History of Vodka


Vodka is fairly popular in the drinking world and anyone who wants to taste raw distilled liquor, Vodka surely is a perfect choice. Cocktails with Vodka too are very popular and due to its purity and distilled taste, people actually like to add Vodka in cocktails, for better taste and purer intoxication. The history of this popular hard-drink is little uncertain. Even when you are down at trying the top 5 Vodka drink recipes, you are maybe wondering whether you are using a Polish or a Russian solution! The Polish people claim that it is their invention but, what are commonly believed today, Russians say it are actually they who first invented Vodka. But whoever first came up with the idea of this drink, we have three definite countries that contributed to the development of Vodka- Russia, Poland and Sweden. The history of Vodka is summarized below-


In Russian culture Vodka plays a huge part, and because of its quality it gained popularity even before it was named Vodka for the market. It’s being a pure alcohol has contribution in its naming, because Vodka is a diminutive of the word Voda, which in Russian means water.

History of Vodka owes much to Russian culture, where the distilling technique emerged in 12th Century, but as in that time fused oil was used to distil the drink, to get rid of it Vodka makers had to re-distil it once again. But as time passed, things changed, so did the process of Vodka distillation. By the time 15th century, foreign techniques were learnt to distil Vodka, and instead of re-distilling the drink, they just used honey to add an aroma. It became very popular but until 18th century when people discovered that charcoal works great in filtrating the mix. Although the spirit had to be diluted before filtered, with this technique the by-products were gone.

Russians primarily made Vodka out of potatoes and wheat, but with time they improved their techniques and strategies of distillation. For better taste and better quality, they used different spices and herbs and instead of potatoes and wheat they started to use rye, which was proved to be better than all the others, and some would say finest of them all. Thus this improvement goes down in the pages of history of Vodka, this huge change when they opted for other substances and for different source altogether.

It is part of the tradition that wine is left over to freeze in the winter. So in its absence, in the 8th century, Poland found strong alcohol. But at that time the discovered solution was used only for medicinal purposes and wasn’t consumed as a drink. It’s much later in 15th century when gorzalka (burnt wine) was produced which was made possible by the discovery that spirit can be distilled from the wine. The history of Vodka suggests that in 1405 Vodka was first made, and it was made in Poland, when in some later time actually it had reached Russia.  

Vodka was not produced and marketed in the manner it is done now. Till the first half of 16th century, during the rule of King Jan Obracht of Pland, production and sale of alcohol was allowed, but later, in 1572, the Kind decided to limit the market only to the gentry and added 10 percent tax with it.

The history of Vodka changed greatly in 17th century when it gained the popularity of a national drink. It is then when Poland started exporting their invention in Northern European countries, Russia included. In the 18th century techniques advanced and they learnt to perform triple distillation.


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