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   The Ukrainian word for vodka is "Horilka". The word and the drink itself, go back to the 15th century. Back in those days the North West region of contemporary Ukraine (Volyn region) was famous for producing very good Horilka. The drink was made out of rye with added buckwheat, barley, anis, orange peels and juniper.

   Interestingly, old Ukrainian Horilka was almost half as strong as its modern equivalent: about 20 percent vs. today’s 40. Hence, it is not surprising that, according to folklore people used to drink up to a litre or more of Horilka. Rumours have it that when the Austrian army was approaching a distillery town in the North West of Ukraine, the owner, being determined not to let the enemy steal his profit, ordered all the alcohol to be thrown into the river. When the local people heard the news, they ran towards the river with their buckets and pots and some even drank Horilka-water right from the river. details +