Nothing soothes away the stresses of the day like a stiff martini, and you can save money by keeping your home bar stocked with the essentials, such as Costco-brand vodka. In fact, Costco’s store label vodka has earned quite a reputation.
However, you may be wondering what that reputation is for, and if so, listed below are 15 things to know before buying Costco vodka!
15 Things To Know Before Buying Costco Vodka In 2023
1. Costco Vodka Sells Under the Kirkland Signature Label
Costco beats most grocery store prices on name brands, but they do one better with their store brand, Kirkland Signature.
Even Costco vodka is packaged under the Kirkland Signature label, but don’t mistake “generic” for “inferior.”
Most people will tell you that Costco’s Kirkland Signature label items are just as good as, or in many cases, better than the pricier name brands, which is especially true when discussing Costco vodka.
2. Costco Vodka Comes in two Varieties
While the retailer sells 10 different kinds of whiskeys, Costco-brand vodka only comes in two varieties- Blue Label vodka and American vodka.
However, the company stocks the Red Label/French vodka as well (the names are derived from the coloring of some of the letters on the label).
In stores, the boxes are prominently blue or red, which makes it a lot easier to just grab a bottle and go if you’re in a hurry.
3. Costco Vodka is Super Affordable
If you’re building up your home bar or buying for a party, Costco vodka is quite affordable and a good selection for such instances.
To compare, the domestic/American vodka at Costco is $12.99 per 1.75L, while the French vodka is $19.99 for the same amount.
That’s bottom-shelf pricing for spirits that, as you will find out, can compete with top-shelf booze.
Next, compared to the Red/French label, a 1.75L bottle of Tito’s (always an excellent choice) sells for $35.99 in some areas. Smirnoff, another popular choice, is $25.99.
Absolut Vodka runs about $34.99, while the comparable Grey Goose is $59.99. Additionally, against the Blue/Domestic label vodka, budget brands like Burnett’s charge $14.99, while Vladimir costs $13.49.
The one vodka brand priced below Costco’s Blue label vodka is Banker’s Club, at $12.95, but the quality is not considered to be as high.
4. You’re Going to Get a Ton Of Costco Vodka For the Price
Whether you go Red label or Blue label vodka at Costco, you’re receiving 1.75L per bottle.
To use the imperial measurement system, this number adds up to about half a gallon, a little over seven cups of liquid, or nearly 60 fluid ounces!
5. You Might Get a Good Deal On Costco Vodka
The author over at Costco Fan noted that occasionally the Costco Blue Label (domestic) vodka, which is already a steal at $13, will go on sale for $10.
That’s an entire handle of vodka for one Hamilton, and while Blue Label doesn’t quite live up to the quality of Costco’s French vodka, it’s still more than adequate.
6. Red Label Costco Vodka Regularly Tops Critics’ Best Lists
In a much-quoted blind taste test at The Kitchn.com, the author and two bartenders sat down to try six different vodkas, two of which were Costco vodkas.
The French vodka came out on top, beating out Ketel One and Grey Goose, and the reviewers stated that Costco French vodka was “silky” and “supple.”
In a video for Buzzfeed, pairs of taste testers were challenged to guess which shot contained Costco’s vodka and which contained the much pricier Grey Goose, and most could not tell which vodka brand they were drinking.
7. Blue Label Costco Vodka Doesn’t Fare Well
The consensus among customers is that Costco’s Blue label vodka is less spectacular than its Red label sister spirit, though it is nonetheless a good buy.
Commenters on the site Distiller.com call this vodka “totally forgettable,” “a bit harsh” and “not an ultra-refined vodka.”
However, most of the reviewers tended to pair that with a comparable compliment, like saying it’s still “totally passable,” “a solid workhorse for mixing” and commenting on the price.
Overall, the verdict for the Blue label is that if you’re looking for something ultra-affordable to mix or if you’re buying for quantity instead of quality, this Costco vodka is a good choice.
8. Is Costco Vodka Grey Goose? Probably Not
The rumors persist that Costco Blue label vodka is actually Grey Goose, just in different bottles.
Grey Goose has vehemently denied this rumor, and while you can’t always trust the word of a major distilling company, in this case, they’re likely telling the truth.
The first major reason is taste, as Costco vodka from the Blue label tends to receive higher marks than Grey Goose where the flavor is concerned.
As well, Mashed unearthed Costco’s Certificate of Label Approval for its entire line of Kirkland-label liquors.
The sole producer of Kirkland Signature spirits is the LeVecke Corporation, out of Mira Loma, California.
Grey Goose, meanwhile, is famously made in France and is a member of the Bacardi family of brands, which is the distributor of Grey Goose.
Some of the similarities that have led people to think Costco vodka is actually Grey Goose in disguise may exist because of a common trait between the two.
The water used in both Grey Goose and Costco Red label/French vodka is sourced from the Gensac Springs in the Cognac region of France, though the water is then distilled in different locations about 500 miles apart.
10. French Costco Vodka May be Bottled in California
Sources aren’t super clear on what happens to the French Costco vodka once it’s distilled in France, but it’s likely transported to the LeVecke company in California.
This is because this company handles imports, bottling, and private labels, in addition to distribution.
11. Costco Vodka is Distilled Six Times
The primer on distilling from VinePair explains that distilling is the method by which alcohol is purified, leaving behind any nasty bits that have entered into the ingredients.
A lot of vodkas will bear the label “triple-distilled,” but Costco’s Blue/domestic label vodka claims that it is distilled six times for maximum purity.
12. Some Costco Vodka Might be Distilled and Bottled in California
The Mira Loma could very well be the distillery location for the Costco domestic vodka. While distilling isn’t mentioned on the company website, the LeVecke company is nonetheless the sole producer listed on Costco’s liquor certificate.
13. You Can Buy Brand Names in Addition to Costco Vodka
Costco has an impressive selection of liquors in stock, and their vodka section isn’t limited to just Kirkland Signature.
In fact, you can find brand names, like Belvedere, Grey Goose, and Ciroc for 20 to 30 percent cheaper than in liquor stores.
The trade-off, however, is that you are investing in a big 1.75L bottle most of the time, so only shop for liquor at Costco if your intent is to stock up.
14. You Can Buy Costco Vodka Without a Membership
Like all of Costco’s liquors, you can buy vodka without membership in some states, including the following:
- New York
Note that, while legally allowed, not all associates may be aware of this non-member perk, so it’s recommended to be considerate in the event of a confused employee.
15. Have Your Costco Vodka Delivered
In some other states, you can have your Costco vodka delivered as part of your grocery order, including the following states:
- North Carolina
Costco vodka is a steal, whether you opt for the budget domestic type or the ultra-popular French vodka. At just $13 and $20 per bottle, Costco’s Kirkland Signature pair of vodkas are inexpensive and range from passably drinkable to better-than-top-shelf.