1973 – The Birth of a New Soft Drink in the USSR
In 1973 the “State Institute for Non-Alcoholic drinks, Beer Brewing and Winemaking of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences” in Moscow developed the recipe for a new soft drink. Its name was BAIKAL, and soon it was to become the Soviet Union’s favourite wellness drink, long before such phenomenon conquered the food industries of both the East and West.
But then came the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russians now thirsted for the once unattainable soft drinks from the capitalistic West. Meanwhile Baikal all but vanished from the shelves. In the Moscow of the 1990s it became nearly impossible to find; only in the provinces did BAIKAL continue an obscure existence, often of dubious quality.
2009 – The Rebirth of the East in the East of the West
But then the Russian soft drink reincarnates, this time in Berlin. More precisely, in Kreuzberg. It was developed by a Dutch photographer, who spent nearly two decades in Moscow. When the photographer moved his business from Moscow to Berlin, the idea to relaunch drink in the East of the West travelled with him.
In his Kreuzberg studio WOSTOK obtained its new name, look and taste. WOSTOK (Russian: Восток = East) takes it name from the Soviet human space flight project that succeeded in putting the first person into Earth orbit.
The WOSTOK programme was the Soviet’s direct answer to NASA’s “Man in Space Soonest” programme. The Soviets beat the Americans to it: in 1961 Yuri Gagarin was launched in WOSTOK-1 and became the first man in space. In 1963 the Soviets had yet another triumph when Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space in WOSTOK-6.
Uzbekistan, 2012 – Taking the fruity route
On a trip along the Silk Road we stumbled upon a mysterious land: The former Soviet republic Uzbekistan.
Spices, fruit, gold and precious stones once trundled along these paths, traveling from East to West, and back. For centuries the Silk Road linked people and cultures. Fantastic fairytales, unique art and bold architecture keep this era alive. And its magic still works today, even on Wostok. It sparked our new potion: Wostok Date Pomegranate.
By conjuring up the flavours of this long-forgotten world, we want to bottle up the best of what’s been lost. And what tastes good, sticks in the memory.
CAUCASUS, 2013 – SEEKING AND FINDING GREENER PASTURES
There’s a lot to discover in the Caucasus: wild and unspoilt nature, mighty mountains, fascinating people … and tarchuna. This traditional drink is unlike any other. It’s secret is tarragon, spicy and refreshing at the same time.
Just what we wanted for our next concoction, so we at Wostok Headquarters started tuning the old recipe.
The result: Wostok Tarragon-Ginger.
We’re content with our bizarre trio for now, but before long we’re sure to start experimenting with more crazy stuff!