Vodka from Poland
In Poland, the name for the drink is 'wódka' and 'vodka' in Russian which refers to 'little water', with the origin for both stemming from each country's respective words for 'water' (woda in Polish, voda in Russian). The Russian name is the one which has stuck in the English language, most likely because it's easier to read and pronounce! Documented evidence of the origins of vodka is fairly scant, although some vague sources claim it was created in Poland in the 8th century, others that it was in 9th century Russia (both with a lower alcohol content). There are also references to distillation in Khylnovsk, Russia in 1174 in the Vyatka Chronicle, however, using the term 'distillery' in this example conjures up an image of how modern day distillation looks, which is very different to the rudimentary process in the 12th century which produced a much weaker drink with a lower alcohol content, something akin to a bread wine – a far cry from the vodka we recognise today. The key factor to remember with the issue of vodka making through the centuries is that early variations were often weaker bread wines or something more similar in taste to brandy, and crucially, although different from vodka, they are often used to lay claim to the early origins of vodka.
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