What is vodka?
A: Vodka is a clear distilled alcoholic beverage.
Different varieties originated in what countries?
A: Poland, Russia, and Sweden.
Vodka is composed mainly of water and ethanol but
sometimes with what?
A: Traces of impurities and flavorings.
Traditionally, how is it made?
A: By distilling liquid from fermented cereal grains.
Potatoes have been used in more recent times, and some
modern brands use what?
A: Fruits, honey, or maple sap as the base.
Since the 1890s, standard vodkas have been what
percentage of alcohol by volume?
A: 40% (ABV) (80 U.S. proof).
The European Union has established a minimum alcohol
content of what for vodka?
Vodka in the United States must have a minimum alcohol
content of how much?
Vodka is traditionally drunk how?
A: "Neat" (not mixed with water, ice, or other mixers).
It is often served freezer chilled in the vodka belt of
A: Belarus, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and Ukraine.
It is also used in cocktails and mixed drinks, such as
A: The vodka martini, Cosmopolitan, vodka tonic, screwdriver, greyhound, Black or White Russian, Moscow mule, Bloody Mary, and Caesar.
In English literature, the word vodka appeared when?
A: In around the late 18th century.
The "vodka belt" countries of Northern, Central, and
Eastern Europe are the what?
A: The historic home of vodka.
These countries have the highest what?
A: Vodka consumption in the world.
For many centuries, beverages differed significantly
compared to the vodka of today, as the spirit at that time had a different
A: flavor, color, and smell, and was originally used as medicine.
It contained little alcohol, an estimated maximum of
about how much?
The still, allowing for distillation, increased purity
and increased alcohol content, was invented when?
A: In the 8th century.
The beverage was usually low-proof, and the
distillation process had to be what?
A: Repeated several times (a three-stage distillation process was common).
Then the beverage was watered down, yielding a simple
vodka (30–35% ABV), or a stronger one if the watering was done using what?
A: An alembic.
The late 18th century inaugurated the production of
vodka from various unusual substances including even what?
A: The carrot.
In 1925, the production of clear vodkas was made a
A: A Polish government monopoly.
After World War II, all vodka distilleries were taken
over by what?
A: Poland's Marxist–Leninist government.
During the martial law of the 1980s, the sale of vodka
When did a type of distilled liquor designated by the
Russian word vodka come to Russia?
A: In the late 14th century.
In 1386, the Genoese ambassadors brought the first aqua
vitae ("the water of life") to Moscow and presented it to whom?
A: Grand Duke Dmitry Donskoy.
The liquid obtained by distillation of grape must was
thought to be a concentrate and a "spirit" of what?
According to a legend, around 1430, a monk named
Isidore from Chudov Monastery inside the Moscow Kremlin made a recipe of the
A: Russian vodka.
Having a special knowledge and distillation devices, he
became the creator of what?
A: A new, higher quality type of alcoholic beverage.
The first written usage of the word vodka in an
official Russian document in its modern meaning is dated by the decree of
Empress Elizabeth of 8 June 1751, which did what?
A: Regulated the ownership of vodka distilleries.
By the 1860s, a government policy of promoting the
consumption of state-manufactured vodka made it what?
A: The drink of choice for many Russians.
In 1863, the government monopoly on vodka production
was repealed, causing prices to plummet and making vodka what?
A: available even to low-income citizens.
The taxes on vodka became a key element of government
finances in Tsarist Russia, providing at times up to how much of the state
By 1911, vodka comprised 89% of all what?
A: alcohol consumed in Russia.
Vodka has become popular among young people, with a
A: Black market.
In 2013, the organizers of the so-called "vodka car"
were jailed for two and a half years for having done what?
A: Illegally providing thousands of liters to young people, some as young as 13.
Vodka may be distilled from any starch- or sugar-rich
plant matter; most vodka today is produced from what?
A: Grains such as sorghum, corn, rye or wheat.
Among grain vodkas, rye and wheat vodkas are generally
In the United States, many vodkas are made from 95% pure grain alcohol produced in large quantities by what agricultural-industrial giants?
A: Archer Daniels Midland, Grain Processing Corporation, and Midwest Grain Products.
A study conducted on NPR's Planet Money podcast
revealed negligible differences in taste between various brands of vodka,
leading to what?
A: Speculation as to how much branding contributes to the concept of "super-premium vodkas".