World's Best Vodka Bars

22 April, 2014


221 & 225 W 7th Street, Los Angeles

Well there had to be at least one ice bar-type affair on this list and this LA joint seems cooler than ice cold. It’s -2 inside the Silo (below) ‘Freezer’ and intrepid drinkers can enjoy the venue’s own infusions as well as a host of vodka flights. At one end of the flight spectrum are Russian, Polish and French. Then as you progress in your expertise, you can take on the ultra-premium flight, which features Beluga Gold, Stoli Elite and Kaufmann. Last year the venue introduced a slider bar, attached to the vodka bar via a shared patio. When you’ve finished sipping your spirits, gorge yourself on the vast array of mini-burgers – or sliders. There is also an interesting selection of martinis and if you’ve ever wondered what flavour Schnawberry is, then you need to visit this place. The Schnawberry Martini contains vodka, Martin Miller’s gin, mixed berries, lime and agave. 

City Space

Swissotel Krasny Holmy, Kasmodamiansky Embankment, Moscow

Though it’s not an out-and-out vodka bar, this luxurious Moscow hangout gives a serious nod to its national spirit on the menu. The bar was on the World’s 50 Best Bars list in 2011 and it is a favourite of bartenders when it comes to guest shifts. While you drink in the view – the bar is located on the top floor (140m) of Swissotel Krasnye Holmy and offers panoramic views of Moscow – why not drink in one of the 31 vodka cocktails available at the bar? The Salty Russian sounds interesting: vodka, honey, salt, grapefruit & lime. Or, if you’ve hit it hard in Moscow over the past few days, kid yourself with Almost Healthy: vodka, blackberry syrup, passion fruit, fresh raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, fructose & orange juice. 

Russian Vodka Room

265 West 52nd street, New York

This place claims to be dedicated to the “noble cause of drinking excellent vodka”, among other things. And with a name like Russian Vodka Room, it had better deliver. 

The bar has been around since 1997 and offers its own infusions as well as a huge range of branded vodkas. On the infusions menu, flavours such as red grapefruit, pineapple and strawberry sit alongside more traditional Russian favourites such as horseradish. Garlic, pepper & dill also make up one flavour. If you want an ultra-premium infusion, give blueberry and Tahitian vanilla a whirl. There is a happy hour every day from 4-7pm and even the entertainment is vodka-themed. The Vodka Duet performs every Monday – a jazzy piano and bass combo. 

Naglo Vodkabar

Gustav Adolfs Torg 20, Norrmalm, Stockholm

If vodka really is your thing and you gasp when you hear people say it doesn’t taste of anything then perhaps you should invite these people to Stockholm for a vodka taste test at Naglo. But don’t take too many people because this is a tiny, tiny bar. You can negotiate with the staff as to what you want to achieve from testing vodkas – is it standard vs premium? Russian vs Polish? There are more than 70 vodkas at the bar so there’s more than enough to cater for what you need. And more than enough expertise to help you convince your cynical friends. 

Digital Edition

Drinks International digital edition is available ahead of the printed magazine. Don’t miss out, make sure you subscribe today to access the digital edition and all archived editions of Drinks International as part of your subscription.


Tess Posthumus

Staffing crisis could open opportunities

The pandemic has thrown many challenges at bar owners over the past couple of years and the ones that survived the various lockdowns and restrictions deserve a pat on the back. However, while revenues are returning and bars are beginning to recruit once more, we’ve come up against a whole new set of problems, one of which is a global starring crisis.