Vodka’s name originates in Slavic words that translate as “little water”.
This is probably the world’s oldest spirit, with documents showing production in Russia going back to the ninth century. Early vodkas were flavored with fruit, spices and herbs to mask the harsh flavors. The technique of charcoal filtering for mellowing and purification was not developed until the eighteenth century.
Vodka is a white, fairly neutral tasting spirit. Vodka can be made using a wide range of base materials including cereal grains, potatoes and even grapes. It would be wrong to say that vodka is totally neutral since some trace of the base material flavors always remain and may be an important character of the spirit.
You can classify vodka by price levels, country of origin, distillation base or flavorings.
Although classifying by price is not an exact science, it will help you determine where you want to start with your Vodka selection.