Cons: Medicinal Taste, Aftertaste, Quality, Can detect its inferiority even in mixed drinks
A good vodka, is supposed to have a bit of sweetness, as well as a refreshing flavor. It should be able to be consumed straight, whether it originates from native Russia, or other countries such as Finland, France, or the United States that produce it in large amounts. Actually, there is a caveat with the Russian stuff. Authentic Russian vodka should give you a good burn, and as a non-slavic person, it should make you cry like a baby. I was fortunate(or unfortunate if you see it that way) to have the genuine article. While I do like that vodka, for its pure butt whipping capabilities, I'm more of a Grey Goose guy. Although its made in France, and I'm not fond of their government, they make some fine vodka. Even mass produced Smirnoff is acceptable, but even more so if as part of a mixed drink.
Aristocrat vodka is the "poor man's vodka," and I would avoid it over any other brand, except for somehow even worse Vladimir. That will make your liver sing for salvation, and I'm convinced that battery acid might be better for your overall health. Aristocrat is cheap, I will give it that. You can get 1.75 liters of it for around $12.50, and its 80 proof, so its strong enough to put a dent in your getting smashed on a budget. Unfortunately, there's a reason why some call spirits "Grandpa's old cough medicine." One spirit that falls right into that category is this vodka.
In good faith, I did once drink it straight. Never again, as the chalky, medicinal taste, along with sour notes, made my face contort in positions I never thought possible. Its just gross, and it has an aftertaste that just lingers with you for hours. In many ways, it reminds me of a liquid prescription that I had as a small child, that still causes night terrors to occur from time to time. The chalky, poor grade flavor and quality of this vodka is evident straight, and mixing it will only help a bit. If you are going to use this at a party, you might alienate some of your most loyal friends, so the key is how to 'mix it'.
Vodka Collins are a staple at my house, as are screwdrivers. The way to use Aristocrat, other than not, is to mix small amounts with a higher than average amount of juices and other ingredients. Try your best to disguise the low quality of this vodka that way, even though masking it won't prevent anyone from guessing you aren't using Absolut. There's still that medicinal, sour taste that is the very definition of 'cheap vodka'. I now know that certain bars use this brand for mixed drinks, and try to avoid them like the plague. A bloody Mary will not conceal this "batch of damnation."
This vodka does serve a purpose for whinos living on streets. Other than that, even the cheapest most frugal drinker, is going to turn their nose up at this stuff. I've endured it in my younger days, but try to avoid it at all costs now. Somehow it has survived in a lot of markets, and it makes sense to pay a few extra bucks, to get even just the regular Smirnoff. At least that way, you can make your liver enzymes jump off the chart for a reasonable cause. Its just low grade hooch that shouldn't be considered, and unless you are in a fraternity, there's just no purpose of purchasing this "stuff" that I'd call something else if I could.