Can You Tell If Your Vodka Has Been Watered Down?

You might be wondering if your vodka has been watered down or not. If that’s the case, then you are looking for a way to test your vodka for possible dilution.

You do not need to look any further, you are at the right place for the answer. There are various ways to find out whether your vodka has been watered down.

Most experienced drinkers will be able to make out whether the vodka has been watered down by taking a sip. That is one of the simplest methods of finding out if your vodka has been messed with.

However, if you are a novice, then you will have to study the changes in vodka with the addition of water. Do not worry, this article will elaborate in detail on how to know if your vodka is watered down.

It will also explain the process of watering down vodka, the dangers of consuming diluted or adulterated vodka, and also the steps to take if your vodka is watered down.

What Is Watered Down Vodka?

Vodka, in its original state, is distilled to a high alcohol content which is measured in units as alcohol by volume (ABV). Vodka is around 40% ABV.

Watered-down vodka is diluted or adulterated with another liquid including water. Its alcohol by volume (ABV) percentage will also be lower than pure vodka.

Vodka might be intentionally or unintentionally diluted. However, in both cases, it can be injurious to the consumers’ health.

Vodka can be intentionally diluted to create a smoother flavour or a lighter version. It can also be diluted to achieve a lower ABV.

The purpose of a lower ABV might be to reduce the alcohol burn or to make vodka suitable to combine with other mixers.

Vodka can be unintentionally diluted due to improper storage or mishandling.

Storing vodka in a humid environment reduces the ABV of vodka. A humid environment allows water vapour to enter the vodka bottle and thus, by mixing with alcohol, it results in a lower ABV.

Watered-down vodka changes the taste and potency of the drink. It also creates a sense of lower consumption so that the drinker will drink more, creating health risks.

How Is Vodka Watered Down?

We have discussed how vodka can be watered down either intentionally or unintentionally. But, the below explanation allows us to take a detailed look into the ways that vodka is watered down.

Dilution during production

This falls under the unintentional ways of watering down vodka. The process of producing vodka involves the distillation of fermented grains. In some cases, even potatoes are used.

Once the distillation is completed, it is necessary to dilute the vodka. The brewers dilute the vodka so that the desired ABV or alcohol content can be achieved.

If the dilution is not done correctly, the vodka might become either too strong or too weak.

Unethical Adulteration

This type of adulteration is done to increase the quantity of the vodka and increase the profits by unethical means.

Here, the fraudulent persons add water to the vodka to increase the quantity of the vodka. In some cases, they might also replace vodka with another similar-tasting liquid.

Dilution By Accident

This type of dilution is done accidentally due to the mishandling or improper storage of vodka.

Vodka requires a cool temperature to maintain its alcohol content. If it is stored in a highly damp or highly humid temperature, water vapour enters the vodka bottle.

Once water vapour enters the bottle, it messes with the alcohol content of the vodka.

Incorrect Measurements

This is also an unintentional dilution of vodka.

For example, consider a bartender who is mixing vodka. If he/she mixes the incorrect amount of water or mixers with vodka, the vodka will become watered down.

This is the reason why you should always buy vodka from a reputed store where it is stored properly and not adulterated.

Dangers Of Drinking Watered-Down Vodka

Let us take a quick look at the dangers or disadvantages of drinking watered-down vodka.

Merely drinking watered-down vodka is not harmful due to dilution or adulteration reasons. Instead, the drinking patterns that are caused by drinking watered-down vodka are a big concern.

Following are some major dangers of drinking watered-down vodka.

Incorrect Judgment

Whenever humans consume any alcoholic drink, it impairs or compromises their normal course and coordination. The same is the case when they drink watered down vodka.

Heightened Risks

If a person drives after drinking alcohol or watered down vodka, there is a big risk associated with it. The person may get into other accidents such as tripping, getting burnt, drowning, etc.


In the case of regular vodka, consumption leads to dehydration as it is a diuretic. However, in the case of watered-down vodka, the person unaware of the watered-down vodka might consume more than required.

Thus, overconsumption might lead to further dehydration.

Liver Damage

If a person consumes vodka in excessive amounts, it can be dangerous to health. When the same person consumes watered down vodka, he will consume more vodka as he might feel that he has consumed less due to lower alcohol content.

Thus excessive drinking, which is normal in the case of watered down vodka, will damage the person’s liver.

How To Tell If Your Vodka Has Been Watered Down

If you’re not an expert, it can be difficult to tell whether your vodka has been watered down or not by just looking at it.

Thus, there are certain methods to check the purity of the vodka and they are as follows.

Checking The Label

The label of the vodka bottle has essential facts and statistics and one of them is the alcohol content. The easiest way to find out if your vodka is watered down is to check the alcohol content on the label.

Checking The Smell Or Taste

Taste the vodka and smell for any variations between a strong and a watered down vodka. If there is a weaker smell or a  smoother taste, the vodka might be a watered down vodka.

Performing The Burn Test

The quicker the vodka burns, the higher its alcohol content. Vodka with a high alcohol content will burn with a blue flame, whereas vodka with a low alcohol content will burn with a yellowish or orangish flame.

Pour the vodka into a spoon, light it with a match or lighter, and check for signs of your vodka being watered down.


This article has dealt with the question of determining whether your vodka has been watered down. It has also dealt with the reasons and dangers of watering down vodka.

Finally, the article has explained how to tell if your vodka is watered down. If your vodka is watered down, check the label, contact the store, avoid consuming it, and ensure to buy vodka from a reputable store.



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