Vodka was never meant to be a luxurious liquor. It has been a staple in the lives of Slavic people since the Middle Ages, and in recent years has became a profitable export for the region. The word itself stems from the slavic word voda, which literally means water. If that doesn’t explain the significance and commonplace of the substance in Slavic cultures, I don't know what does.

In the modern era, a bottle of vodka has solidified its place as the cheapest and arguably easiest ways to get completely wasted. It’s a plain liquor, often best served alone or with ice. In many ways, it reflects its lexical origins: vodka is the water of alcohol. Just like water, a good vodka is completely inoffensive, has a neutral taste, and doesn’t burn on the way down.

The beverage has also secured its spot in popular culture. As the primary ingredient in extremely popular cocktails such as the Cosmopolitan, Bloody Mary, and vodka tonic, it has become a mandatory edition to any bar. As vodka gained popularity, it started to become referenced in film, which in turn gave way to even greater popularity. In James Bond, the famous line, “shaken, not stirred” is in reference to his iconic vodka Martini. In The Big Lebowski, the Dude’s drink of choice is a White Russian, a mix of vodka, cream, and coffee liquor. It has surpassed all of its humble beginnings, and with a rise to the spotlight, it has been subject to much experimentation.  

The most obvious way to experiment with alcohol is to make it as expensive as humanly possible, and vodka is no stranger to this experimentation. Whether distilled in gold, covered in diamonds, or made for British royalty, vodka brands have definitely found ways to give their spirit a hefty price tag. So without further delay, here's the most expensive vodka in the world.