denmark is resoundingly smooth for the price and if you can't find it in your local liquor store there are plenty of online stores that carry it. Because of its earthy flavor and smooth profile Denaka is great for any vodka cocktail.
Denaka also has a nice line of flavored vodkas including blackberry, orange, citron, raspberry, vanilla, and grape.
5. Smirnoff Vodka
Almost anywhere you look you'll be able to find Smirnoff Vodka and any of its flavors. Smirnoff is a grain based vodka that has been around since the beginning of the 1900's. The company's marketing campaign in the middle of the century was instrumental in kicking off the vodka cocktail craze in the latter part of the century. Smirnoff is a great every day vodka and an inexpensive brand you can rely on being readily available.
Smirnoff also has a full flavor line that includes green apple, blueberry, citrus, cranberry, watermelon, orange, raspberry, strawberry and black cherry.
6. Seagram's Vodka
Seagram's Vodka is another good vodka that you can find almost anywhere and it works well for most cocktails. This American wheat vodka is not as smooth as some of the others in the list but it is decent.
Seagram's also produces flavored vodkas including espresso, black cherry, wild grape, raspberry, apple, citrus, orange, blackberry and vanilla. The company's gin isn't half bad either and is one of my picks for best budget gins.