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How to Turn Cheap Vodka into the Good Stuff

You can make inexpensive vodka taste as smooth as a top-shelf brand with a few easy maneuvers.


  • Step 1: Pour vodka into a water filter pitcher to remove impurities, just as you would with water.
  • Step 2: When all the vodka has dripped through the filter, pour it into a clean pitcher and then put it through the filtering process again. Repeat at least three more times, for a total of five. Then chill and enjoy.
  • Step 3: If you don't have a water-filter pitcher, put two inches of food-grade activated charcoal into a three-quarters-full bottle of vodka. Put the cap back on.
  • TIP: Find food-grade activated charcoal at home-brew supply shops or online.
  • Step 4: Shake the bottle for a few minutes every day for a week. Store it in the freezer at night and at room temperature during the day.
  • Step 5: After a week, separate the charcoal from the vodka by pouring it through the colander. Chill the filtered vodka in your freezer for several hours before drinking. Even the least expensive vodka tastes better when it's cold.
  • FACT: When asked if alcohol is an "affordable luxury" or an "extravagant expense" during tough economic times, 88 percent of Americans polled said it was affordable!

You Will Need

  • A bottle of cheap vodka
  • A water filter pitcher or food-grade activated charcoal
  • A mesh colander

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