The provenance of vodka is debatable with both Russia and Poland laying claim to its creation. We do have proof that it was available in Poland in the eighth century and it is certainly the most widely consumed alcoholic drink in Eastern Europe and Russia where it is usually imbibed straight.
Vodka is also the most popular alcohol in the USA commanding 26% of the spirits category. But here it is used more as a base for cocktails and of course, flavored vodkas keep proliferating. Vodka produced in the United States competes with favorably with vodka from traditional European sources. According to Karen Newman writing in Wine Enthusiast Magazine, among the top 10 vodkas from all over the world are Woody Creek Colorado Vodka ($35), Grand Teton Potato Vodka ($19) and Sir Reginald’s Swill Ultra Premium Vodka (20) from Gwyned Valley, PA.