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If you’ve read The Vodka Cookbook (and if you haven’t, buy the book immediately), you should now be convinced that vodka belongs in the kitchen as well as the liquor cabinet. But maybe there’s also room for a bottle in the medicine cabinet?

In ancient times, Russian villagers — famous for their superstitious nature — would attempt to bribe measles and other infirmities by placing a bottle of vodka and food offerings at their front door along with a plea for the illness to pass. Later, vodka was combined with herbs and other ingredients to disinfect, cleanse or treat a variety of ailments. Today, plain and flavored vodkas are still considered to be very much a cure-all by modern Russians. What follows is a sample of the recipes that have been shared with me by Russian babushkas (grandmothers) and collected from various sources over the years. I can’t say with any certainty that all of them will cure what ails you. But, like chicken soup, they probably can’t do you very much harm.