In St. Petersburg (which is about to celebrate its 300th anniversary and rightfully bears the name of the city of museums) there are museums devoted to dolls, railway transportation, banking, political police, even gramophones and phonographs and now…the Museum of Russian Vodka. This one and only vodka museum in Russia and in the whole world opened on the Day of the City, May 27, 2001, in the heart of St. Petersburg, on Konnogvardeisky Boulevard.
However, the museum in St. Petersburg, laid out in accordance with all the conventions of museum work, brilliantly decorated by Valery Piskunov, with its comfortable and stylish tasting room surpasses them all. It is quite symbolic that the museum is situated in the historical center of the Northern capital, not far from St. Isaac's Cathedral, Mariinsky Palace and the Guards' Riding Hall. It is notable that the building housing the museum of the Russian national drink used to be the house of the clergymen of St. Isaac's Cathedral, was constructed by the architect M. A. Makarov, and is next to the former mansion of Prince M. V. Kochubei.
Let us enter the door of the Museum of Russian Vodka and feel the atmosphere of the long gone centuries. Listen to the unhurried story of what is the real vodka, of when its manufacture began and the role it has played in the history of Russian civilization.
The guests of the Museum of Russian Vodka have a unique opportunity to see that the process of wine distillation (the original name for vodka production) was very up-to-date for that time period. In the museum halls the visitors can see an originally made installation, showing a Russian monk by the first distillation unit equipped with all the necessary devices and, first of all, with a coil pipe!
A number of items of the exhibition are connected with such a mysterious phenomenon of Peter's times as the games of "Prince-Pope" and "Prince-Caesar" as well as "the craziest, most-joking and most-drunk council". The portraits of the terrible "Prince-Caesar" F. Yu. Romodanovsky and "the most joking father Ioanikita, patriarch of Presburg, Kokui and all Yauza" (Nikita Zotov, the governor of the young Peter the Great) are in the Museum's collection, as well as many other illustrative materials that help visitors to understand all the aspects of the times of Peter the Great. The staff of the Museum satisfy the curiosity of all those interested in the personal preferences of the Russian emperors in alcoholic drinks. They will tell visitors what was poured into the famous "Cup of the Big Eagle", what Peter the Great's grandson, the "chance visitor of the Russian throne", Peter the Third drank on each of the 186 days of his reign, as well as what drinks and foods "the Russian Hamlet", emperor Paul the First preferred…
In the Museum visitors can see vodka bottles of different sizes. The pride of the Museum is the bottle produced at the Kronshtadt table wine distillery in 1862.
A very special item of the Museum is a bottle for the famous "Moscow Special" vodka, which was called the Russian national drink by contemporaries and was patented by the government in 1894.
The larger part of the Museum's collection is devoted to the 20th century with all its upheavals and sharp turns of historic fate.
A part of the collection is devoted to the Great Patriotic War and particularly to the story of introducing a daily ration of vodka for the soldiers of the 1st line of the front-line forces, which is traditionally called "Commissar's 100 Grams". The document that stipulated the ration was found in the archives. It turned out that it was not the command of the People's Commissar for Defence, but decree #56200 issued by the State Defence Committee on August 22, 1941 and signed by the chairman of the committee, Joseph Stalin.
After the war (this part of the exhibition is quite extensive) new measures were introduced to improve the quality of vodka and new technologies came to life.
Following the story of vodka from the early centuries, the Museum halls bring visitors to contemporary Russia, at the beginning of the 21st century, and tell them about the current state of production and consumption of the 40° strong drink.
It can be justly said that the Russian Wine and Vodka Company produces high quality vodka, and it is this company that launched the brand "Flagman", which has already become famous. It is only logical that in the Museum exhibition "Flagman", the winner of the most prestigious international exhibitions, receives the attention it deserves.
Open: 11.00 - 22.00