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Posts Tagged ‘russian standard’

On the dawn of the anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, David and I invited friends over for dinner as we hosted a Russian themed meal.  It has been a plan in my head since coming home from a visit to St. Petersburg this summer.  The plan taking place on the weekend before the anniversary of the fall of communism was merely a coincidence.  Despite as much, we started the night off in the only appropriate manner: drinking the last of our Russian Standard Vodka purchased in the motherland.

Most people only know about three things about Russia:

  1. Russians drink a. lot. of. vodka.
  2. Communism and its father Karl Marx
  3. Vladimir Putin’s pecs.

Despite my strange interest in all three areas, I will only answer to the first point.

Russians do drink a lot of vodka.  When you go to a decent restaurant, you will be served, without ordering, a shot of vodka and you are expected to drink it right away whether it is lunch or dinnertime.  If you are out to eat with a group of people, you will order a bottle of vodka for the table and everyone (who wants to) is given a shot glass to partake in the bottle.  It actually isn’t that difficult to go through an entire bottle in one sitting.

I needn’t explain the plusses of drinking vodka at lunch or dinner.  Instead, I will merely point out the other main reason why Russians drink so much vodka.  They live in RUSSIA.  Do you even realize how far north people live in this country and how cold it can get?   We weren’t even 60 degrees north of the equator while in St. Petersburg, it was summer and it was kind of chilly.  Think of the people who live 9 degrees further north and even further north than that – how else are they going to stay warm?

Lastly, vodka is the national drink and literally means “little water.”  However, it was not until 1893 when Dmitri Mendeleev (who you may remember from such places as the Periodic Table of Elements and Mendelevium) researched the properties of the spirit to determine that the optimum alcohol content for drinking should be 38% (it was later pushed to 40% for taxation purposes) and was written in to law.  A little more than a decade later, Mendeleev was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the Periodic Table of Elements.  Because of grudges and arguments conducted by a certain committee member, Mendeleev was not awarded the honor despite two nominations. To get back on point: Russians take their national drink seriously.

With that, it should come as no surprise then that the Russian vodka we drank was beyond exceptional.  It was impeccably pure and no matter how much I drank, I did not once encounter even a glimpse of a hangover.  The vodka we drank was just as good to take shots of as much as it was to sip.   Because of this, it was most unfortunate that the bottle of Duty Free Zarskaya vodka was confiscated in Germany.  :::Sigh:::

Since this visit, I have come to realize that we can and should own shot glasses and should not fear seeming like a Frat House.  Shot glasses do not make a frat house; light up beer signs do.

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