written by
Bert Gallagher

Russian Standard Vodka: Exploring the Classic Spirit's Rich Heritage

Brands of Vodka 15 min read

Russian Standard Vodka has emerged as one of the most popular vodkas in the world, with a rich history and a delightful flavor that continues to impress consumers globally. Founded by Roustam Tariko in 1998, this exceptional Russian vodka brand has become synonymous with quality and tradition. Their products boast a smooth and sophisticated taste, making them a favorite choice for vodka enthusiasts across the globe.

Crafted from 100% Russian ingredients, Russian Standard Vodka uses pure soft glacial water from Lake Ladoga and high-quality wheat from the black soil region in Russia. The vodka is distilled and filtered using Russian expertise and state-of-the-art technology, ensuring a well-balanced, bready, and peppery taste that goes harmoniously with various food pairings, including beef, chicken, fish, pasta, and tomatoes.

As a testament to its quality, Russian Standard Vodka has received high ratings and positive reviews from consumers and experts alike. The brand offers a range of products, including its flagship Russian Standard Original, the luxurious Russian Standard Gold, and other variations that cater to different preferences. Whether you enjoy sipping vodka neat, over ice, or using it as the base for your favorite cocktails, Russian Standard Vodka is bound to elevate your drinking experience.

Russian Standard Vodka

History of Russian Vodka

Origin of Vodka

Vodka is a clear distilled alcoholic beverage that originated in Poland, Russia, and Sweden. It is composed mainly of water and ethanol, with traces of impurities and flavorings. The legend has it that in 1894, Tsar Nicholas II ordered a standard recipe for Russian vodka to be created. Mendeleev's research later became the basis of a vodka standard that was introduced in 1894.

Roustam Tariko and Russian Standard

In 1998, Roustam Tariko, a Russian entrepreneur, founded the Russian Standard Company. The company quickly became a significant player in the vodka market, producing the Russian Standard vodka brand of the same name. Tariko's background in banking and his strong vision for the brand helped the company grow internationally.

The Russian Standard Vodka is known for its rich history and delicious flavor, making it a popular choice for drinkers all over the world. With a focus on quality and maintaining the traditional standards for producing vodka, Russian Standard has become a benchmark for quality in the vodka industry.

By combining meticulous production methods and a commitment to preserving tradition, Russian Standard Vodka has established itself as one of the world's leading vodka brands. With continued growth and global recognition, the company remains dedicated to maintaining the high standards set by Roustam Tariko and continuing the legacy of exceptional Russian vodka.

Production Process


The base ingredients for Russian Standard Vodka are Russian winter wheat and glacial water. The winter wheat is specially harvested to ensure the finest quality for the vodka production. The glacial water is sourced from Lake Ladoga, which is known for its purity and mineral content.


After harvesting and milling the wheat, the grain is mixed with water and yeast to create a fermentable base. This base, also known as vodka mash, undergoes fermentation to produce ethanol. The fermented mash is then distilled four times using a continuous distillation process to create a smooth and clean spirit. The multiple distillations ensure the removal of impurities and enhance the overall quality of the final product.


The distilled product goes through a heavy charcoal filtration process, which helps remove any remaining impurities and improves the clarity of the vodka. This filtration process discards the "fore-shots" (spirits containing flavor compounds produced at the start of each run) and "tails" (oily spirits produced at the end of a run) to produce a clear and smooth vodka. The filtration process is essential in creating the unique taste and texture of Russian Standard Vodka.

Top Russian Vodka Brands

Russian Standard Vodka

Russian Standard Vodka is a popular and widely distributed vodka brand in Russia and internationally. It is made from a blend of winter wheat and glacial water from Lake Ladoga, providing a smooth and pure taste. The vodka is distilled and filtered multiple times, resulting in a clean and crisp flavor.


Stolichnaya, often referred to as Stoli, is a well-known Russian vodka brand that has been around since 1938. Made from a combination of wheat and rye grains, Stoli offers a unique and balanced taste. It undergoes a triple distillation process and is filtered through quartz, sand, and charcoal to ensure a high level of purity.


Beluga Vodka, produced in the Mariinsk distillery in Kemerovo Oblast, Russia, is made from Siberian winter wheat. With a clean and refined taste, Beluga undergoes a meticulous production process involving malt spirit and artesian water. The vodka is filtered multiple times and rests for 30 days before bottling to ensure exceptional smoothness.

Green Mark

Green Mark is a traditional Russian vodka brand made from a blend of selected wheat and rye grains. Distilled five times and using a unique charcoal filtration method, Green Mark vodka stands out for its purity and smooth taste, perfect for enjoying neat or in cocktails.


Imperia Vodka, a top-shelf Russian vodka, is made from winter wheat and is distilled eight times and filtered through quartz, charcoal, and ion-charged filters. This extensive process results in an exceptionally smooth, crisp, and clean-tasting vodka.


Polugar Classic Rye Vodka is a traditional Russian vodka, offering a rich and full-bodied flavor. Distilled from rye, Polugar goes through a unique copper column distillation process, giving it a distinct character and a smooth finish.

Beluga Gold

Beluga Gold Line Vodka is a premium offering from the Beluga brand. It features a more intricate production process, including additional filtration steps and resting periods. These extra steps result in an extremely smooth and refined taste, making Beluga Gold a perfect choice for sipping or using in high-end cocktails.

Jewel of Russia

Jewel of Russia Ultra Black Vodka is a luxury vodka, crafted and bottled in Russia. It excels in smoothness, purity, and taste. Made from a blend of wheat, rye, and barley, Jewel of Russia undergoes a meticulous distillation and filtration process, delivering an elegant and velvety mouthfeel.

Tasting Notes and Profiles

Flavors and Aromas

Russian Standard Vodka offers a clean and crisp profile that showcases the quality of its ingredients. The flavors and aromas you'll experience with this vodka include hints of honey, which gives a subtle sweetness that complements its smoothness. With its peppery undertone, Russian Standard Vodka provides a balanced and food-friendly profile that can be enjoyed in various cocktails or on its own.

  • Clean and crisp: The vodka's purity is evident in its taste
  • Honey: A touch of natural sweetness
  • Peppery: A subtle and welcome spiciness

Smoothness and Texture

The smoothness of Russian Standard Vodka is attributed to its distilled process and filtering through charcoal and quartz crystal. This method results in a silky and smooth vodka that boasts an almost unctuous texture on the palate. While the taste is smooth, the vodka maintains a vibrant, dry-yet-fruity, medium-to-full body, making it appealing to both casual and experienced vodka drinkers.

  • Silky: A velvety texture on the tongue
  • Smoothness: Distilled and filtered for a refined experience
  • Dry-yet-fruity: A balanced and versatile profile suitable for various serves

In conclusion, Russian Standard Vodka offers a delightful tasting experience that highlights its quality ingredients, smoothness, and texture, with flavors and aromas that include clean, peppery, and honey notes. Its versatility makes it a perfect choice for a range of cocktails or simply enjoying neat or over ice.

Cocktails and Mixers

Popular Russian Vodka Cocktails

Russian vodka is commonly used in various cocktails due to its versatility, high quality, and diverse range of flavors. Here are a few popular Russian vodka cocktails:

  • White Russian: A classic cocktail made with vodka, Kahlua, and heavy cream, perfect for sipping on a chilly evening.
  • Vesper: A cocktail from the James Bond universe, it combines Russian vodka, gin, and dry vermouth.
  • Long Island Iced Tea: This potent cocktail includes Russian vodka, tequila, rum, gin, triple sec, sweet and sour mix, and a splash of cola.
  • Moscow Mule: A refreshing cocktail made with Russian vodka, ginger beer, and fresh lime juice, traditionally served in a copper mug.

Recommended Mixers

To enjoy the distinct taste of Russian vodka while taking advantage of its ability to blend with various flavors, try mixing with these recommended mixers:

  • Tonic water: A classic mixer for vodka, tonic water adds effervescence and a slightly bitter taste, perfect for a Vodka Tonic.
  • Soda water: For those looking for a neutral mixer, soda water provides a blank canvas that allows the vodka's character to shine through.
  • Cranberry juice: A popular choice for creating a "Vodka Cranberry," this mixer brings a sweet-tart flavor that complements the vodka's smoothness.
  • Orange juice: Combining vodka with orange juice creates the classic "Screwdriver" cocktail, perfect for brunch or a sunny afternoon.
  • Ginger ale or ginger beer: These mixers add spice and sweetness, ideal for creating drinks like the Moscow Mule or a Vodka Buck.

When choosing a Russian vodka for your cocktails, consider options like Absolut, Russian Standard, or Imperia Vodka as they offer a diverse range of flavors and styles suited to your mixing needs. The subtleties of premium vodka can elevate a simple mixed drink to a sublime cocktail experience.

Remember to pay attention to the vodka's specific characteristics, such as its region of origin, ABV, and overall quality. These factors will influence the final outcome of your cocktail creations.

Recognition and Awards

Russian Standard Vodka has received numerous accolades and awards for its exceptional quality and taste. At the prestigious Beverage Testing Institute, Russian Standard Vodka has consistently scored high marks, earning their high praise and recommendations.

In the well-regarded spirits industry publication, The Spirits Business, Russian Standard Original was awarded a Master medal in the Premium flight category. The vodka was noted for its "little fruitiness on the nose" and overall high quality.

Participating in the respected International Spirits Challenge, Russian Standard Vodka has also garnered recognition for its exemplary production standards and taste profile. These accomplishments further solidify Russian Standard's position as a top contender in the vodka market.

Some of the notable awards bestowed upon Russian Standard Vodka include:

  • Best Buy and Gold Medal from the Beverage Testing Institute for its exceptional quality and value combination.
  • Master Medal in the Premium flight category at The Spirits Business’ Vodka Masters competition.
  • Accolades from the International Spirits Challenge for overall excellence in production and taste.

Russian Standard Vodka's commitment to using high-quality ingredients, such as Russian winter wheat and glacial water from Lake Ladoga, coupled with its meticulous distillation process, has played a significant role in its widespread recognition and success in the vodka industry. With its impressive array of awards and endorsements, Russian Standard Vodka continues to uphold its reputation as a premium vodka brand.

Purchasing Russian Standard Vodka

Availability and Pricing

Russian Standard Original Vodka is available for purchase on various online platforms, such as Drizly. The vodka is known for having an ABV of 40% and falls in the spirits category. Created with glacial waters, this vodka offers a balanced, smooth taste with notes of bready and pepper flavors.

Pricing for Russian Standard Vodka may vary depending on the store and bottle size. It is generally affordable, making it a popular choice for vodka enthusiasts.

Proposition 65 Warning

Please note that some products may display a Proposition 65 warning, informing consumers that the product contains chemicals known to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. This warning is based on the date of birth and it is important to check the product description carefully before making a purchase.

Community Reviews

Russian Standard Original Vodka has received positive reviews from consumers and experts alike:

  • Drizly: 4.8 out of 5 stars (based on 44 reviews)

When considering purchasing Russian Standard Vodka, it is useful to read community reviews and gather opinions from fellow consumers. This will provide a well-rounded perspective of the product and its quality.

Serving and Pairing

Serving Temperature

When it comes to serving Russian-made vodka, such as Russian Standard Vodka, it is best to serve it at a chilled temperature, around 0°C to 4°C (32°F to 39°F). This helps to reduce the bite of the alcohol and bring out the subtle flavors of the vodka. Chilled vodka is often kept in the freezer or in a dedicated vodka chiller. Bars in St. Petersburg or near the Arctic Circle are known to have vodka rooms, where the temperature is kept low and the vodka is served ice-cold.

Pairing with Food

To fully appreciate your vodka experience, pairing it with the right food is essential. Traditional Russian dishes complement the wheat base and taste profile of Russian vodka, making them ideal for vodka-food pairing:

  • Almonds: A popular vodka pairing in Saint Petersburg bars, almonds help cleanse the palate between sips, allowing the nuances of the vodka to shine through.
  • Anise: Anise-flavored dishes, such as Russian pelmeni with anise-infused butter, can be a great match with the smooth taste of vodka, balancing the flavors while maintaining the bright taste of the spirit.
  • Husky: While this entity may seem unrelated, it refers to Siberian dishes that incorporate the cold, rugged, and hearty elements of the Arctic Circle. Foods like smoked fish and game meats are often enjoyed alongside vodka as a traditional pairing.

A skilled mixologist can also create vodka-based cocktails that highlight the unique flavors and characteristics of Russian-made vodka, enhancing the overall experience.

In conclusion, serving vodka at the right temperature and pairing it with appropriate food enhances your appreciation of the spirit's subtle flavors. By exploring traditional Russian dishes and incorporating the mentioned elements, you can elevate your Russian vodka experience to new heights.

Comparisons to Other Vodkas

Russian Vodka vs. European Vodka

Russian vodka is distinct from European vodkas primarily due to the quality of the ingredients, the water used, and the production processes. The Russian spirit typically uses high-quality grains like wheat or rye for their fermentation, while European vodkas may use other sources like potatoes or grapes.

The water source is also crucial in determining the quality and taste of vodka. Lake Ladoga, in particular, is renowned for providing soft water with fewer minerals, which contributes to a smoother taste in Russian vodkas. On the other hand, some European vodkas, like Grey Goose, use water sources with a unique mineral composition, giving their vodka a distinctly different taste.

In terms of production, Russian vodka is generally distilled multiple times and goes through a filtration process that includes coal or quartz crystal filtration. European vodkas, like Grey Goose, may have their unique distillation and filtration processes, such as distilling in copper pots or using limestone filtration.

Premium Brand Comparisons

Comparing some premium vodka brands will provide insights into their differences and similarities:

  • Stoli: Stolichnaya, or Stoli, a Russian brand, is made from wheat and rye. The water source is an artesian well, and it goes through a filtration process using activated charcoal and quartz sand, resulting in a smooth and clean finish.
  • Grey Goose: A French vodka made from winter wheat, Grey Goose utilizes a maître de chai (a kind of cellar master) who supervises the entire production process. Distilled in copper pots and filtered through limestone, it has a slightly sweet taste and smooth texture.
  • Smirnoff: Originally a Russian brand, Smirnoff is now produced in several countries. It is distilled three times and filtered ten times using charcoal filtration. This process results in a clean, neutral, and smooth vodka that can be easily mixed into cocktails or sipped straight.

Each brand has its unique characteristics, production methods, and flavors. Russian vodka brands like Stoli often emphasize the quality of ingredients and purification techniques, while European brands like Grey Goose prioritize crafting smooth textures and distinct flavor profiles. Smirnoff bridges both worlds with its roots in Russia and a production process reflecting a more international approach.

Packaging and Design

Russian Standard Vodka's packaging has recently undergone an update to a minimalist design. This new design aims to strengthen emotional connections with consumers by reflecting the brand's modern and premium positioning. The design changes have maintained the key brand elements, but have been refined to create a sleeker, neater image for the bottle.

The packaging of Russian Standard Vodka features black steppes, which originates from the brand's connection to Russia's natural landscapes. The black steppes, or flatlands, are iconic in Russian geography and are associated with the high quality of wheat that's grown there. This wheat is essential for producing premium vodka and the black steppes amplify the Russian authenticity of the brand.

The minimalist design of the Russian Standard Vodka bottle highlights the quality and purity of the vodka itself. It demonstrates a sophisticated and luxurious aesthetic while remaining true to its Russian heritage. The use of black on the bottle adds depth and a touch of elegance, giving the bottle a distinctive and recognizable appearance on the shelf.

Russian Standard's commitment to high-quality vodka and its packaging is evident in the awards they have won. The brand has been awarded multiple Gold medals from prestigious organizations such as the San Francisco World Spirits, International Spirits Challenge, and Beverage Testing Institute, as well as receiving a 94 Points and a Great Value accolade from the Ultimate Spirits Challenge.

In conclusion, the packaging and design of Russian Standard Vodka reflect the brand's dedication to producing premium, authentic vodka with a strong connection to its Russian heritage. The minimalist design and the bold use of black steppes in the packaging superbly represent the stylish and refined character of this award-winning spirit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Russian Standard Gold and Platinum?

Russian Standard Gold and Platinum are both premium variants of Russian Standard Vodka. The Gold edition uses extracts from Siberian ginseng, adding a unique flavor, while the Platinum edition goes through an extra filtration process using silver filters, resulting in a supremely pure and crisp vodka.

Which is the best Russian vodka?

Although it is subjective and depends on personal taste, some of the best Russian vodkas are Russian Standard, Beluga, Stolichnaya, and Polugar Classic Rye. These brands have gained international recognition for their quality, taste, and adherence to traditional distilling methods.

Is Russian Standard Vodka made in Russia?

Yes, Russian Standard Vodka is made in Russia. The production takes place in St. Petersburg, where it is distilled from 100% Russian winter wheat and filtered through charcoal and quartz crystal. This ensures an authentic and high-quality vodka.

What are some popular Russian vodka brands?

Some popular Russian vodka brands include Russian Standard, Stolichnaya, Beluga, Zyr, Polugar, and Imperia. These brands have gained popularity due to their commitment to quality, traditional techniques, and unique flavors.

What makes Russian Standard Imperia unique?

Russian Standard Imperia is a premium vodka distinguished by its exceptional purity and smoothness. This vodka undergoes additional filtration through quartz and crystal, which removes impurities and enhances the taste. The production process adheres to strict quality standards, resulting in a luxurious and refined drinking experience.

Who owns Russian Standard Vodka?

Russian Standard Vodka is owned by Roust Group, one of the largest international spirits companies. The company was founded by Roustam Tariko in 1992 and has since expanded its presence in over 80 markets worldwide.