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The mostly colourless spirit (Russian Wässerchen, Polish Wódka or Woda) with 40% alcohol by volume is distilled from raw materials containing carbohydrates. Grain (the best qualities are made from rye), potatoes or molasses are used, as well as grapes in Australia, Italy, France and the USA. Characteristic is the almost neutral, slightly sweet taste due to the absence of fusel oils and any artificial flavourings, which are common in many other spirits. First the mash is fermented, the resulting alcohol is distilled several times and then filtered to remove all aromatic substances. Maturation as with brandy or whisky is not necessary. According to written records, the first vodka was distilled as early as 1405 in the former Kingdom of Poland. Today, the largest vodka producers are Russia and Ukraine. In Russia, vodka is traditionally drunk from the traditional vodka glass "Stopka" on many (to all) occasions with the toast "no Zdorowje" (in German "to health").

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