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Watch: A Professional Booze Critic Taste Tests Bottom-Shelf Vodka

Some cheap brands are actually pretty good

Many people who have spent a few years on a college campus know the ins and outs of cheap vodka. It usually isn't very good, but when it's covered up by orange juice, Red Bull, or Mountain Dew, it gets the job done. But what about making classier cocktails on a budget? What's the best choice among the bottom-shelf brands? In this video, Playboy spirits columnist Jason Horn executes a taste test to find out.

"What you're looking for in a good vodka is something that's basically inoffensive," Horn says in the video. "You don't want any off flavors, off smells, never anything bitter, never anything harsh, and it really shouldn't burn going down."

Horn tastes five vodkas that all check in at $12 or less for a bottle: Smirnoff, Svedka, UV, Popov, and Pinnacle. Watch the above video to learn which cheap brand you should stock for your next cocktail party.

We Made a Vodka Expert Blind Taste Test Bottom-Shelf Vodka [YouTube]

All Video Interludes [E]

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