Moscow special vodka: history and characteristics of the brand - Alcohol and Tradition

Moscow special vodka: history and characteristics of the brand

фото московской особой водки

Moscow Special Vodka is a brand developed in 1894 in pre-revolutionary Russia. At that time, the composition of the drink included only alcohol and water, but in 1936, to soften the taste, the recipe was supplemented with sodium bicarbonate (that is, ordinary baking soda) and acetic acid. A distinctive feature of the brand was that it was produced on rye alcohol (2-3% admixtures of other cereals were allowed).

Historical background

It was the first patented alcohol in Russia, and the patent belonged to the government, that is, Moscow vodka was a state monopoly. The first name of the drink is ” Table wine 40°”.

There is a legend that the creation of the Moscow Special vodka had a hand in the “father of Russian vodka” — D. I. Mendeleev, but this is only a myth. Mendeleev was engaged in mixing alcohol with water for other purposes, the use inside the great scientist was not even considered.

In 1924, already in the country of the Soviets, the brand was called “Moscow special”, later the last word was changed to”special”.

фото московской особой водки времен СССР

The peak of production of Moscow Special vodka occurred in the post-war period – by 1965, the drink was sold not only on the domestic market, but also exported to Europe. The Soviet Union positioned Moskovskaya as a high-quality drink of European quality, head and shoulders above the competition, respectively, and this vodka was sold in the highest price segment. However, in our time, the brand belongs, rather, to the budget segment.

фото экспортной этикетки водки Московская особая

Export option

The rights to the brand

Today ” Moskovskaya “is one of two Russian vodkas (the second is” Stolichnaya”) that have been awarded international awards and have repeatedly received gold at independent exhibitions. The trademark belongs to the Federal enterprise “Soyuzplodimport”, but the international concern SPI Group also claims its rights to it.

The result of the court proceedings of the two companies was the ban on SPI to sell “Moscow” and “Stolichnaya” in Germany. This is a significant loss for the concern, as Russian vodka is popular in the European market, especially in Germany, Spain and Italy.

The brand can be easily recognized by the characteristic green label with gold edging, the design of which has not changed much for more than a hundred years. In 2019, Soyuzplodimport released an export version with a label in English.

фото современного вида Московской особой водки

Modern label


Moscow Special vodka is a crystal clear liquid with a light aroma of white pepper, anise and peppermint. It has a mild taste and is easy to drink, despite the 40-degree fortress. In the aftertaste, you can feel mint freshness and a slight peppercorn. Tasters note that the product is devoid of an unpleasant “fusel” taste.

The green color of the label symbolizes the naturalness of all ingredients.

How to drink Moscow Special vodka

“Moscow Special” is drunk in the same way as any other vodka-except that it does not have to be strongly cooled, since the drink does not “tear the throat” even at room temperature.

как пить московскую особую водку

Traditional snack

Due to its softness, this vodka is most often served in its pure form, but it can become a base for cocktails.

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