11 Things You Should Know Before You Drink Vodka Ever Again

Vodka used to be called gorzalka.

11 Things You Should Know Before You Drink Vodka Ever Again© Getty 11 Things You Should Know Before You Drink Vodka Ever Again
In the 1400s, the alcohol was referred to as grozalka, a derivative of the Polish word gorzec, meaning "to burn." Honestly, it was a more accurate representation than today's term, vodka, which comes from the Slavic word for water, voda.

A shot has less than 100 calories.

Straight vodka is one of the best things you can drink during a night of boozing: A jigger contains about 97 calories and no sugar or carbs.

It's less likely to give you a hangover than other spirits.

You've probably noticed that vodka brands like to tout the fact that their spirits have been distilled multiple times. You should be thankful for the humble brag: Every round of distilling acts as a filter, creating a purer finished product. One of the substances distillation weeds out is congeners, which can contribute to hangovers since they're hard for the liver to break down.

There's a vodka belt.

Just like America has the Corn Belt and the Rice Belt, Europe has production belts, too - only theirs are 10 times cooler. Case in point: the Vodka Belt, which stretches over a group of Nordic, Baltic, and Slavic countries that produce more than 70 percent of the European Union's vodka.

Smirnoff is the world's favorite brand.

In 2016, Smirnoff, which was founded in Russia in 1864 and is now produced in the U.K., sold 25.5 million cases of vodka. That number is more than double its nearest competitor - Absolut sold 11 million cases - making Smirnoff's booze the most popular of its kind in the world.

It doesn't have to be made from potatoes.

Most vodka is actually made from grains, not potatoes, as its commonly figured to be. All you need is a source of sugar, and some modern brands have taken that idea and run with it. Vermont Spirits' White Vodka is distilled from whey found in cow's milk, Cîroc is derived from grapes, and Indigenous Apple Vodka is made from the fruit from local orchards.

Copper drinking glasses are more popular than ever.

Classic Moscow Mules - which are traditionally made with vodka, ginger beer, and limes - are served in copper mugs, and many bartenders purport that it's the best way to drink them. Some credit the metal for insulating the cold vodka and some say it even affects the taste. If you're a believer, you don't have to stick to a mug: Absolut's luxe offshoot Elyx has an entire line of copper vessels: coupes, pineapples, even a gnome.

You can find the weirdest flavors.

But you might only be brave enough to try 'em once you're sufficiently drunk. Brands have gotten peanut butter and jelly vodka, a blueberry pancake spirit, and something that tastes like electricity - whatever that means - into market. If you're thirsty for more weirdness, here are more flavors that exist: salted caramel, cake, pickle, chili, bacon, and double chocolate.

There's a $3.7 million bottle of vodka.

The stuff is ever-so-appropriately called Billionaire Vodka, and you're paying for the bottle more than the five liters of booze inside. The exterior is encrusted with more than 3,000 diamonds, plus solid gold labels and Swarovski crystals. It's the most expensive bottle but not the only one of its kind: Russo-Baltique unveiled a $1.3 million vodka in 2015, Belvedere once shilled a $7,200 bottle, and Stoli made a $3,000 version that came with a gold-plated ice pick.

You can buy vodka in a box.

Because why let wine have all the fun? Griffon Vault is the brand you have to thank, but for now, they only sell in the Midwest and a few Eastern states.

Vodka isn't just for drinking.

If you consider any vodka that doesn't make it into your mouth wasted, stop reading. Otherwise, continue: The spirit has a history of being used medicinally, and some still have it on hand to treat poison ivy, dry out cold sores, and disinfect needles. A few drops of vodka can also help to preserve flowers and freshen laundry.