Historical past of Vodka | Origins, Course of, and Requirements

Whereas out at your favourite bar or sitting down for brunch, you’ve possible heard or ordered your self a Moscow Mule, Bloody Mary, or the all-time favourite, a Vodka Soda. That’s as a result of vodka is likely one of the hottest and generally ordered spirits, and for good cause. Vodka is well combined with most juices and sodas and is likely one of the “more healthy” liquor decisions for these which might be maintaining a tally of their calorie consumption.

Vodka has been a staple for hundreds of years  the historical past of vodka is a protracted and winding street to the bar traditional it’s at this time. The story of the vodka craft is in depth, and simply as with different spirits, geography performs an enormous position.

ancient vodka tools


Why Is Vodka Known as Vodka?

The title “Vodka” comes from the Russian phrase ‘voda’ which interprets, merely, to water – in Poland, vodka was an umbrella time period that referred to any clear liquid distillate. Each Russia and Poland declare to be the primary to find vodka, and whereas it’s nonetheless up for debate who the inventor of this spirit actually is, it’s a spirit that has been round for the reason that Center Ages.

Early Days of Vodka

The first recognized vodka manufacturing started in direction of the tip of the ninth century, adopted 200 years later by the primary distillery, established in Khylnovsk, Russia. Round 1450, Vodka was in full mass manufacturing, and by the sixteenth century, Vodka was officiated because the nationwide drink of Russia.

Vodka continued to unfold in familiarity throughout Europe, rising its reputation. Russia was now competing with neighboring nations corresponding to Prussia, Poland, and Lithuania to create the right distillation course of. Within the 18th century, charcoal purification was found, cleaning out the impurities that accompanied the tip results of vodka distillation.

The Napoleonic Wars escalated the demand for vodka manufacturing, resulting in decrease high quality merchandise to satisfy the elevated wants. Failed makes an attempt at controlling manufacturing led to the 1894 regulation to make vodka manufacturing a Russian monopoly. Lastly, on the finish of the nineteenth century, an ordinary protocol for vodka manufacturing was enacted, and the Vodka title grew to become formally and formally acknowledged.

Finally, Vodka unfold to different nations, together with the US. It noticed its rise in reputation through the 60s and 70s, because of the introduction of the beloved Moscow Mule.

The remaining is historical past.


How Is Vodka Made?

The method of creating vodka begins with grains, the commonest being rye, wheat, and potatoes.

In its early levels, vodka was solely distilled as soon as. Producers of vodka shortly realized the advantages of a number of distillations, which helped to cleanse the impurities and produce a better alcohol content material. To help the crude earlier strategies of manufacturing, fruit, herbs or spices had been frequent components that helped masks any imperfections.

Requirements of Vodka

To be thought of as much as commonplace, there are a number of necessities when making a batch of vodka.

Within the US, vodka has a median commonplace of 80 proof, or an ABV of 40%, though there are exceptions like Swap Vodka, which has an ABV of 30%. The EU has a barely completely different commonplace, permitting vodka makers to have a minimal 37.5% ABV.

Vodka has at all times usually been a transparent or foggy-white shade. Afterward, flavors and components had been launched as an alternative choice to the strongly fragrant, strong-tasting pure vodkas. creating a wide range of vodkas to select from on the liquor retailer or bar.

old vodka distiller


The traditions round vodka range, relying on the place you’re at on this planet. Nonetheless, there are a number of recognized traditions which have lasted by way of the ages, in accordance to Russia Past:

  1. The “penalty” shot was launched by Peter the Nice, who tried to coach his subordinates to not be late. He pressured tardy workers to down a 1.5 liter glass of vodka in a single go – although your mates possible gained’t ask you to drink greater than a shot price…we hope.
  2. One other steadfast custom with Russians is that breaks are off the desk between your first and second drink – which means, no snacks allowed! Russians believed that meals in between drinks would decrease the alcohol quantity. For those who’re headed to a Russian associates celebration, or visiting the Vodka motherland, we advise eating earlier than the celebration begins.
  3. Toasts are additionally commonplace all through the consuming interval, corresponding to the favored toast to at least one’s well being, toast “Vashe zdorovye!” (“To your well being!”), linked again to the medicinal tinctures that Vodka was used for.
  4. When a visitor is able to go away, a Russian host could provide one final beverage “for the street.” In Russian, it seems like “for a strolling stick (“napososhok”).” In earlier days, a visitor necked a small glass that was positioned on a stick’s deal with but when the glass fell (resulting from poor stability) one must keep on the celebration all evening to keep away from “a foul street” – that’s one option to carry out a breathalyzer check!
  5. When you pour vodka into glasses, you must instantly transfer the bottle from the desk. This custom started through the Napoleonic Wars. After the Battle of Paris in 1814, Russian Cossacks observed that the variety of drinks folks had been charged for was calculated by the variety of bottles left on the desk in native eating places – which is why Cossacks cleverly hid them beneath their desk.

There are lots of entertaining traditions that accompany the historical past of Vodka, because of its reputation among the many plenty.

traditional vodka distiller


Whereas vodka stays one of the vital widespread drinks and spirits, the makes use of for this spirit has modified since its preliminary discovery. Previous to being consumed as an alcoholic beverage, vodka was well-known for its medicinal functions, in addition to its advantages in creating gunpowder.

Medicinally, vodka was used as an antiseptic to disinfect wounds, in addition to to numb areas of ache. Medical doctors in Poland and Russia usually used these vodka tinctures to assist and deal with wounded sufferers and troopers, in addition to they did with drugs, herbs, and different medicinal concoctions. In accordance with gunpowder manufacturing, alcohol and explosives pair nicely collectively. With a purpose to do an alcohol-proof check on the gunpowder being created, one would combine an alcoholic spirit with gunpowder after which try to ignite it.

Vodka has since developed from medicinal and weaponry use, and right into a beverage to be loved in a wide range of methods. From pure vodka to flavored mixtures, vodka continues to be developed into one thing for everybody.


We respect the historical past of vodka, and have taken the method and perfected it. We wish to assume that Swap Vodka is a model the Polish and Russians would take pleasure in, resulting from its elements, integrity to the historical past of vodka, and the way it’s distilled by way of our iStill Distilling Course of.

iStill distilling is a extra technologically superior, fashionable course of. The distilling course of is a science – exact measurements, temperatures, and timing create a greater tasting consequence. The iStill permits Swap Vodka to have full management and pinpoint each particular element, to a near-perfect taste and consistency. Therefore the better-tasting, highest high quality Vodka produced in each bottle.

Seeking to attempt our vodka? Now you’ll be able to order our vodka on-line!

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