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Drink Your Vodka Like Russians Do

9. November 2012 by Lorena 0 Comments

In Russia, one of the most common drinks, whether on its own or with a meal, is vodka. Many aficionados swear that the spirit brings out the best in any food.


The first spirit to come to Russia was the plain and simple aqua vitae, which was made by distilling grapes. In Russia, grain was far more prevalent, and became the material of choice for making vodka. By the 17th century, vodka was well-established as a ceremonial libation. There are a few traditions associated with the consumption of vodka in Russia. To enjoy the drink at its best, we recommend following some of the tips below.



A drink of vodka is almost always preceded by a toast. It’s considered rude not to raise your glass to toast to the health of your companions.


Adding mixers to vodka is not done in Russia; the drink is always taken neat. Vodka is best drunk chilled to subdue any harsh notes and bring out the liquor’s best qualities.


When vodka is not served with a meal, it is still served with small snacks. These are called zakusky, and are similar to Spanish tapas. The best flavors to go with vodka are salty and piquant ones. Some recommended zakusky to go with your vodka toasts:

  • Russian pickles
  • Pickled herring and warm potatoes
  • Cold beef with horseradish
  • Blinis and caviar


In the end, perhaps the best advice comes from an old Russian saying:

There cannot be not enough snacks,

There can only be not enough vodka.


There can be no silly jokes,  

There can only be not enough vodka.  


 There can be no ugly women,  

There can only be not enough vodka.  


 There cannot be too much vodka,

 There can only be not enough vodka.