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Saint Petersburg, Russia

Russian Vodka Museum

The past, present, and future of Russia's signature alcohol is remembered in the world's only museum dedicated to the starchy spirit. 

Reopened in 2008 in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg, the Russian Vodka Museum explores the creation, packaging, ritual, and culture of the country’s favorite drink. 

From the earliest roots of the drink to the evolution of its production and consumption, the museum displays, bottles, stoppers, ephemera, and other displays to explain the importance of vodka to the Russian identity. There are rows and rows of empty bottles in all manner of shapes from human figures to machine guns and an extensive collection of traditional short vodka glasses most often used to drink vodka straight as opposed to using it as a mixer (which in itself is a concept probably better not discussed in the museum). The whimsical collection of stoppers on display are also of note, shaped like heads, animals, and mythical creatures. Informational displays explain vodka’s creation and history using wax figures to tell of its Russian origin and later the Russian government’s long standing hand in national vodka production including regulating who could produce the drink and developing a national standard of quality for the drink.

Guests who take a tour of the Russian Vodka Museum need not fear that their exploration of vodka’s history be a dry experience as each tour is completed with a vodka tasting where guests can sample some real Russian vodka. There is also an adjacent gift shop where guests can stock up on vodka with which to impress and bore all of their friends with, since they can now detail the drinks extensive history.