The Best Flavored Vodka Brands

The newest craze in vodka production is flavored vodkas, and for good reason. Flavored vodka can be enjoyed as is but also make an excellent base for a range of cocktails, living up your summer cocktail. There are many brands out there that produce vodka, with most dabbling into flavored options.

We are going to look at two front runners in vodka making (Smirnoff and Skyy Vodka) and look at what makes their offerings unique.

This guide will help you decide on which flavored vodka brands to go with next time you are looking for vodka with something different.

Smirnoff or Skyy Vodka?

smirnoff or skyy vodka

Smirnoff is a vodka brand that was established in 1864. Its origins come from a distillery owned by P.A. Smirnov in Moscow, Russia. Smirnov is known for having filtered the vodka he made through charcoal columns five times, which is more than his competitors did.

Smirnov had an interesting backstory that included alcohol bans and being an enemy of the state. As of 1999, the brand had started experimenting with flavored vodka infusions to address consumers’ palettes changing. Smirnoff launched a line of seltzers in 2016, further growing their product offering.

Skyy Vodka is an American brand of vodka that was established in 1992 by Maurice Kanbar. The brand is now owned by the Campari Group (acquired in 2009) and was formerly known as SKYY Spirits LLC.

The founder, Maurice Kanbar, has had an interesting history. He is said to own 36 patents across consumer products and medical inventions.  He also founded the first multiplex movie theater in Manhattan, Quad Cinema.

How Are They Made?

Vodka is made worldwide with different processes although the core actions remain the same. First, the base ingredient is broken down and mixed with water to combine them. Smirnoff’s main ingredient is corn while Skyy uses American wheat as their base.

Next, yeast is added to ferment the base ingredient to turn the sugars contained within into ethanol. This ethanol is then distilled to increase its alcohol content of it to a high enough level. Smirnoff vodka goes through a distillation process three times while Skyy vodka is distilled through four-column distillation.

Once the vodka product has gone through distillation, it is then filtered. Smirnoff uses charcoal filtration to remove any impurities from their vodka. This filtration is done in 10 stages to ensure that the result is as pure as possible. In comparison, Skyy vodka is filtered three times.

Once the final product has been filtered, it is then bottled. With flavored vodka, there is an additional step where the flavoring is added. The flavoring can be added during the distillation process or at the end before it is bottled.

Flavoring comes from fruit juice (as is the case with lemon, orange, cranberry, etc.), botanicals, and other flavors (like Smirnoff’s Whipped Cream).

What Are They Made of?

flavored vodka glasses

Smirnoff Vodka is made using corn which is ideal to produce a gluten-free alcoholic beverage. The flavored variations may include gluten, however, so it is important to ensure you read the information on the bottle if you are gluten intolerant.

Skyy Vodka uses 100% American grain in the production of their vodka, with the grain of choice being American wheat. Pure filtered water is used to remove the likelihood of impurities in the water affecting vodka production.

How Are They Similar?

Both brands are produced in the United States and offer fruit-flavored variations. There is not much similarity however as each brand has its unique way of producing vodka. The base ingredients differ (corn vs American wheat), and their filtration and distillation processes differ.

Their alcohol by volume (depending on which variation you select from Smirnoff) could be the same, although Smirnoff offers variations that have higher and lower ABVs than Skyy.

Their price points are similar making it easier to compare the brands but on a recipe level, there is a difference between them.

Direct Comparison of Smirnoff and Skyy Vodka

Item Smirnoff Vodka Skyy Vodka
Production Area The United States of America, Italy, and the United Kingdom United States of America
Raw Materials Corn, botanical, and fruit infusions American grains, water, fruit infusions
Alcohol by Volume (ABV) 35% – 50% (70 – 100 proof) 40% (80 proof)
Taste Smooth, flavor based on the infusion Light pepper and sweetness, flavor infused
Average Price (1 Liter) $15 $15
Color Clear Clear

Smirnoff Vodka has a wider range of flavored options, with the average fruit and botanical flavorings, as well as some unique options like their Whipped Cream and Sorbet offerings.

The two brands have similar price points and alcohol contents, however, depending on the option you choose with Smirnoff, you may find an option with higher alcohol content.

If you are looking for primarily fruit flavors with a slight kick to them, Skyy Vodka might be the option to go with as their offerings have a light pepper aftertaste.

women tosting vodka glasses

Smirnoff Vodka Flavored Variations

Item Size Per Bottle Average Price
Smirnoff No.21 Vodka 375 ml $7
750 ml $13
1 liter $15
1.75 liters $17
Smirnoff Raspberry 375 ml $7
750 ml $12
Smirnoff Cherry 375 ml $7
750 ml $12
Smirnoff Green Apple 750 ml $11
1.75 liters $17
Smirnoff Pineapple 375 ml $7
750 ml $12
Smirnoff Peach 375 ml $7
750 ml $12
Smirnoff Watermelon 375 ml $7
750 ml $12
Smirnoff Strawberry 375 ml $7
750 ml $12
Smirnoff Orange 375 ml $7
750 ml $12
Smirnoff Cranberry 375 ml $7
750 ml $12
Smirnoff Lime 375 ml $7
750 ml $12
Smirnoff 90 Proof Vodka 750 ml $15
1.75 liters $23
Smirnoff 100 Proof Vodka 750 ml $15
1,75 liters $25
Smirnoff Sourced 750 ml $20
Smirnoff Whipped Cream 750 ml $12
Smirnoff Mango 750 ml $12
Smirnoff Cranberry 375 ml $7
750 ml $12
Smirnoff Sours 750 ml $20
Smirnoff Citrus 750 ml $12
Smirnoff Vanilla 750 ml $12
Smirnoff Blueberry 750 ml $12
Smirnoff Sorbet 750 ml $20

Smirnoff’s Recipe No.21 is the original recipe used and has been enjoyed since the early days of the brand’s existence.

Skyy Vodka Infusions Variations

Item Size per Bottle Average Price
Skyy Vodka Original 750 ml $15
1 liter $18
1.75 liters $23
Skyy Infusions Cherry 750 ml $15
Skyy Infusions Passion Fruit 750 ml $15
Skyy Infusions Moscato Grape 750 ml $15
Skyy Infusions Wild Strawberry 750 ml $15
Skyy Infusions Citrus 750 ml $15
Skyy Infusions Blood Orange 750 ml $15
Skyy Infusions Pineapple 750 ml $15
Skyy Infusions Dragon Fruit 750 ml $15
Skyy Infusions Raspberry 750 ml $15
Skyy Infusions Peach 750 ml $15

How to Drink Smirnoff Flavored Vodka and Skyy Vodka Infusions

Vodka can be enjoyed in many ways. It can be drunk neat which is without ice or on the rocks which have ice. Otherwise, it can be used as a base for a cocktail which is the ideal way to drink flavored vodka.

Using Skyy Blood Orange Infusion, you can make a delicious Winter Sparkling Sangria which the brand says is ideal for the holidays. Fill a punch bowl with ice. Add ¾ parts simple syrup, ¾ parts lime juice, 2 parts SKYY Infusions Blood Orange, and 1 part cranberry juice cocktail.

Mix the ingredients and top it up with sparkling wine. Garnish with a handful of cranberries and a blood orange slice. This drink is best served in a wine glass over ice.

For a Pineapple Martini, add 50 ml of Smirnoff 1818 Pineapple Vodka, 100 ml pineapple juice, 10 ml simple syrup, and 15 ml of fresh lime juice into a shaker. Add ice and shake to combine the ingredients.

Strain it into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a lime wheel.

Flavored Vodka Brands – Alternatives

alternatives for vodka

There are other options if you are looking for vodka brands with flavored options.

Absolut Vodka is a Swedish vodka brand established in 1879 although the brand only went public in 1917. Absolut has fourteen flavored vodkas available and three unflavored options. It has an average price of $20 and an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 40% (80 proof).

Grey Goose is a French Vodka brand that has been operating since 1997. It has six flavored vodkas available with two original options. It has an average price of $35 and an ABV of 40% (80 proof).

Cîroc is a French brand of vodka that was established in 2003. The brand offers two original recipe vodkas and six flavored options. It has an average price of $25 and an ABV of 35% to 40% (70 to 80 proof).

Ketel One is a Dutch brand of vodka that was established in Schiedam, Netherlands in 1983. The vodka is available in five flavored options with two unflavored variations. It has an average price of $25 and an ABV of 30% to 40% (60 to 80 proof).

Frequently Asked Questions

Which came first?

Smirnoff was introduced in 1864, with Skyy Vodka following in 1992. This means that Smirnoff came first in terms of the brands’ establishments.

Which is stronger?

Skyy Vodka has an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 40% while Smirnoff has an ABV of 35% to 50%. Depending on the variation you are by, either one could be stronger than the other.

Which is the most popular?

Smirnoff is the top-selling vodka brand in the world making it more popular than Skyy Vodka.