Hamburg, Germany - February 2, 2013: Studioshot of a bottle of Absolut vodka on white background. Absolut Vodka is a produkt of sweden.
The Puzzling Origins Of Vodka
By Elias Nash
While many people associate vodka with potatoes, it can be made from anything containing sugar or starch; for example, grains like sorghum, wheat, rye, corn, and rice. Although vodka has been America's top-selling liquor since the 1970s, the details about vodka's history are cloudy, but we know it played a role in some of world history's most significant events.
The origins of vodka are hotly contested between Russia and Poland, but it is believed to have come from the eighth or ninth century, although the exact place or time is unclear. According to Grey Goose, vodka owes its existence to the cold winters of Eastern Europe, where people would leave wine or beer outside overnight, causing the water to freeze at the top and leave concentrated alcohol beneath the surface.
The word 'vodka' is derived from the Russian 'voda,' which means 'water,' per Britannica. While the liquor is now popular all over the world, it was largely unknown outside Russia, Poland, and the Balkans until the 20th century, and World War I and the Russian Revolution are the two major events that made vodka a global commodity.
Many wealthy people left the country during the Russian Revolution, and Grey Goose credits them with spreading vodka to other European nations. During Prohibition in the U.S., many bartenders sought new jobs in Europe, where they discovered the liquor and its versatile use in cocktails, and they returned to America armed with vodka and a newfound interest in mixology.