Wódka Wars: A Search for the Origins of Vodka

Beverage Belts: Blue - Vodka, Yellow - Beer, Red - Wine
Who doesn't know this divine, transparent ambrosia? There is no real Polish wedding without this liquid filling guests veins to the fullest. Wódka (read: voodka) is our national pride and one of the attributes of stereotypical Pole. Poland, along many other Slavic and Scandinavian countries, belongs to the so called Vodka Belt - we have a long tradition of producing and consuming this beverage. But where does wódka exactly originate from?

To answer this questions VBS.tv sent their Scandinavian correspondent Ivar to Russia (considered by many as the homeland of vodka) and Poland (the second most popular choice of vodka's origin). You can watch his adventures in short documentary called: "Wodka Wars: A Search for the Origins of Vodka".

As you can see in the comments section below this documentary, this topic really raises controversy among Slavs ;-) For me this documentary is pretty fun and easy to watch. You should take it with a grain of salt. It's just so refreshing to see someone exploring Polish history and culture with such passion and without redundant pathos

Nowadays Wódka Wars concern not only Poland and Russia. A couple of years ago there was a heated discussion in the UE, that gained a name of Vodka Wars. Vodka Belt countries wanted only spirits made from cereals, potatoes and sugar beet molasses to be branded Vodka. Obviously, the Wine Belt countries, that also produce vodka-like beverages were against. In the end, a comprise have been made. Vodka made from other items, than traditionally used by Vodka Belt countries, should clearly state it on a label. That is considered as a failure by Poland. As Polish MEP Ryszard Czarnecki said:
Would the French like champagne to be distilled from plums, and would the British accept whisky from apricots? That sounds like heresy. So please don't be surprised that we are refusing to recognize vodka made from waste.