When in Russia, do as the Russians do, right? About a year ago, I was told about a museum dedicated to vodka, but it was only today that I got a chance to actually check it out, thanks to new expat friends Hayley and Alice. Even if it wasn’t the biggest museum, it still is pretty cool to get out and explore more of what Moscow has to offer, especially with other people! Having said that, how was it? Read on!
To get there, you head in the direction of Izmailovo Market (from metro Partizanskaya) and walk a bit. Tucked away in the Izmailovsky Kremlin, the museum itself wasn’t too big. Okay, it’s pretty small. Beforehand, I didn’t really have any expectations, and honestly, it’s pretty unassuming. As you can see in the pictures, the main point of the museum is to see all the different brands and bottles of vodka that Russia (and even the rest of the world) has to offer. If that doesn’t appeal to you, then you’re out of luck. Though, every now and then, you could read some fairly detailed signs that explained the history of vodka, which was pleasantly surprising; for example, I found out that Lenin hated the stuff and instead preferred to drink beer. Strolling around, you just admire the fact that every single vodka distillery (and there’s far more than you ever hoped to know) was doing its best to get people inebriated. My personal favorites was the Spetsnaz-inspired one, as well as a quintessentially Russian bottle that took the form of a Kalashnikov rifle-the “bullets” were the shot glasses. So, there are some real gems. Oh yeah, can’t forget the one brand that hilariously and brutally roasted ex-president Boris Yeltsin and his raging alcoholism. For sure some real gems stood out, and honestly, I’m glad I saw the past, present, and possible future trajectory of the world’s fifth largest vodka exporters.
All in all, would I recommend it? It was interesting, but thirty minutes at most is all you need. The price was a mere 120 rubles, or 200 if you want to taste the honey liqueur provided by the receptionist, so you do get your money’s worth. Therefore, if you want to stick around the market, you’ve got one more thing to see; I could think of far worse places to visit.
Izmailovskoe Shosse 73