Although not a drink of my choice, Vodka has its museum in Moscow. I really don't like the nonexistent taste and the headache that lasts a day after, but Vodka is (although in a steady decline in favor of Beer) still enjoyed widespread in Russia and other post-soviet states.
So what is vodka anyway? and how is it produced? These questions have their answers in a beautifully neat museum located in the Izmailovsky Park Kremlin, near the tourist trap - soviet memorabilia fleamarket.
Vodka is told to be originated from the slavic word вода (voda) meaning "water", maybe since the distilled spirit just looks like water. (In Ukraine, the name горилька (horilka) is also used to imply the burning sensation). It is made by distilling any starch-rich vegetable. (basically, boiling the starch rich solution, adding yeast and making a feast for bacteria to produce alcohol, then simply distilling/purifying it to get pure alcohol for the restless minds)
In Russia, there are more than 10-15 brands of vodka in nearly every neighborhood store. For example, I have counted 22 different type of vodkas in my moma&papa store next to my building. The prices for a bottle range from 60 to 350 rubles ( from 2 to 14 $) and comes with various flavourings like pepper, honey and many other herbs that I can hardly pronounce.
Unlike beer, which is widely consumed on the street throughout the day by young and old, male and female alike,Vodka is considered to have its own rituals (like we do with Raki in Turkey) and drunk with salty appetizers called zakuski. The most widely favoured zakuski are pickled cucumbers and (unfortunately) lard, which is the main ingredient for the stench in public transportation.
Note: Turkish Invasion kindly warns about the hazards of vodka drinking. Drink responsibly if you are not Russian.