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The History of Vodka

History of Vodka

Hattiesburg, MS

The history of vodka dates back to 9th century Russia. To this day, it remains one of the most popular spirits worldwide.

In the Middle Ages, distilled liquor was used not as a recreational beverage, but for medicinal purposes instead. People then called it “aqua vitae,” which translates from Latin to “water of life.” It also was called “hot wine” by many Russians.

The first known distillery of vodka was reported in the late 1100s, at Khlynovsk. Polish vodkas also began appearing in the 11th century, an indicator of its growing popularity—although vodka still was used primarily as a medicine or even an ingredient for gunpowder in those days.

Sometime after that, vodka began making the transition from medicine to spirit. It began to be produced in large quantities in the mid-1400s and, by the 16th century, it had become the national drink of Russia, Poland, and Finland. Many of the distillation processes were poor in these times, which led to the addition of flavor from fruits, herbs, and spices to improve the taste. These aromatized vodkas became popular at first during the 1700s. Vodka gained popularity throughout Europe in the 1800s, thanks to the continent-wide travels of Russian soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars, and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to the United States in the 1930s.

The rest, no pun intended, is history.

There is still a vast proliferation of different flavored vodkas available, but the overall distillation process has improved significantly to result in a modern vodka that is cleaner, purer, and more potent. Early vodkas are estimated to have a maximum alcohol by the volume (ABV) content of 14 percent, while today, many vodkas have an ABV of at least 40 percent.

Live in the Hattiesburg, MS, area? Lincoln Road Package Store has a wide selection of vodkas available. Got a question about vodka? Call us at (601) 268-3677 or send an e-mail to jamie@lincolnroadpackagestore.com.

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