Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Vodka a la Ruse. This is How They Do It.
Yesterday's blog discussion focused on introduction and history of the savory caviar accompaniment of vodka. However, in my research I found that there's more than meets the eye to this limescent libation of the former Soviet Union. Enough so to focus at least an equal amount of time to another fine aspect of the Russian invention and gift to the world - that is, if vodka's your drink.
Russians are known the world over as having the ability to consume startling amounts of vodka over an extended amount of time while keeping perfectly sober; then further having the tendency to wake refreshed and ready to meet the day with a clear healthy head devoid of hangover.
How can this be possible? Well, indeed there are a number preparations, if not precautions to which Russians adhere that to other remain unbeknownst. Certain Russian natives have been overheard laughing at the mistakes Americans, in particular, have been highly guilty of, such as drinking on an empty stomach, mixing cocktails and other types of alcoholic drinks, and possibly worst of all... sipping, rather than knocking back, in a single shot, the powerful infusion. Many methods and strategies abound the appropriate manner of consumption. However, I have selected that of Shenanchie from http://pages.zdnet.com/shenanchie/russia/.
Vodka A La Ruse
Drinking vodka a la ruse means to drink vodka the traditional Russian way. The Russians have had vodka for more than 600 years and have developed a short set of etiquette rules. Vodka, for the Russians at least, is not to be mixed. It’s to be chilled to around 10 °c and served. No ice is added. After all vodka is perfect by itself. Russians don’t drink before or after meals. They drink during the meal! Do not sip your vodka. Vodka is to be drunk with gusto, and swallowed in a single gulp. Luckily that gulp is only a charka. A charka is an ancient Russian measure of liquids used for vodka, it contains a single dose of vodka, which is around 150 grams.
The prescribed a la ruse method of drinking vodka is:
Exhale air through your mouth before you drink vodka.Then hold your breath and drink the vodka.Put your empty glass back on the table.
Take a piece of rye bread to your nose, inhale deeply. This last step is known as zanyukhat (sniff it off).
However, before you can have that gulp you must say a toast. Some simple phrases that go with vodka-drinking (usually in the form of a toast), go something like:
Nu, budem! - Let’s live!Na adorovye! - Here’s to your health!Za nas! - Here’s to us!Khorosho poshla! - Feels nice!Khorosha Chertovka! - Damn good drink!Krekaya, zaraza! - It feels damn strong!
The Russians recommend that prior to beginning a Vodka 'tasting' to eat something 'rich'. Gee, what can be richer than 'caviar'. Oscetra is perfectly acceptable. So, why not..?