|How to drink Vodka, the Russian Way
||[Jan. 23rd, 2004|10:39 pm]
The Bear in Winter is an alcohol-free game. However, with the assistance of a little role playing, we will maintain the illusion of alcohol. The role of "vodka" will be played by plain water, run through a Brita filter. The role of "red wine" will most likely be played by lingonberry juice diluted to the appropriate color. The role of "white wine" will most likely be played by apple juice. "Scotch" and "Port" will be played by water diluted with an appropriately colored syrup. Special Guest Appearance of champagne will be played by bottles of sparkling pear juice.|
The role of "soda water" will be played by itself.
For those characters who for religious or personal reasons choose to exchew alcohol, the aforementioned soda water or plain water combined with flavored syrup creates a popular Russian drink known as sherbet.
And, of course, there will be hot tea available throughout the flight. Coffee may be available on request to passengers who bribe the kitchen staff with sufficient flattery.
For those of you who can't wait to hit the vodka, here is an excerpt from Anthony Bourdain’s A Cook's Tour which hints at the appropriate Russian method of imbibing:
Zamir showed me, step by step, how to drink vodka while we waited for our reindeer to be served. First, if at all possible, make sure you have food present. Even a simple crust of bread will do. We had an enticing selection of traditional appetizers in front of us: pickled garlic, cucumbers, mushrooms, some smoked eel, a little sturgeon, some salted salmon roe, and a loaf of heavy country bread.
Step one, demonstrated Zamir, is the toast. To others present, to your parents, to your country – anything will do. Hold a full shot of vodka in one hand and food – bread is easiest – in the other hand. Exhale. Inhale slowly. Knock back your entire shot in one gulp, immediately inverting your glass over the table to allow the microscopic last drop to fall out, proving you’re not a wuss or a reactionary revanchist Trotskyite provocateur.
Then take a bit of food. If you don’t have any food, a long, lingering sniff of your wrist or cuff will do. (I know it sounds strange, but trust me.) Repeat the procedure up to three times every twenty minutes throughout the drinking period. This is as fast as your system can absorb all that alcohol. If you follow this regimen carefully, you can and will retain a state of verticality throughout the entire meal and into the post meal drinking.
Also, some further advice on drinking vodka and eating pickled things from "Mother Russia"