The origins of the vodka are embedded in mystery. Several nations, including Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Finnish, claim the paternity of the drink. Russia and Poland boast a long tradition of preparing the most sought-after alcohol in northern and eastern Europe. However, the name comes from the diminutive Slav word which means water, inspired by the Latin “aqua vitae”. You can visit HHA Vodka and find out all there is to know about the history of the delicious liquor.
So, it is assumed that the type of alcohol comes from the Slavic peoples that occupied northeast Europe. Here, the low temperatures made it difficult to trade wine and beer because they froze in the winter months. At the beginning, in the 12th century, vodka was used as an anesthetic and disinfectant, being distilled from rye. It is only two centuries later that the poisonous effects of excess are discovered. From 1300, it also comes in for consumption. It was believed that the drink had a spirit in it, so it was used at religious ceremonies. There was a pot that was given from one hand to another, sometimes containing more than 4 liters of vodka, and those who did not consume it were considered unbelievers.
The increase in popularity
As its popularity increases, vodka is no longer distilled from raki, but from potatoes. Potatoes were much more common and easier to process than grain. But as the vodka begins to lose its status as a home product, it no longer uses potatoes. Today, most vodka brands use rye, wheat, barley, and most often corn.
Eastern and Northern Europe took the alcohol problem very seriously. In 988, Prince Kyven Vladimir decides to abandon the pagan way and move to monotheism. Find out more here. Have the Russians produced the first drink? Perhaps, but they found it from the Genoese merchants, who brought some aqua vitae to Moscow to the great Duke Dmitri Donskoi to be treated. The legend says that in 1430 the Isidor monastery at Chudov monastery invented the first Russian vodka recipe, known as “bread wine” because it was distilled from wheat. The drink falls under the imperial monopoly and can only be produced by the landlord and the boyars. Ivan the Terrible opens in 1533 the first kabak, the only place where the common man could buy his strength. For centuries, the country controls production, with taxes accounting for about 40% of the state’s treasury. All drink access dates from the 19th century.
The nationalization of distilleries
The Bolsheviks nationalize the distilleries, which causes the old producers to flee to the West, the most famous being Smirnoff, who revitalizes his business in Paris. The Communists are quickly recovering production due to immense demand, but the quality of the drink is decreasing. Gorbachev tries to apply perestroika and alcohol, but this prohibition also fails. Russian historians are advancing even the Ninth Century as the beginning of vodka production, but distillation can only be at least two centuries later when trying to distill in Khynovsk.
We could say that distillation techniques evolved between the 12th-15th centuries when honey began to be used to improve the taste of the beverage. In the eighteenth century, the charcoal properties were profited from filtering the mixture to get rid of undesirable ingredients, but spirits had to be diluted before filtration. Distillation improves with the introduction of various herbs and spices. In spite of other varieties of vodka that the Russians have come to know, for a long time, everything based on rye has the highest appreciation.
. Polish historians claim that the vodka was first produced in Poland in 1405 and only then came to Russia. Until the sixteenth century King Obracht of Poland allowed the sale of alcohol. Later, in 1572, he limited production, with a 10% tax. It was not until the seventeenth century that vodka became a national drink, and distillation techniques advanced. In any case, the origins and exact history of the vodka are far from certain, with indications that they could even come from Persia. But the Poles also have a tradition.
This is a prototype made in the 11th century by a Persian physician, Ar-Razi, who obtains the liquid for medical purposes. In Europe, distilleries appear in 1334, in England in 1485, in Sweden in 1490, and in Germany in 1520. Vodka also arrives quickly in Sweden.