An intoxicating visit to the Vodka museum

Some heartfelt details in the museum draw a smile on the faces of those who see them.
by Zeina Nasser English Zeina_w_Nasser

10 October 2017 | 11:27

Source: by Annahar

The Vodka museum features a brown bear figurine that collects money for noble causes. (Annahar Photo/Zeina Nasser)

MOSCOW: Vodka has a museum, and if not in Russia, the country famous for its love for vodka, where else can it be found?

When visiting Moscow, seeing this museum is a must if you’re a fan of vodka. Well, you could also take a tour in the miniature world of Vodka you will find inside the museum just out of curiosity, like I did.

Once you step inside this serene drinking space, you are greeted by hosts and hostesses in the museum. You pay a small amount of money - which does not exceed five dollars - and get to tour the museum. You also get to taste three or four types of vodka; very smooth vodka that you wouldn’t find elsewhere.

Some heartfelt details in the Museum draw a smile on the faces of those who see them, such as a corner made especially for donating money to feed the cats. There, you are welcomed by a mini brown bear holding a tray, waiting for visitors to donate money.

Other interesting ornaments found are small dolls of famous leaders. Imagine Stalin’s mustache on a small doll, or a mini-Gorbachev doll.

The hostesses will tell you how to use an online application about the museum on your phone; where you will read interesting facts like “the pride of the Museum is the bottle produced at the Kronshtadt table wine distillery in 1862.”

Different shapes and sizes of vodka bottles depict different meanings and stories of various times in history when they were produced. One funny bottle includes a picture with “Het! No!” written on it, with a man trying to say that he does not want to drink vodka. The funny thing is that you will rarely encounter a Russian refusing such an offer.

Wine distillation; the original name for vodka production, is present as an installation at the museum. There, you will see the first distillation ever, performed by a Russian monk. All the distillation equipment is there to view.

Matrioshka, Katusha, and Russian Standard are classified as the high-quality vodka at the museum.

Pink vodka bottles with the word “girl” or other green and blue bottles, which you might see for the first time, are found inside glass shelves to look at.

According to the museum official website, in the beginning of the 20th century, there were more than 5000 wineries in Russia located in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, as well as in other cities.

Some vodka bottles are carved in the shapes of famous figures, such as Karl Marx.

There is an interesting story that happened in the 18th century in Russia about the “The most humorous and drunk council.” It’s about a drunk crowd of about 200 men, who rode along the streets of Moscow in sleighs pulled by pigs, goats, or bears, and entered the yards of noble Muscovites in order to praise them, and demanded treat and reward for it. This was a common practice in the Peter the Great era.

Souvenirs at the museum could be bought for lower prices than you would buy them elsewhere.

You will also spot a huge poster with “Kremlin in Izmaylovo” written on it, where you can place your head between drunk Russians painted on a yellow background and take a photo.

At the end of the tour, you can write a small phrase on the museum’s notebook.

You might leave feeling a bit tipsy from the vodka you will taste. Wave goodbye to the brown bear and follow us on our next destination.

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