Vodka in Russia - A Brief History
By Alan Dikty, Contributing Editor for Tastings.com. An engineer by profession and spirits connoissuer by nature, Mr. Dikty has built and consulted for microbreweries and brewpubs from Azerbaijan to Saipan.
"Vodka shall be taxed at a rate of two kopecks per bucketful."- 18th-century Czarist government excise tax regulation.
Russians firmly believe that Vodka was created in their land. Indeed the word vodka comes from the Russian word for water Replica Watches UK "voda." Commercial production was established by the 14th century. In 1540 Czar Ivan the Terrible took a break from beheading his enemies and established the first government Vodka monopoly. Distilling licenses were handled out to the boyars (the nobility) and all other distilleries were banned. Needless to say, moonshining became endemic.
Vodka production became an integral part of Russian society. Aristocratic landowners operated stills on their estates Replica Designer Handbags and produced high-quality Vodkas which were frequently flavored with everything from acorns to horseradish to mint. The Czars maintained test distilleries at their country palaces where the first experiments in multiple redistillations were made. In 1780 a scientist at one such distillery invented the use of charcoal filtration to purify Vodka.
By the 18th and well into the 19th century the Russian Vodka industry was probably the most technologically advanced industry in the nation. New types of stills and production techniques from Western Europe were eagerly imported and utilized. State funding Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses and control of Vodka research continued. Under a 1902 law, "Moscow Vodka," a clear 40% ABV rye Vodka made with soft "living" (undistilled) water and without added flavorings was established as the benchmark for Russian Vodka.
The Soviet Union continued government control of Vodka production. All distilleries became government-owned, replica designer handbags and while the Communist Party apparatchiks continued to enjoy high-quality rye Vodka, the proletariat masses had to make do with cheap spirits. The societal attitude toward such products could be best summed up by the curious fact that mass-produced Vodka was sold in liter bottles with a non-screw cap. Once you opened the bottle it couldn't be resealed. You had to drink it all in one session.
Vodka production in the current Russian Federation has returned to the pre-Revolutionary pattern. High-quality brands are once again being produced for the new social elite and export, Best Replica Watches while the popularly priced brands are still being consumed, well, like voda.