When you hear the Vodka word immediately comes to mind the image of the friendly face of a man with intensely red cheeks with his head covered with shapka-ushanka (the typical Russian hat) Indeed, this drink today is one of the symbols that identify Russia.
Vodka is an alcoholic drink elaborated based on the fermentation of wheat, potatoes or rye, reaching up to 40 degrees of alcohol.
Today is Russian alcoholic drink is the most popular and consumed in the world, either alone and lightly frozen or as the basis of many cocktails like the Bloody Mary, the Caipiroska, the White Russian, among others.
Even the vodka It has become a beverage that has appeared in many famous movies and literary works. For example, who does not remember the Vesper cocktail that James Bond invented in the movie "Casino Royale"?
Where did the idea of producing Vodka come from?
It is believed that the origin of Vodka came from a government ban on the importation of wine into 1386 as harmful to health.
Hence, he began to devise ways to obtain alcohol with the fermentation of cereals such as wheat, at that time receiving the name of bread wine.
Once proven the possibility of obtaining alcohol from wheat, the government during the reign of Ivan the Terrible was devoted to production.
At first it was made only in Moscow, hence this drink was initially called Muscovite.
The quality of the vodka increased considerably once the nobles were allowed to produce it on their land.
The Russian nobles began to compete among themselves over who produced the best vodka, seeing as a disgrace the production of vodka of poor quality.
From this effort to improve production would arise the method of purification of vodka through charcoal.
Also, they began to try different types of grains and vegetable products to produce it, such as rye, potato and molasses.
Interestingly, who also contributed to the current quality of the vodka was the famous inventor of the periodic table, Dimitri Mendeleev. Specifically, the famous Russian chemist was the one who determined the exact proportion of alcohol.
Today this proportion of alcohol and water devised by Mendeleev is still respected and is the basis of the fame of this Russian alcoholic drink.
Exactly, thanks to the inventor of the periodic table, the vodka It is composed of 45,88% alcohol and the rest, that is, 54,12% is water, so that a liter of this drink comes to have a weight of 951 grams and 40 degrees of alcohol.
This drink with such a proportion of alcohol in 1894 would receive the name of Moskovskaya Special and it would be distinguished from any European alcoholic beverage, which did not reach such alcohol level.
Also, among others Russian surnames that have been associated with the traditional quality of vodka are Vinokur and Vinokurov, which arose from the word that is called this famous distillation process
Another interesting anecdote around the vodka story is that William Pojliobkin, who distinguished himself by deeply studying the process of making this drink and prove that this drink was born in Russia, was found dead at home with multiple punctures in his body: He had injected himself the vodka in his body.
What makes Russian vodka so special?
Apart from the strict process of quality an element that began to characterize Russian vodka and that would distinguish it even more from any other alcoholic beverage would be the water used. In fact, the term Vodka corresponds to the diminutive and delicate form of calling water, that is, "watery."
The mineral water from Russia gives this drink a unique quality. Indeed, although after the Second World War in many countries this famous drink began to be elaborated, until now it has not been possible to overcome the quality of Russian vodka.
Russian customs that have been transmitted through vodka
The high quality of this Russian alcoholic drink It has produced a series of customs associated with its consumption. For example, this drink can be consumed alone but without ice, cooling it before.
Another of the customs within the vodka story that has been associated with its consumption has to do with the toasts, the expression becoming famous "Na zdoróvie" (Cheers!) and not doing so is considered rude.
It is also a Russian trend that has spread around the world consuming vodka accompanied by appetizers such as fish, meat, cooked potatoes, black bread or marinated vegetables.
It has been proven that these entries, especially those with salt content, help to tolerate more the intoxicating effects of the drink.
Also, other flavors of vodkas until recently unknown in the West such as honey, lemon, hazelnut and pepper, among others, begin to become known.
In summary, the vodka He has become the best ambassador that Russia has been able to have, being present in many of the celebrations that take place around the world.