Who Really Invented Vodka?
Vice traveled to the front lines of the Vodka Wars and discovered that the tortured history of Russian-Polish relations can be saved in a bottle.
In the fall of 1977, Poland instigated a trade war with Russia over the right to produce vodka. It was the first time that Poland officially tried to claim the drink as its own, but it would not be the last. This is the story of the Vodka Wars.
Vice headed to the Russian vodka museum, where they were celebrating 500 years of Russian vodka. As soon as they got into the museum, they were stuck in a screening room and hosts showed them the history of Russia according to vodka.
The museum was a little light on any evidence regarding the Russian origins of vodka. But this isn’t just about vodka. It’s about Russian nationalism. And vodka, like oil and gas, is just another commodity that can be traded for power. To really understand the Vodka Wars, we had to understand who the hell we’re dealing with.
Watch the full documentary now (playlist – 33 minutes)