It goes down with a burn and it can leave a nasty aftertaste, but at least it's affordable. Cheap vodka is an economical way to serve a large number of guests, and a few techniques can improve -- or cover up -- its less-than-appealing taste.
Filtration is an important part of the vodka distilling process, because it removes impurities that can lead to unpleasant tastes. Trials have shown that passing inexpensive vodka through a commercial water filter can improve its flavor. Refilter cheap vodka several times for the best results.
Add flavors to vodka to counteract -- but not eliminate -- the taste of the cheap stuff. Infuse flavor by adding fruits, herbs, candy or another flavor to vodka in an airtight container and leaving it for several days. Before serving, filter the vodka to remove any solids.
Chilling cheap vodka to very low temperatures can help mask its unpleasant flavors. Leave the bottle in the freezer overnight to lower it to the correct temperature. Vodka lovers usually allow the drink to warm up slightly to help them savor the taste and aroma. With cheap vodka, however, suppressing some of the flavor and smell is actually an advantage.
Cheap vodka is a common ingredient in mixed drinks, where the strong flavors of the mixers help to mask the taste of the liquor. Delicately flavored mixers such as tonic water are probably a mistake with cheap vodka; choose sweeter mixers -- such as cola or ginger ale -- to keep some of the cheap-vodka burn out of the mix.