Break Out the Bar Cart—These Are the Best Vodkas for Mixing

There's nothing worse than ordering a cocktail from a bar and being unsure which brand of alcohol to choose. For the uninitiated, it can be difficult to discern a high-quality vodka from a lesser option. It begs the question: What makes a vodka good?

To start with the basics, the clear beverage is typically made through a process of fermenting and distilling grain. This could be anything from corn to rye to or wheat. Vodka is also often associated with potatoes, as potato vodka is popular in Poland and other potato-growing regions. No method is necessarily better than the rest, however, the number of times a vodka has been distilled is often a good indication of what kind of spirit you're dealing with.

Most brands distill their product at least three times, but you can find some that have been distilled five or more times. It's commonly understood that the more times a vodka has been distilled, the cleaner and smoother it becomes. Next, it's filtered (often with charcoal) and cut with water. The type of water used in the vodka can also be an indication of its quality, so pay attention to a bottle that boasts using fresh spring water and the like.

Who knew a tasteless and odorless drink could have so many variations? When in doubt, consult this list of the best vodkas for mixing. Most can be found in your local bar or grocery store, but some may be a bit trickier to hunt down. Trust us, they're worth the extra effort. Bottoms up.