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The History of Vodka: A Timeline

vodka martini 300x206 The History of Vodka: A TimelineIn 1894, after centuries of unregulated production, Dmitri Mendeleev, Professor of Chemistry at St. Petersburg University and creator of the Periodic Table of Elements, established the absolute standard for vodka distillation.  Mendeleev’s perfect balance of 40% alcohol by volume gave Russian vodka a precise formula for what had been, until then, a process closer to alchemy than chemistry.

The rise of vodka’s global prominence is inextricably wed to Russian history, innovation and culture.

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10th-century

St. Vladimir, Grand Duke of Kiev, is quoted as saying, “Drinking is Russia’s delight.”

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1174

The Vyatka Chronicle reports the existence of “a vodka distillery” at Khylnovsk, over 500 miles to the east of Moscow.

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1448

Russian distillers discover that the grain used for bread can also be used to produce spirit. The new use of grain produces a unique “bread wine” destined to become Russia’s national product.

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1470s

Production of alcoholic drinks reaches their highest levels ever. The treasury’s interest in this new revenue potential prompts Tsar Ivan III to introduce the first-ever monopoly on the production and sale of grain-based wines, including vodka.

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1505

According to chronicles of the day, vodka is first exported to Sweden, the lands of the Livonian Order and the future state of Estonia.

It was in the 14th century that vodka was first described as “Russia’s national drink”.

Some 500 years later, in 1894, after centuries of unregulated production, Dmitri Mendeleev, Professor of Chemistry at St. Petersburg University and creator of the Periodic Table of Elements, established the absolute standard for vodka distillation.  Mendeleev’s perfect balance of 40% alcohol by volume gave Russian vodka a precise formula for what had been, until then, a process closer to alchemy than chemistry.

 

Source: Russian Standard Vodka.

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