I am aware of the fact Belarus was Lithuania in the past. General readers don’t realise that when we speak of Lithuania 200-300 years . People assume that Lithuania is actually present day Lithuania in historical context. I remember reading results of a survey in Poland asking people about Poland’s neighbouring countries. If memory serves me correctly as many as 35% pointed to Belarus than Lithuania when they were asked to show Lithuania on the map.
For convenience purposes people say Belarus to mean Lithuania on present-day territories of Belarus 200-300 years ago. Belarusians cherish their Lithuanian heritage, it’s just tiresome to explain the differences to an average Joe.
I don’t think Starka is of Belarusian origin ie originated on present day territories of Belarus. The drink is more likely to be of Polish origin. But I am not sure about that. Poles are making it commercially to this date, while Lithuanians have Starka flavoured vodka. Belarusians are not making it at all. Our culture and culinary traditions have been russified and sovietised the most. Many dishes and drinks described in books published in the 19th century and ethnographers’ scripts are not cooked anymore in Belarus but still present in Lithuania. Soviet government promoted certain types of dishes through restaurants, shops and public catering inventing new dishes. The same goes for Belarusian folk songs & dances, and traditional musical instruments. Some traditional musical intruments were excluded such as our beloved bag-pipe, while other instruments played elsewhere in Moldova and south-western Ukraine were put as Belarusian traditional instrument. Many things were done by the approval of the government affecting culture of people during urbanisation.
Anyway, I think Starka means old, as the drink was aged in oak barrels. Not sure why it would be called after stork bird.