If your favorite drinks contain vodka, there’s a few things you should know about its history. Many people think that vodka is a uniquely Russian liquor, but few know that Poland and Sweden were also integral in the liquor’s development. Given the invention of vodka, the bartending world was revolutionized by it as well. The word “vodka” most likely comes from the Russian word “voda” which means “water.” The distilling techniques were formed around the 12th century in Russia as well as advancing in the 15th century (when honey was added to the process) and the 18th century when charcoal was added to the distillery process. Each process of refinement probably made the bartender’s job in those centuries that much easier!

Poland, on the other hand, discovered this strong liquor in the 8th century and used it primarily for medical purposes. Sweden also falls into this category, as they too used vodka at first for medical purposes. Polish historian claim that vodka was first produced in their country in 1405 and continued into Russia via Poland. This is plausible given that the technology for distillation is theorized to appear in Moscow from around 1448-1478.

One theory is that vodka distillation techniques were brought by people who fled from Constantinople after its conquest by the Turks in 1453. They probably needed a drink after that, so they showed up to the local Russian’s bartender’s bar. As far as Sweden, vodka didn’t become allowed to be sold as an alcoholic beverage until the 16th century. By that time, distillation techniques and bartending had both become more sophisticated than when the liquor itself appeared in the early 14th century. Who knew that all of these innovations would be a cornerstone of Maryland bartending today?

Vodka is such a unique liquor that it has been distilled and processed thousands of different ways. There have also been thousands of different ways to market it, from filtration through diamonds to adding a scorpion to the bottle. Vodka did not become prominent in the United States until the 1930’s when the Smirnoff Company first went into business. They introduced a type of vodka dubbed “gold vodka;” vodka that is aged for ten years in oak casks before it’s sold. Its introduction in the U.S. must have relieved the bartending community, as it is incredibly easy to mix with most drinks.
Today, vodka steadily commands 20% of the market in the United States, and almost the entire market in Russia and Eastern Europe. It is one of the most popular drinks worldwide and should continue to be for a long time in the future. Millions of people consume millions of gallons of vodka per year. It is definitely one of the most popular alcohols in the world. Its popularity still consumes the alcoholic beverage industry. To learn more about vodka, other popular liquors and how to properly use and mix them, check out Maryland Bartending Academy today.
We offer you one free bartending class so you can see what the Maryland Bartending Academy is all about. We have an open door policy with no obligation to enroll. And each of our instructors has years of bartending experience and knows the industry well. If you still need to know more, you can always request additional information.
Become an expert in vodka and other liquors by attending the Maryland Bartending Academy! The Maryland Bartending Academy is Maryland’s oldestbartending academy and is fully approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission. We also offer the most comprehensive curriculum around as well as hands-on-training that will prepare you for a career in bartending. So you won’t just be an expert in the history of vodka, you’ll be able to whip up some historic drinks as well.
History of Vodka, Filtration Technologies of Vodka

If you have any questions about Vodka or wish to register for an upcoming class, please contact the Maryland Bartending Academy by calling 410-787-0020 or visit MarylandBartending.com today!

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