Russia Used to Receive 40% of its State Income From Selling Vodka


Vodka is a lot like the country of Russia, it’s almost always better when it’s cold and it’ll make you regret putting your penis into the wrong thing. A joke that was topical at the time we wrote this, so if it isn’t just pretend we said it’s full of bears or something. Also, in 1860, Russia sold so much vodka it made up nearly half of the government’s revenue. Wait, what?

Firstly you need to understand why Russia has such a hard on for vodka, well the main answer to that is that vodka is metaphorically and almost certainly literally in their blood. Peter the great supposedly drank gallons of the stuff per day and when Ivan the Terrible opened state owned taverns that only sold vodka, after only a few years a third of Russia’s entire adult male population owed them money. None of that is made up.

Seriously, if you cut a Russian person open you’d pretty much have half the ingredients to make a bloody Mary (get it?) right there in your knife hand, they love vodka. They loved it so much that at one point in Russian history, one in every 10 homes was bootlegging illegal hooch on top of all the other vodka they drank. We’re almost positive no one in Russia ever smoked because at this point we suspect the entire country would have caught fire if someone had an open flame.

Realising that people willing to drink vodka their neighbour made in their toilet wouldn’t care about the Heisenburg quality product they were making if it costed more, the government banned the creation of home distilled vodka and alcohol and made it so that you required a special license to both brew and sell it.

What happened next is easy to guess if you read the title of this fact, revenue on vodka exploded and the country of Russia was literally able to claim that nearly half of everything it owned was paid for by alcohol. We’re pretty sure the only people in history to match that claim are Al Capone and Moe from The Simpsons.