Vodka Interesting Facts

• Vodka is a typically colorless liquor, usually distilled from fermented grain.

• The name vodka comes from the Russian word for water: voda. In Ukrainian “vodka” is “horilka”.

• The first Russian “vodka” were grain concoctions used medicinally. Likewise, the Poles had vodka that was sometimes scented, and was used as aftershave.

• The origins of vodka cannot be traced, but it is believed to have originated in the grain-growing regions that now embrace Poland, western Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. It also has a long tradition in Scandinavia.

• Swedes were employing a form of vodka in the 15th century for gunpowder production.

• Vodka’s popularity in Poland and Russia is due to the fact that highly purified spirit would not freeze as easily as other spirits during transport in the long freezing winters.

• Most vodka today is produced from grains such as sorghum, rye, corn or wheat. Among grain vodka, rye and wheat vodka is considered superior.

• If vodka is made from sugarcane, it’s called a neutral cane spirit; if made from a fermentable grain, it’s called a neutral grain spirit.

• Most of today’s commercial vodkas are made using a continuous still, which neutralizes much of an alcohol’s flavor.

• By the 1300s, Russian potable vodka production was already underway. Poland also claims credit for its development in the 14th century, but critics argue that the Poles were producing crude brandy rather than vodka at this time.

• The fact that most commercial vodkas have little or no smell or taste is what makes them so versatile and popular and as a mixer.

• Due to carbon filtering, Vodka is a purer form of alcohol than the rest.

• The alcohol content in vodka usually ranges from 35 to 60 percent by volume.

• The classic Russian or Ukrainian vodka is 40 percent (80 degrees proof), the number being attributed to the famous Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev.

• Vodka Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia stated that Mendeleev thought the perfect percentage is 38, but since spirits during his time were taxed on their strength therefore the percentage was rounded up to 40 to simplify the tax computation.

• Nowadays you can also find 38 percent vodka, but is usually labeled as”Light”

• Just fermenting a solution of crystal sugar and some salts for the yeast and then distilling this after a few weeks is how some European countries like Poland produce vodka.

•  Vodka may be classified into two main groups: clear vodka and flavored vodka.

• Flavorings often include red pepper, ginger, various fruit flavors, vanilla, chocolate (unsweetened), and cinnamon.

• During the times of Czar Peter, there was a custom which was held: each foreign ambassador at the courtyard should drink the so called “Cup of the White Eagle” being one and a half liters of vodka.

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