Grain vs Potato Vodka: Which One to Choose?

If you enjoy drinking vodka, you may have been curious about the distinction between grain and potato vodka.

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Although both varieties of vodka are well-liked and generally accessible, they differ in specific ways.

While potato vodka is produced from potatoes, grain vodka is produced from grains like wheat, rye, corn, or barley. The vodka’s flavor, texture, and general quality can all be significantly influenced by the basic ingredient selection.

In contrast to grain vodka, which is renowned for its neutral flavor, potato vodka is frequently regarded as having a more strong and earthy flavor.

In addition, potato vodka is regarded as having a fuller mouthfeel and being smoother and creamier than grain vodka. The various vodka production methods employed can be blamed for the variations in flavor and texture.

Potato vodka often undergoes fewer distillations than grain vodka, which enhances the flavor of the potato. For a purer, more neutral flavor, grain vodka, on the other hand, is frequently distilled more than once.

What is Grain Vodka?

If you’re a fan of vodka, you’ve probably heard of grain vodka. It’s the most common type of vodka, and it’s made from grains like wheat, corn, rye, or barley.

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at grain vodka, its ingredients, and the distillation process.


Grain vodka is made from grains like wheat, corn, rye, or barley. The type of grain used can affect the flavor of the vodka.

For example, wheat vodka tends to be smoother, while rye vodka can have a spicier taste. The quality of the grain used can also affect the quality of the vodka.

Premium brands like Ketel One, Grey Goose, and Stolichnaya use high-quality grains to produce their vodka.

Distillation Process

The distillation process is what separates vodka from other liquors. Grain vodka is distilled multiple times to remove impurities and create a clear, neutral spirit.

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The number of times the vodka is distilled can affect its alcohol content and flavor. For example, Russian Standard vodka is distilled four times, while Woody Creek vodka is distilled only once.

During the distillation process, the vodka is heated to a high temperature and then cooled rapidly. This process removes impurities and creates a smooth, clean taste.

The quality of the distillation process can affect the quality of the vodka. Premium brands like Chopin vodka and Luksusowa vodka use a traditional distillation process to create their vodka.

Alcohol Content and Nutrition

Grain vodka typically has an alcohol content of 40% or 80 proof. However, the alcohol content can vary depending on the brand and the distillation process.

Grain vodka is low in calories, carbs, and sugar, making it a popular choice for those watching their weight. However, it’s important to drink in moderation and be aware of the alcohol content of your drink.

Grain vodka has a long history in Eastern Europe, where it originated. Russian vodka is perhaps the most famous type of grain vodka, but there are many other brands available today.

Whether you prefer a smooth wheat vodka or a spicy rye vodka, there’s a grain vodka out there for you.

What is Potato Vodka?

If you’re a vodka enthusiast, you may have come across potato vodka.

As the name suggests, it is made from potatoes instead of grains. Here’s what you need to know about potato vodka.


Potato vodka is made from potatoes, water, and yeast. Unlike grain-based vodka, potato vodka has a distinct flavor that comes from the potatoes.

It is important to note that not all potato vodkas are created equal. Some brands use a mix of potatoes and grains, while others use only potatoes.

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One popular brand of potato vodka is Luksusowa. It is made from potatoes grown in Poland and is known for its smooth taste.

Another brand is Karlsson’s Gold Vodka, which is made from seven different types of potatoes and has a rich, earthy flavor.

Distillation Process

The distillation process for potato vodka is similar to that of grain-based vodka. The potatoes are first mashed and mixed with water to create a mash.

Yeast is then added to the mash to start the fermentation process. Once the mash has fermented, it is distilled to remove impurities and increase the alcohol content.

Potato vodka is typically distilled fewer times than grain-based vodka, which gives it a more robust flavor.

However, some brands may distill their potato vodka multiple times to create a more neutral flavor that is better suited for cocktails like the Bloody Mary.


Potato vodka is a unique spirit that offers a distinct flavor profile. Whether you prefer the earthy taste of Karlsson’s Gold Vodka or the smoothness of Luksusowa, there is a potato vodka out there for everyone.

Next time you’re in the mood for a neutral-flavored cocktail, consider trying potato vodka as your base spirit.

Grain vs Potato Vodka

When it comes to vodka, there are two main types: grain vodka and potato vodka. Both have their own unique characteristics and are popular choices for different reasons.

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between grain and potato vodka.

Texture and Flavor

One of the main differences between grain and potato vodka is their texture and flavor. Grain vodka is typically smoother and less flavorful than potato vodka, which is known for its distinctive taste.

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This makes potato vodka a popular choice for drinking neat or over ice, while grain vodka is often used in cocktails where the flavor is not as important.

Gluten and Gluten-Free

Another important factor to consider when choosing between grain and potato vodka is gluten content. Grain vodka is typically made from grains like wheat, rye, or barley, which contain gluten.

This means that grain vodka is not gluten-free and should be avoided by those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. On the other hand, potato vodka is gluten-free, as potatoes do not contain gluten.

Calorie Content

If you’re watching your calorie intake, you may be wondering which type of vodka is lower in calories.

In general, both grain and potato vodka have similar calorie content, with around 70-80 calories per 1.5-ounce serving. However, flavored vodkas may have added sugars and calories, so be sure to check the label before indulging.

Popular Grain Vodkas

Some popular grain vodkas include Grey Goose, Absolut, and Smirnoff. These vodkas are known for their smooth texture and neutral flavor, making them a popular choice for cocktails.

Popular Potato Vodkas

If you prefer a more flavorful vodka, you may want to try potato vodka. Some popular potato vodkas include Chopin, and Luksusowa.

These vodkas are known for their distinctive taste and are often enjoyed neat or over ice.

Additives and Flavored Vodkas

Finally, it’s important to note that both grain and potato vodkas may contain additives or be flavored.

Flavored vodkas can be made with a variety of ingredients, including spices, sugar cane, and fruit.

However, be aware that flavored vodkas may have added sugars and calories, so it’s important to check the label before indulging.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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