Vodka is not the same as Vodka-Russia's number one drink – Goose liquor

"Vodka is not schnapps, but it's strong," says Anatoly Gendin. The Russian journalist and writer knows all about the specialties of his homeland. For more than 20 years he writes about the delicious side of life.

Would he include vodka? In any case, he is the national drink of his homeland. The 61-year-old spoke to us about the "Little Water", Which simply belongs to Russia. A conversation between myths and amazing facts.

What is vodka actually?

Classic Russian vodka consists of grain alcohol, which is usually made from rye and wheat, and water, which serves to dilute the alcohol to the sales strength – usually 40% pure alcohol content. He has strictly no taste and no flavor. Unlike fires, which usually have the taste and aroma of the berries or fruits from which they are made.

So vodka is the same as vodka?

Not at all! The quality of the grain, the care taken in the case of fire and especially the water provide for the most varied qualities and have a direct impact on the purity of the final product.

How important is the water in the vodka?

The name says it all: The term vodka is a diminutive and is derived from "Woda"(Water) off. Vodka is that Little Water, And what a little water it is, the manufacturers also show on the labels and advertise with. "Specially refined water".

All conscientious producers prepare, refine, filter, and remove undesirable ingredients, even if they are the purest spring water. However, the distilled water is also not the best option, because the trace elements in the water do the final product well, shape its character.

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In addition, these trace elements are responsible for another important property: This vodka simply drinks easier. Some flavors such as honey, raisins, horseradish, wild herbs, forest and garden berries, or an infusion of pine nuts, to name just a few, contribute to this quality. For some of these additives, the vodka then likes to get some color. But classic vodka is absolutely colorless and in the best sense of the word a clear thing.

Can the "clear cause" be bad?

It may sound strange, but vodka also has a shelf life. Vodka reaches its optimum quality around one year after bottling. Over time, vodka evaporates and unwanted sediments can form, limiting the enjoyment.

Russia and vodka are a common phrase in Western Europe, synonymous with Russian culture and way of life, which unleashes a pile of traditional prejudice. But who really invented vodka?

There is an eternal dispute between Russia and Poland. But it is idle to argue about who has discovered this great beverage first. In the historical context, it also makes little sense.

I would like to express it diplomatically: It is very likely that the related Slavic peoples, who lived in close proximity and under similar climatic conditions, came up with this idea at the same time. Luckily for all friends of hard drinks.

A perfect keyword – how and why does the inclined drinker drink?

First of all, vodka is drunk in order to achieve a degree of drunkenness and thus to feel the pleasant accompanying sensations of intoxication. Drinkers become more relaxed, funnier, happier, more open and funnier. At least as long as they do not exceed a certain (and very individual) dose.

Vodka is easy in Russia

Vodka is easy in Russia

Copyright Irina Klimenko

Actually, the process of vodka drinking nothing special, because there is simply nothing to enjoy. That's why vodka is drunk quickly, with a sip and on ex! You almost try to get closer to the moment of drunkenness. Unlike fires. It can, should and must smell and taste to fully enjoy the fruit and berry aroma.

Keep a brandy in your mouth, let the aromas on the tongue and on the palate act. It takes a certain amount of time for that, because who rushes down a good fire in a sip, gives away half of the enjoyment and it remains only the intoxication. And vice versa the same. If you drink vodka like a brandy, this is a big disappointment: there is nothing to smell, as classic vodka has no flavor except alcohol.

To keep vodka from swallowing in the mouth is absolutely useless in culinary terms. By the way, one of many Russian alcohol proverbs says: "After the first vodka glass you do not eat anything". And that very precisely reflects the first priority in vodka drinking again. It is important to quickly feel the intoxicating feeling – every meal shifts this desired effect, so it is a hindrance.

What is the ideal drinking temperature?

As a rule, vodka is cooled down to 8 – 10 ° С before drinking, which means it is slightly warmer than the classic drinking temperature for champagne. It makes no sense to drink vodka ice cold, even if it is widespread. Ice-cold vodka will paralyze all taste receptors in the mouth for some time. Perhaps the Western European belief that Russian vodka should be served very cold has to do with common stereotypes: Siberian cold, ice cold vodka …

Do you want to eliminate further prejudices?

There are many misconceptions associated with Russian vodka. One of them is that Smashing the glass, The tradition of crushing drinks on the floor after drinking drinks – and not necessarily vodka – is based on an ancient wedding rite.

After the first bridal night, the guests served the bridegroom a glass of honey wine and followed his reaction closely. If his wife was indeed a virgin, the young man drank the wine and smashed the glass afterwards. If not, the glass was not smashed. This has nothing to do with Russian drinking tradition, especially with regard to vodka.

Do Russians need an occasion for vodka drinking?

Strictly speaking, an event can always be found – whether in the private life of a person or in public life: birthdays, weddings, funeral feasts, Russian legislation day, new job, promotion, dismissal, victory of your own football team, defeat of your own football team … with you in Germany it says, I believe:Where there is a will there is a way!"

It is exciting that, in contrast to the Western Europeans who are rather laconic at the table ("For the benefit!","cheers"), Russians practically always explain what they actually drink. On health, on the newborn, on the children, on the ladies present, on our achievements in space, on new creative assignments – and so on, without end. When the imagination is really exhausted, the unbeatable, ultimate table saying comes up: "There is no reason not to drink!"

Vodka also for dinner?

For the vodka you eat Zakuska

For the vodka you eat Zakuska

Copyright Irina Klimenko

From a culinary point of view, vodka is a universalist. Vodka is practically combinable with any meal, except perhaps desserts. Vodka is ideal with the heavy dishes: fatty, roasted, smoked meat, salty fish; generally to the salted. Among the best combinations is vodka and pelmeni to name: Typical national drink and typical national dish.

And then there are "Zakuska". Zakuska means food or food, which is eaten in smaller quantities immediately after each glass of vodka. After "Zakuska" you can go back to the current gear or change to the next one.

Classic Russian Zakuska are caviar, salted – not marinated! Cucumber or tomato and the Russian variety of sauerkraut, which differs significantly from German sauerkraut. Also very good are pickled apples, as well as salted or marinated mushrooms.

In Germany, vodka is often mixed – a horror performance for you?

Apart from the fact that vodka is an exciting base for numerous cocktails, which by the way are not necessarily gastronomic tradition in Russia, a clear one Yes, For the gastronomic mentality is very important: It is not common to mix vodka with anything.

This simple rule hides a centuries-old practical experience. Any attempt to drink vodka alternately or in combination with other alcoholic beverages such as wine or beer usually ends in collateral damage.

Vodka – Russian minimum consensus for poor and rich?

There are huge differences, too. In Russia, there have always been different vodkas – expensive and cheap. Good quality, or not very good. In fact, rich and poor have always drunk different kinds of vodkas. Everyone drank what he could afford.

In Russia's long history, there have been periods when state power has tightened vodka policy for economic reasons, trying to fight against alcohol consumption and alcoholism. In such cases, vodka became more expensive and unaffordable for many people. However, a lot of surrogate goods and self-distilled drinks came on the market, which drastically increased the mortality of the population.

How much does vodka cost in Russia?

The official retail price for legally produced vodka is, after deduction of all legal taxes and duties, not less than 2 euros. The upper price limit is open, because this is no longer a question of cost, but a question of marketing. Thus, e.g. a 0.5 liter bottle of vodka in a specially made bottle like to cost 50 to 70 euros.

One of the high-priced vodka brands, Vodka Kauffman, launched his vodka in original designer bottles a few years ago and positioned it as a vintage product, although the term "vintage", which is so important in viticulture, is not relevant to vodka production. The most popular and high-quality vodkas are in the price range between 5 and 7 euros.

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by the way: Suspiciously cheap vodka can sometimes be qualitatively different from a two to three times more expensive neighboring bottle in the supermarket shelf. Most likely these bottles were made in the same production hall, but the cheaper version was produced illegally on the night shift.

The day after the vodka – how does it feel?

Many Russians know only too well the hangover the day after the vodka consumption. In fact, this is a body poisoning, caused either by bad vodka quality, by an overabundant amount or, most commonly, by both factors together.

There are many effective folk remedies to combat cat killer. And all these remedies can be scientifically explained by analyzing chemical and physical processes in the body of a person who has drunk a lot the night before. But for a person suffering from "hangovers", all the explanations are completely uninteresting.

He (or she) is looking to eliminate it in Russia probably with brine of sauerkraut or canned cucumbers. The best remedy for a full-blown "hangover" is to drink with reason. That's always better anyway.