Vodka can intoxicate you quickly, especially when you aren’t mindful about the number of shots you drink. If you’re an occasional drinker, even three shots can make you woozy.
Given vodka’s reputation, you might be wondering if distilled spirits can get any stronger than that and if vodka is, in fact, the strongest alcohol there is. I looked into it and here’s what I found!
Is Vodka The Strongest Alcohol?
Vodka is currently the strongest alcohol in the world thanks to the brand Spirytus Rektyfikowanym which has 192 proof or 96% alcohol by volume. To compare, most vodkas have an ABV of 40%, while non-spirits like wine have an average of 11.6%. Due to the strength of Spirytus, it’s banned in some countries and American states.
If you have questions about vodka being the strongest alcohol in the world, what proof other spirits have, and how vodka compares to other spirits, keep on reading!
What Proof Is Most Vodka?
As per the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives, vodka must have no less than 80 proof or 40% alcohol by volume (ABV) in America.
In Europe, 37.5% ABV is the established minimum by the European Union.
Anything less than these standards is not considered vodka, but exceptions have been made in recent years.
One good example is KEEL Vodka, which is just 23.8% ABV. Its founders were told that it’s impossible to make light vodka, but they were eager to prove otherwise. After two years, KEEL got approved and they were officially recognized as a vodka.
In contrast, vodka with a proof of 90 or higher doesn’t get as much trouble getting approved, although they do face the danger of getting banned for being too powerful.
Such is the case with Spirytus Rektyfikowany, which has 96% alcohol by volume or 192 proof.
For your reference, here’s a list of the most popular vodkas and their proof:
- Absolut 40% ABV 80 Proof
- Grey Goose 40% ABV 80 Proof
- Stolichnaya 40% ABV 80 Proof
- Skyy 40% ABV 80 Proof
- Belvedere 40% ABV 80 Proof
- Pinnacle 40% ABV 80 Proof
- Burnetts 40% ABV 80 Proof
- Ciroc: 40% ABV 80 Proof
- Svedka 40% ABV 80 Proof
- Smirnoff 40% ABV 80 Proof
Here’s a list of vodkas with the highest proof:
- Devil Springs 80% ABV 160 Proof
- Good ol’ Sailor 85% ABV 170 Proof
- Balkan 176 88% ABV 176 Proof
- Pincer 88.8% ABV 177 Proof
- Spirytus 96% ABV 192 Proof
What Alcohol Is Stronger Than Vodka?
Spirytus Rektyfikowany is widely recognized as the strongest distilled spirit and it’s a vodka. Everclear came close with a proof of 190, but there’s a debate as to whether it’s vodka.
Officially, Everclear is a neutral grain spirit that is similar to vodka. In some cases, it’s also referred to as a rectified spirit.
Additionally, a neutral grain spirit has only two differences from vodka. First, it’s made strictly from grains, and second, it must have a 95% ABV or 190 proof.
Next to Spirytus, Everclear is the strongest alcohol. Formally, however, vodka in the form of Spirytus is the strongest distilled spirit in the market today.
As for spirits that are stronger than the typical 80 proof vodka, here’s a list you can refer to:
- Sunset Very Strong Rum 84.5%
- John Crow Batty Rum 80%
- Clarke’s Court Spiced Rum 69%
- Bacardi 151 75.5%
- Bruichladdich 46%
- Old Grand Dad 114 Proof 57%
- Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof 67.5%
- Aberlour A’bunadh 60%
- Philbert Rare Cask Sherry Finish 41.5%
- Darroze 40 Year Les Grand Assemblages 43%
- Augier L’Océanique 40.1%
Does Vodka Give You A Hangover?
While vodka is a powerful drink, it’s the least likely to give you a hangover. This is because vodka is distilled so many times, it has little to no congeners.
Congeners are substances produced during the fermentation or distillation of spirits. They contribute to the liquor’s flavor, but high amounts of it have also been linked to hangovers.
According to research, spirits with congeners are more likely to cause hangovers, although it must be said that it’s not the only factor that contributes to hangover symptoms.
Additionally, there are vodka brands that can cause severe hangovers, especially if you drink too much.
To prevent hangovers from vodka, it’s better to choose top-shelf brands because they’re distilled more thoroughly and therefore have little to no congeners.
On the other hand, bottom-shelf brands are notorious for tasting bad, causing burning sensations, and leaving people with severe hangovers.
Is Vodka Stronger Than Whiskey?
In terms of intoxication, vodka is more likely to induce drunkenness faster than whiskey. As for flavor, however, whiskey is definitely stronger than vodka.
Moreover, both vodka and whiskey are required to have a minimum ABV of 40% or 80 proof. Whether one is stronger than the other depends on the brand that you’re consuming.
Is Vodka Stronger Than Gin?
Vodka is typically stronger than gin in terms of alcohol content since most gins have an average ABV of 30%.
That said, certain brands of gin are stronger than the typical vodka. In fact, Anno Extreme 95 Gin has 95% ABV, which is more than twice the average ABV of regular vodka.
If you want to learn more about vodka, you can see our related posts on why vodka burns, the best chasers for vodka, and the pH level of vodka.
Vodka in the form of Spirytus Rektyfikowanym is currently the world’s strongest spirit. It has 96% alcohol by volume or 192 proof, while a typical vodka has only 80 proof.
Additionally, Spirytus is so strong that it’s banned in certain places due to the dangers it poses on drinkers.