The reasoning goes that if an activated carbon-based filter can clean the impurities out of tap water, then maybe it can do the same for vodka. Chowhounds discussed it, we tried it.

CHOW conducted a double-blind taste test using a Brita water pitcher with filter, two bottles of $5.99 Gordon’s vodka, and a bottle each of Absolut and Grey Goose. We poured the Gordon’s vodka through the Brita filter six times before tasting the vodkas next to one another. In the end, the Brita-filtered Gordon’s did taste better than the undoctored version, but the top-shelf brands were still the best.

The problem, says Dave Smith, distiller at St. George Spirits (which makes Hangar One vodka), “is that cheap vodka is made with low-quality ingredients, so there’s only so much cleaning that can be done to it.” Smith also points out that filtering the vodka after it’s made will take away any aromatics, nuances, and flavors the distiller might have wanted to be there.

CHOW’s Nagging Question column appears every Friday. Got a Nagging Question of your own? Email us.

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