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How to drink Vodka
Title and verbage from a "Russian Blog"

Russians are renowned for drinking a lot of vodka staying sober. That’s not something to do with biological inheritance but with the way we drink. Russians believe that foreigners don’t know how to drink. They don’t eat while drinking. They mix cocktails. They sip vodka instead of taking shots. They drink vodka with highly carbonated sodas. In short, they do everything to get drunk from the minimum amount of alcohol. May be it has something to do with innate Western avidity or expensiveness of alcohol.

Russians, on the other hand, do everything to stay sober while drinking as much alcohol as possible. How do we do it? We try to neutralize alcohol as long as possible. I try to outline the basic principles of vodka drinking for uninitiated.
One hour before the party

1. Eat a couple of boiled potatoes.

2. Drinks one or two raw eggs.

3. Drink one or two table-spoons of olive oil. Sunflower oil will also do.

Thus it’s guaranteed that at the Russian party you will stay sober for at least one bottle of vodka. I’m not kidding. Raw eggs are the most important part of Russian pre-party preparations.
At the party

1. If you start drinking vodka – drink only vodka. No beer or wine. No water or juice. Carbonated drinks are taboo.

2. Drink vodka only in shots. Never sip.

3. Eat immediately after taking a shot. Russian zakuskis are often translated as appetizers. That’s not quite correct. Zakuskis are something you ‘zakusyvayesh’ with after taking a shot of vodka. They are very important to neutralize alcohol. That’s why they all contain two most important alcohol neutralizers – acid and salt. I recommend taking the following sequence:

- immediately after taking a shot – two slices of lemon;

- then some salted cucumbers, pickles, marinated tomatoes or caviar.

- then something with a lot of oil: herring (traditionally with cold boiled potatoes and onion), sardines, or shproty (small smoked sprats in olive oil);

- then traditional Russian salads, like Oliviye or Herring with boiled beet and mayonnaise. Almost all Russian salads come under heavy mayonnaise dressing. Remember – acid, salt, eggs and oil. Ukrainians and Southern Russians prefer smoked lard with garlic but it’s a zakuska for professionals.

4. Only three first vodka shots at a Russian party are ‘obligatory’ so to say. That means you have to take them if you want to show you’re a friendly person but not an unsociable person. After that you can ‘miss’ one or two shots. Just say, “Ya propuskayu” (Literally, I make it slip) and cover your glass with your palm. That doesn’t mean you can abstain from drinking till the end of the party. It means (excusing yourself that you’re a foreigner) can take one shot out of two your Russian guests take.

I think, some Russian party traditions need to be explained here. In Russia we party around a big table with bottles and zakuskis. We drink only when someone makes a toast and we drink all together. The person who makes a toast usually pours vodka to all glasses. Taking a bottle yourself and drinking vodka without others is a faux pas. Actually you (and all others) are ordered to drink after a toast. Everyone at the party is supposed to make a toast – being a foreigner is not an excuse. So be prepared – buy yourself a book on party toasts (there are a lot of them on sale in Russia) and learn some by heart.

5. Zakuskis part of the party take about an hour – or something like 200 grams (4 shots) of vodka. Then comes “goryacheye” (hot dishes). Even though zakuskis could be very filling – you should eat goryacheye if you want not be become drunk.

6. Actively participate in intellectual talks around the table. Mental activity is probably the best method to keep you excited but sober. Try, for example, to drink two pints of beer while reading a philosophical book and see the result.

7. At the end of the party come tea and cakes. Don’t miss it too. This way you show your hosts that you’re survived the party without dire consequences.

Now in the course of 4 or 5 hours you drunk a bottle of vodka (500 grams) and you’re only slightly tight.
After the party.

1. Keep a small bottle of beer in refrigerator. Wake up at about 5 in the morning, drink your beer and go back to bed. It prevents hang-over in the morning.

2. If the early morning beer didn’t help (it usually does), drink a glass of brine from the jar you kept you pickles in.

Many Russians recommend taking a shot of vodka in the morning to fights hang-over. Don’t do it. It helps only alcoholics. If you’re not, it will make things worse.


Having been to Russia there is a lot of sense in this.  It is the polite thing to finish off a bottle to show that your host has provided something that you like to drink.  Go visit 3 people in a night and you can be really hurt the next morning unless you plan ahead and eat right.

The Jesus of Cool
I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide
FASCINATING! I gotta try some of that stuff.
No Reserve, No Retreat, No Regrets!!!
See.........nowhere does it say anything about RedBull or caffiene!Tongue

Good read,thanks.Smile
All of that sounds too much like work for me.

Besides -- pickled herring and vodka? Caviar and vodka?

Sounds like a great way to "talk to Ralph on the big white phone."

Having been there and done that I'll believe 50 million Russians ahead of one ScoopKW[eyeout]
The Jesus of Cool
I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide
Cigar Penguin Wrote:See.........nowhere does it say anything about RedBull or caffiene!Tongue

Good read,thanks.Smile
1. If you start drinking vodka – drink only vodka. No beer or wine. No water or juice. Carbonated drinks are taboo.

Red Bull is carbonated!
i can drink twice the vodka as I can beer or wine.
Lol, that's crazy! Raw eggs?
The best part of traveling is experiencing local customs and tradition. In 1984 the US Rotary club of Dracut, MA set up an exchange program for twenty members of the the Russian Rotary club of the Central Federal District (area around Moscow). This was the first Rotary exchange program that Russia had ever participated in.

We had two gentlemen stay with us Stepan a doctor who was head of the largest hospital in Moscow he spoke English fairly well and Kesha who was in charge of school physical education for over 60K children; he did not speak a work of English when he arrived.

They often sat at the kitchen table after dinner and sang for our family, something you don't see in the US. They were very festive, but did not drink while at our home. Looking back now I wish that I had thought to buy them a bottle of Vodka, but I was only 19 at the time and my family that lightly drinks social did not realize that as the host this would have been appreciated.

I brought them to a mall, can you say culture shock. They were like children so amazed. Even though they were very successful in their careers they received wages that were below what I was earning part time installing sheet rock at school break.

They stayed for two weeks and when they were ready to leave we gave them each a bag of presents for their families. When Kesha saw that we had given two giant sets of magic markers for his little girls he cried. He said thats all his girls had asked for, that they could not get them at home and that the trip had cost his family so much that to spend another $10 on presents for each of his four children was just not possible.

Experiencing other cultures opens your eyes and lets you know how lucky you are to be American. They also showed me that family and good friends can make up for a lack of money or any material things.
Rubie Wrote:Lol, that's crazy! Raw eggs?
Confusedhock:  [Image: eck15.gif]
If Sonny had EZ-Pass, he'd have survived that hit...
Never apologize mister, it's a sign of weakness. - Capt. Nathan Cutting Brittles

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