Vodka. Interesting facts. Best russian vodka.


Which is best russian vodka ?
Any connoisseur will prove his choice of russian vodkas: this is soft, that is hard, that one is all «burnt» (counterfeit). I worked in biggest russian vodka company (in marketing department) and I know that  VODKA is ALL THE SAME! There is no best russian vodka. Same cheap vodka, depending on positioning, marketing and image can be sold as for 700 rubles as for 300 rubles. Price includes advertising and brand costs. The price itself does not matter, because it is regulated by the state in this very lucrative industry. Exported and imported brands automatically become twice expensive. So filter system, melt-clear water, pine nuts, herbs and things like that do not play any special role. Of course, there are specific tastes and types of vodka: with horseradish, honey, birch buds, pepper etc. So my advice is to focus on design that you like and the average price (about 300 rubles).

There are hundreds of vodka brands. Some of them are very promoted like: grey goose, beluga, absolut vodka, skyy vodka, smirnoff, finlandia. But it’s not authentic vodka, not russian. It’s just advertised names, we don’t usually drink it in Russian. We choose local, national companies and brands. There are lots of russian vodka manufacturers producing sometimes absolutely crazy brands :

Vodka called “Sterva” – Bitch (giant lipstick),


Matryoshka (very popular as a souvenir),

kingroup_3водка матрешка и закусон

you can meet different gift packages with shots…

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…and even so-called «chekushka» (a quarter small bottle) and «stoparik» (individual100 gr. shot).


Traditions and jokes associated with vodka:

  • You need at least 3 people to drink vodka, 2 guys will seek a third one for the company.
  • Empty and unfinished bottle should not be left on the table.
  • Ultimate stage of drunkeness is called “ti menya uvajaesh?” – “do you respect me?” or “ti menya obijaesh!” -“you offend me!” (usually people say it,  asking you to drink with them, insisting). In this case, the refusal may be followed by offense and maybe a fight. Other common expressions, that characterize this process are : «davay po-odnoy» (let’s drink just one) “po-malenkoy” (a small one), and «chut chut» (just a little bit) .
  • Another folk slang expression is “poymat Belochku” (catch a squirrel), “dopitsya do Belochki” (drink to squirell). Belochka it’s a diminutive term from “belaya goryachka” – “delirium tremens”.

Although  there’s nothing funny. Because delirium tremens – literally shaking blur is a result of alcohol  abuse. It’s expressed in nonsense, with visual, audio and/or tactile hallucinations, chills and fever. Hallucinations are threatening, often presented by small dangerous creatures (insects, devils). It rarely develops from intoxication right away and is associated with an abrupt cliff binge , its development usually occurs in 2-5 days after the abrupt withdrawal of alcohol.

Facts and tips of how to drink russian vodka :

  • Vodka can’t be mixed with anything. This is a brutal drink. Vodka drinks and cocktail recipes with vodka, mixture with juice or martini – it’s fake, not russian style. Although a mixed-drink of vodka and Red Bull is popular in clubs or russian cocktail called “Ersh” (vodka with beer) can easily kill. Anyway russians prefer a glass of tomato juice and a glass of vodka separately, not in a Bloody Mary.
  • Vodka is not washed down with another drink, we drink it with food (zakusivat’) snack – zakuska. For example it’s usual to have some vodka with pickled herring.
  • Vodka is drunk with stacks (shot of 50 gr.) in one gulp, at once, without stopping.

Traditional Russian vodka «snack» is a choice of: green onions, black Borodinsky bread with salt, herring with onion rings, pickles (but not small sweet one – big and solty), piece of lard or boiled potatoes. These snacks are not considered to be a full meal, it’s used to «eat along» (i.e. take bite after toppled stack to kill the smell and taste of alcohol). You can buy at any local store, but it can be found in any cafe.

Therefore you should know when and how to stop. The inscription on any alcoholic beverage says: «excessive alcohol consumption is harmful to your health». So how not to get drunk? How to say “No” as it’s stated in this popular soviet propaganda poster.



  • You should eat a lot and tightly all the time (that is why the feast is so fat and full of meat).
  • You must drink more fluids.
  • You should not mix drinks.
  • Do not drink with strangers, even if they invite you cordially. Generally vodka is rather a situational drink in «intimate» gatherings.
  • “Opohmelyatsya” – freshen the nip: when you drink alcochol (even beer) again the next day or even morning . It is a direct way to drinking bout. If you feel bad, take Alka Seltzer or soluble aspirin.
  • In some situations (no matter sad or happy)  you might be strongly offered and asked to drink. As the say «there is always an occasion». The refusal may be perceived as personal. But one is followed by another and ends in a simple booze. If you want to opt out, say that you are medically «encoded» against drinking.
  • Don’t drink with unknown girls, even very attractive. Nice girls do not drink vodka.
  • Don’t walk the street in a very drunken state. Of course, it’s not that dangerous in Moscow, but it’s better to take a taxi and avoid meeting police.

Na Zdorovie. To your health!

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