The long answer: For years, I thought that Grey Goose was the best vodka, and paid a premium to drink it. Recently, I found out that man, was I wrong. I tried Tito’s, and can say it’s the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking.
For me, the hallmark of a good vodka is that I can barely taste it. A bad vodka I can taste plenty of, and it feels like rubbing alcohol in my mouth and throat. Also, the next day it feels like it tore a hole in my stomach.
Tito’s is a great vodka. To me, it has very little flavor, and kind of resembles “thick” water. It mixes well and goes down smooth, and does not seem to cause nasty hangovers. It’s also relatively cheap (for a good liquor). I highly recommend it.
Stoli is also very good and quite inexpensive. It’s more of a classic Russian-type vodka, and feels kind of thicker and more flavorful than Tito’s to me. Still, it has been around for a long time, and is widely considered a quality product.
Lastly, I also like Ketel One. It’s also a solid vodka at a decent price. And although Grey Goose is undoubtedly good, I don’t think it’s a good value for your money. Honestly, I think you’re paying more for a nice bottle and a fancy name, rather than an exceptional product.
Current sample prices (in Miami), for 750 ml bottles:
Grey Goose: $23.99 (here)
Ketel One: $19.99 (here)
Tito’s Handmade Vodka: $17.99 (here)
Stolichnaya: $15.99 (here)