A Brief History of Vodka
Among the world’s most popular beverage, Vodka is renowned for its unique taste and delusive appearance. Made from the distillation of a fermented substance, this clear and colorless liquid, although look like water, but contain high level of alcohol which easily provides an outstanding Russian flavor to drinkers in almost every occasion. Vodka is found every where in the world, especially in countries of central and Eastern Europe, where this drink was first created.
It is widely believed that the name “Vodka” is a Russian word which is a diminutive of the word “water”. However, this explanation is not yet confirmed. In history, the word “Vodka” can be found in several ancient documents such as the court documents from Sandomierz in Poland which was written in 1405 and a number of Russian pharmaceutical lists which was created in a few years later.
After the word “Vodka” began to appear in Russian dictionaries in the mid-19th century, this word was rapidly recognized by general people as the name of one of the greatest intoxicating liquor of the world.
Although the origin of Vodka is still in obscurity, but it is widely believed that the birth place of Vodka is now the area of Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Ukraine, and western Russia, but Russia and Poland are the two leading candidates as being the mother country of vodka. Some theory said Vodka was first created in the beginning of the 12th century for medical purposes.
This first type of Vodka was made from rye and used as a crude anesthetic and disinfectant. Until the middle 14th century, Vodka was first discovered as an intoxicating beverage which families and communities preferred to drink both inside their homes and in some religious events. A big cup of Vodka would be passed around table and those who refused to partake this important drink would be considered impious by their family and community.
Until the beginning of the 17th century, Vodka became more popular to the wider masses since its manufacturing process had been changed from the traditional way to modern one. Its important material, rye, which had been used to create the drink from the beginning had been discarded, and the new staples such as potato, grain, wheat, barley and sugar beet has been added to the process instead. This change has made Vodka’s flavor more tasty and diverse, and significantly helped the beverage widely accepted throughout the planet.
Unlike in Russia and Eastern Europe where Vodka has been a hit for hundreds of years, the journey of Vodka in America just started in the 1930’s. The charming taste of this clear and colorless liquid had been introduced to American peoples by the Smirnoff Company, who presented Gold Vodka, the vodka that is aged for ten years in oak casks, to the American market.
This commercial investment proved to be a huge success, and soon after that, whenever American drinkers need to order some alcoholic beverage, Vodka would be one of the first names from their lips.
Statistically, although most quantity of Vodka which is produced every year will be consumed by peoples in countries of central and eastern Europe which is called the “vodka belt”, but today vodka commands about 20% of the market in the United States, and almost the entire market in Russia and Eastern Europe. This is the best confirmation of Vodka’s worldwide popularity.