Spirits: Vaunted Vodkas

FoodandWine Recipe

Once boutique rums and tequilas made an appearance, it was just a matter of time before vodka followed suit. Pravda, from Poland, was created by Ola Kulak, the country's first female master distiller. She uses only late-harvest rye to make her subtly fruity and silky vodka ($29 for 750ml). For France's Jean-Marc XO, Jean-Marc Daucourt experimented with dozens of varieties of wheat over seven years before settling on a blend of four. The result: a vodka with a floral nose and elegant tropical-fruit taste ($50 for 750ml). Even vodka's big names have gotten into the superpremium game. The new Stolichnaya Elit, from Russia's iconic brand, goes through a freeze-filtration process that makes it exceedingly smooth ($60 for 750ml).

PUBLISHED March 2005