Study Shows People Can’t Tell The Difference Between Cheap And Expensive Vodka

Image via Flickr/ Brian Walsh

Maybe I’m just picky, but I insist on top-shelf vodka. Sure, back in college we drank whatever we could get cheap, and I had my fair share Aristocrat, which might as well have been rubbing alcohol in a bottle. And maybe I puked it back up one too many times. Because that shit makes me gag now, even if it’s mixed into my favorite frou-frou cocktail. So now my Cape Cod better have Grey Goose or Sky in it… Absolut is tolerable, if I’m at a redneck bar that doesn’t know what top shelf means. And none of that “well” shit, either.

But believe it or not, I’m among a very slim majority that can even tell the difference. The New York Post recently conducted a survey in which volunteers were asked to take shots from two bottles vodka: a $35 bottle of French-made Grey Goose and an $8 bottle of the grain vodka Alexa. Shockingly, almost half of the volunteers preferred the low-end liquor.

What the hell, right? Grey Goose is among the best vodkas in the world. And although I’ve never had Alexa, at $8 a bottle I can only imagine it tastes like rubbing alcohol… or worse. Apparently the 44 percent of volunteers who preferred the cheap nasty shit prefer their alcohol to taste like ass—or don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like. Maybe they were Amish.

The Post survey was conducted after an investigation by the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control caught a number of bars in the Garden State pouring cheaper alcohol into more expensive bottles. One particular establishment actually substituted rubbing alcohol and food coloring for scotch. Another simply poured dirty water into an empty liquor bottle. In fact, of 150 samples tested from 63 bars, a whopping 30 were “phony.”

How did they get away with it so long? Probably because almost half of customers can’t tell the difference between quality and shit. Of course, connoisseurs can certainly tell, but it’s bull shit either way.

Even if you can’t tell the difference, you are paying more, and that’s not right,” 26-year-old nanny Thalita Cudzik, who preferred the Grey Goose, told the Post. “If it’s bad liquor, then you’re going to have to deal with it in the morning with a hangover.