A vending machine in the Ukrainian city of Melitopol that is supposed to sell coffee was jerry-rigged to dispense shots of vodka instead —- at about $1 a pop, and also sold an array of fruit juice mixers.
While this may seem amusing to some, authorities don’t find the tricked-out Vodka Vending machine funny. Ukrainian tax collectors are reportedly looking for the person or people behind the “wonder machine” — as it has been called — on suspicion of illegally trading in alcohol.
Interfax-Ukraine noted that illegal alcohol trade in Ukraine is a serious problem, with an estimated 35 percent of vodka sold in the country in 2012 being unlawfully produced. This means “every second glass and every second bottle” according to Anatoliy Viyevsky, Director of the Ukrainian National Alcohol and Drug Observatory.
Vodka is a clear distilled alcoholic beverage from Europe. It has different varieties originating in Poland, Russia and Sweden. It is composed primarily of water and ethanol, but sometimes with traces of impurities and flavorings. Traditionally it is made by distilling the liquid from cereal grains that have been fermented, with potatoes arising as a substitute in more recent times, and some modern brands using fruits, honey, or maple sap as the base.
Since the 1890s, standard vodkas have been 40% alcohol by volume. The European Union has established a minimum alcohol content of 37.5% for vodka. Vodka in the United States must have a minimum alcohol content of 40%.
Vodka is traditionally drunk “neat” (not mixed with water, ice, or other mixers), and it is often served freezer chilled in the vodka belt of Belarus, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and Ukraine. It is also used in cocktails and mixed drinks, such as the vodka martini, Cosmopolitan, vodka tonic, screwdriver, greyhound, Black or White Russian, Moscow mule, Bloody Mary, and Caesar.