Distilled by the GSC company, the Cossacks-brand vodka is a clear distilled liquor composed of water and ethyl alcohol. Vodka is made from a fermented substance of either grain, rye, wheat, potatoes, or sugar beet molasses. Vodka’s alcoholic concentration usually ranges between 35 to 70 per cent by volume.
It is an extremely popular drink in the Zone, arguably even more than energy drinks, as it removes radiation and smooths the rough edges of a stalker's life.
Shadow of Chernobyl
In Shadow of Chernobyl, vodka isn't particularly hard to find. Most experienced stalkers and above will carry a bottle and most traders will sell these. It purges 1/3 of radiation from the rad counter and slightly heals the player, though does tend to make the player drunk. The player can find many bottles of vodka in the Bandits armory, in the Dark Valley.
Vodka reappears in Clear Sky as it did in Shadow of Chernobyl. It's sold by barman only and can normally be found on stalkers of all proficiencies.
Call of Pripyat
In Call of Pripyat the drunkenness effect is changed substantially, while removing radiation it decreases satiety as well. Vodka is also needed by Cardan to perform most upgrades, if one hasn't shown him Item 62.
In all games, drinking vodka will cause the player to become drunk. Drunkenness affects the player's ability to center one's view as it sways in different directions and vision as it causes the player to have blurred vision and flashing colors. Also, the effects of drunkenness worsens as the player continues to down vodka. This effectively degrades the player's ability in combat as this makes it incredibly hard to take an accurate shot.
All the effects are removed when the player starts to become sober, which usually occurs in a few minutes but the duration is ultimately affected on how much vodka the player has drunk recently.
- The "GSC company" is a reference to the makers of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series: GSC Game World.
- The "Cossacks brand" is a reference to the Cossacks real time strategy video game series, which was also created by GSC Game World.
- During the Chernobyl incident, it was widely believed by the plant workers and clean-up crew that alcoholic drinks, mainly vodka and red wine, can cure radiation poisoning from the body. It could be noted that it has been proven that ginseng, which is contained in vodka, increases the body's metabolism allowing the body to more quickly dispose of and replace irradiated cells and tissue; even so one who has been exposed to deadly radiation should seek professional medical help instead of drinking vodka as it is not a medically recommended cure to purge radiation from the body.
- Although no alcohol poisoning effect can be found in the Stalker series, in Call of Pripyat, since vodka reduces nourishment, one can effectively drink themselves to death. A real risk if one is hungry, and talking to Zulu to join their team to explore Jupiter Underground.