This is related to the Christmas Eve Brunch we hosted. I hadn't had any Vodka in probably thirty years (I'm a beer guy), so when shopping at the liquor store I wanted to avoid the brands I remembered from way back. Taaka and Smirnoff were around, but I recall them smelling like a doctor's office and tasting kinda harsh if you used anymore than a cap full with your mixer. I settled on Absolut, as I'd seen it used at get togethers. Turned out to be a good choice as the guests really enjoyed the Bloody Mary's with it, I had a Screw Driver that I mixed on the strong side, but it was still pretty smooth (these things could easily get habit-forming if I'm not careful!). Not being up on the different Vodka brands, I was wondering what makes one a "top shelf?" I Googled the top brands and Absolut was a top ten of the sight I looked at. Ketel got higher marks as well, but there were several I'd never heard of and a lot of the flavored Vodkas were held in high regard. Also, there were French, Swedish, and other European Vodkas in abundance along with those from Russia/USSR. I guess what I'm soliciting from the Chatter crowd is what are your favorite brands and/or flavors and why so? Also, what drinks do you like it in? At 58 and still an old redneck, I figure it isn't too late to add a little culture to my menu of libations! Thanks!