Why Vodka is 40 Degrees?

5 minutes
De Luxe

Vodka: Special Aspects and Particular Qualities

Vodka belongs to the category of strong alcoholic beverages, and from the earliest times, it has been the most popular alcohol among Ukrainians. Even nowadays, when store shelves are overwhelmed with various wines, whiskeys, and other alcoholic beverages, it is hard to imagine a festive table without cool vodka. There is an immense number of cocktail recipes based on vodka for those who prefer them: sweet, and sour, with the addition of juices, soda, or other types of alcohol. It became possible because vodka, due to its neutrality, perfectly matches with other ingredients.

40 degrees is considered the standard strength for vodka when measuring the proportion of ethanol to the whole volume. The traditional alcoholic beverage is transparent and has a neutral flavor, therefore manufacturers often mature water-alcohol mixture in wooden barrels adding lemon, pepper, and other ingredients to make the alcohol absorb special flavor. Nevertheless, why exactly 40 degrees? Who invented this standard maintained by manufacturers for centuries?

Why Vodka is 40 Degrees?

This is one of the most controversial issues, which are discussed about vodka for many years. Especially, taking into consideration that the market contains a rather large number of strong alcohol with 35-45 degrees.

One of the interesting assumptions is a low-quality vodka that sometimes is called rye distillate or bread wine (“napivhar” in Ukrainian). Since the first records about vodka are dated as far back as the 14th century when nobody had an idea about such complicated tools as alcoholmeters, the strength of alcohol was tested simply – setting it aflame. Since one of the particular qualities of spirit is fire performance, alcoholic beverages with high spirit content were burnt and evaporated until the strength of spirit drops down. The strength of alcohol was measured by looking at the volume left after such an experiment. That is exactly where the standard of 40 degrees comes from.

In the period of the largest development of the alcoholic beverage industry, the Government controlled all alcoholic production, and therefore today the most plausible explanation is governmental endeavors and efforts aimed to arrange the unitary standards for all distilleries. It not only simplified the process of distillation but also facilitated quality control, especially taking into account that at those times there was a fair amount of distilleries. In addition, the introduction of a 40-degree standard is associated with the simplification of alcohol excise duty, since the round number is significantly easier for calculations.

One way or another the alcohol strength on the level of 40 degrees is the most reasonable for a strong alcoholic beverage. High-quality products from a reliable manufacturer will not cause excessive drying of the mucous membrane and will not bring about a painful hangover in the morning after a celebration. Therefore, we recommend choosing only the licensed alcohol.

Nemiroff – the Golden Quality Standard

The Ukrainian brand Nemiroff offers its consumers more than 10 kinds of alcoholic beverages of the highest quality. In our collection, you may find not only traditional vodka, but also vodka flavored with honey and pepper, or with the addition of different berries and fruits. Every alcohol has a particularly peculiar flavor. Despite the variety of flavors, the standard of 40 degrees for each alcohol remains permanent.


Nemiroff premium lines: De luxe vodka and The Inked Collection flavored vodka