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They say that it is vodka that is the source of all the troubles of the Russian people, but it is thanks to it that a lot has been done. Most of the information about vodka is myths, which it is time to debunk.
Vodka is a Russian national drink. For some reason, it is generally accepted that vodka has been drunk in Russia from time immemorial. In fact, the first distillation vodka appeared in our country only in the 18th century. And it was not created at all for internal consumption, but for perfume. Until then, vodka could not be produced for a simple reason - there was no technical means. In rich houses, including those for the tsar, servants were engaged in the production of vodka. In fact, it was the most banal moonshine, the recipes for which are countless. And such a strong drink was called differently - bread wine. And in ancient times, a drink with a strength of 38 degrees was called a half-bar, which indicates that the burning limit was reached. But no one thought to use it in glasses, the drink was used mainly for treatment. For the people, vodka became available in massive quantities in 1936, and Mendeleev's research had nothing to do with it. It's just that the country's leadership decided to give the people a cheap and effective alcoholic drink.
The vodka recipe was invented by Mendeleev, who established its canonical strength at 40 degrees. In fact, the famous chemist investigated the compounds of ethyl alcohol and water. Mendeleev was interested in the physical properties of the solution - specific gravity and contraction. The total volume of such a mixture was less than the sum of the volumes of alcohol and water separately. The fact is that the alcohol hydrate molecule is more compact than the constituent molecules. In 1887, Mendeleev's work was published under the title "Compounds of ethyl alcohol with water." Perhaps the myth came from the fact that the scientist for some time headed a commission to streamline the production and sale of weak alcoholic beverages. But even here it was not about the vodka recipe, but about the calculation of excise taxes. Mendeleev himself never drank vodka.
Vodka was invented in Russia to endure frost more easily. In the cold, strong drinks are actually absorbed more easily. But vodka was destined to become the Russian national drink for a completely different reason. The point is that grapes grow poorly in the middle zone, but there are many cereals in Russia. Before distillation was invented, our ancestors drank such hopping drinks as honey, beer, and kvass. For their preparation, berries, honey and grain were used. Wine, so widespread in Europe, came to the Slavs through Byzantium. It is quite logical that there was a tradition of creating grain-based alcoholic beverages, because this raw material was both inexpensive and widespread. The first semblance of vodka appeared in Russia in the XIV century, when the Genoese ambassadors brought grape alcohol to the royal court. At first it was used as a medicine, and then the nobility began to use it for entertainment purposes, diluting it with water. In the same century, we were able to create an analogue of foreign grape alcohol from cereals, so the history of Russian vodka began.
The best snack for vodka is pickled cucumber. As proof of this myth, Chekhov's words are cited that over the past two hundred years, scientists have not come up with snacks better than pickled cucumbers. However, this can be contrasted with the remark of Professor Preobrazhensky: "A little bit self-respecting person operates with hot snacks." And here he is right. The fact is that watery snacks - cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, liquefy the alcohol essence. Because of this, the vodka intoxicates even more, purposefully hitting the legs. Interacting with hot food, vodka gives up its alcoholic fluids to the brain, giving an attack of a kind of euphoria.
The price of an expensive bottle of vodka is determined by the cost of raw materials. In fact, the most expensive component of vodka is ethyl alcohol, which is inexpensive. A liter costs about $ 2 and is enough to produce five bottles of vodka. So the cost of elite drinks is not increasing because of the unique ingredients.
Impurities in vodka are harmful to health. How can you not remember fusel oils that poison people. In fact, ethyl alcohol is the protagonist in most alcoholic beverages. The same impurities that are naturally formed during the production of the same vodka add little to the strong impact of the alcohol itself on the body.
Vodka can keep you warm. This is one of the most entrenched myths about this drink. Under the influence of alcohol, the blood vessels in the limbs and capillaries expand. Warmer blood leaves the internal organs and flows to the skin and limbs, causing that very feeling of warmth. However, with prolonged exposure to cold on the body, it may turn out that important internal organs will suffer from hypothermia. The person himself will feel a deceptive feeling of warmth.
Vodka should be drunk ice cold. In fact, we have this tradition recently. During the perestroika times, foreign brands burst into the country, led by "Absolute" and "Finland". They were associated with Scandinavia and cold. This is how the tradition of cooling vodka appeared. In fact, this habit fundamentally contradicts the historical Russian drinking traditions. It was always customary for us to drink vodka not chilled, but at room temperature. After all, vodka, like any other alcoholic drink, is needed not to quench thirst, but to improve mood. Cooling the same drink is designed to emphasize its taste, but vodka does not have it, as well as color and smell.
Vodka is an ignoble drink. It all depends on with whom, when and how to drink. It has long been accepted to consider vodka not only pure, but also a noble drink. About two hundred years ago, good vodka was considered a truly royal gift. She delighted European celebrities, and even today vodka is the best souvenir for foreigners. You just need to keep the culture of consumption.
Only in Russia they know how to drink vodka. It is customary for us to treat foreigners condescendingly who add vodka to cocktails or drink it in its pure form in small sips. It is believed that only here they know how to drink vodka correctly. Foreigners simply do not understand her, getting drunk literally from the first glass. Only now it is forgotten that foreigners know a lot of alcoholic beverages that are not of Russian origin - gin, grappa, tequila, whiskey, rum, brandy. In Western countries, there is simply a completely different culture of drinking. If our feast begins immediately with a forty-degree drink, then it is customary to serve strong drinks there only after a hearty dinner. By the way, the same cocktails only seem so light and simple, their intoxicating effect is even stronger than that of pure alcohol. And any bartender can tell about it.
All the troubles in Russia are from vodka. Alcoholism is indeed a national disaster for Russia. But it's silly to blame everything on vodka. It is simply the most common and most affordable of spirits. And this is impossible to fight against. The authorities tried to solve the problem with the "dry" law, but people did not drink less, they just switched to other types of alcohol.
Grain vodka is better than potato. Today, production technologies are so advanced that it does not matter from what raw material vodka is produced. For example, in 2010 English potato vodka took the lead in the world competition.
Vodka kills germs. It is said that this is why it helps to resist disease. It's only partly true that microbes do disappear. But not only harmful, but also useful. And a person resists hypothermia or illness thanks not so much to vodka as to self-hypnosis. After all, this drink is quite active on the brain. As a result, a person begins to realize that he has become stronger and stronger. The body, on the other hand, falls into a kind of hibernation for a while, metabolic processes are suspended. As a result, it happens that a drunk person can spend the night on cold ground and nothing will happen to him, but on the other hand, in the cold, you can imperceptibly get hypothermia. So vodka is a rather insidious "medicine".
Vodka is refined with milk, silver or gold. In fact, such statements are meaningless. The fact is that alcohol is rectified. Ideally, it is already absolutely clean, in accordance with GOST. If the technology is followed, it simply will not work. But wood alcohol, moonshine or fired vodka can be tried to be cleaned of impurities by passing the drink through wood alcohol. Everything else is advertising gimmicks designed to increase the cost of vodka.
Buying vodka, we sponsor our state. This was the case under socialism, and with the release of Yeltsin's decree to end the state monopoly on vodka, everything was over. At present, the state receives only 1-5 percent of its income from the sale of vodka. The rest is received by the manufacturer and intermediaries. Yes, and excise stamps are easy to purchase on the same Internet at a price much lower than the state one.
The production of vodka is difficult and therefore expensive. In fact, only the rectification column is complex. However, alcohol is not produced at all at the factories where vodka is created. In Russia, domestic alcohol is sold at 60 rubles after tax. And it is also expensive, because in Kazakhstan and Kabardino-Balkaria alcohol is not taxed at all. It can be purchased there for half the price. And a liter of alcohol is enough for five bottles, as already mentioned. As a result, the cost of a solution of alcohol and water is 5 rubles 60 kopecks for a half-liter bottle. This is how much the simplest vodka costs. If sellers suddenly became honest, then this drink would be sold for 15-20 rubles, a slightly higher price would be determined by the exceptional shape of the bottle. In fact, vodka costs 80-100 rubles in our stores.
If vodka is infused with herbs, pine nuts and other things for a long time, then it can become tasty and healing. When purchasing such an infused vodka, one should understand that it contains a little of the corresponding essence and a bunch of dyes. There is no need to talk about the real benefits, but the price increases noticeably. For example, pepper vodka infused with a real pod will never turn red or yellow.