I second the White Russians. You'll have that fizzy taste … I was in your boat... "fruit" type drinks did it for me -- they seem to neutralize the nasty alcohol taste. If you use high-quality vodka, like Grey Goose, it'll be much smoother. This is all to say that Russia very much has a consistent vodka drinking culture, that it’s much more stable and understandable than most other drinking cultures. Normally, a cheaper vodka means a cheaper taste, but this bottle from Skyy is sort of bucking that trend, offering a pretty smooth tasting vodka for a budget-friendly price. But I love to party, and as a big guy, it takes a lot to get me drunk. After all, a serving of vodka delivers a nice punch of alcohol to your system, relaxing you and getting the dopamine flowing in your brain. It's unpleasant, but it kills the taste of alcohol in most of the drinks I like for a while. Not the sort of thing you knock back at a bar though! I've found these to be quite palatable. To learn more or withdraw consent, please visit our cookie policy. I mean its easy to drink vodka and monster in a 1:1 ratio so be careful! The best way to drink vodka is not in a martini. Mango Infusion. Or like the social interaction? Not only this vodka is enjoyable without any mixers, but it would be a grave and unforgivable crime to blend the drink with any other ingredients. Expensive vodkas will be more pleasant of course, but even reasonalby priced stuff like Stoli and Absolute are easily masked when mixed. Drinking vodka upon signing a contract, 1888. I take straight, chilled. Purity Vodka is my pick for a vodka to drink without a mixer. However if you want to be a little more classy a screwdriver (OJ and vodka) is also alright. Or at least the taste of it. The social implications are serious, even though it sems silly. Neat . - jungle juice (vodka (lots) + kool aid mix + sprite), mix to taste. Some actual tastes are acquired as not everyone is going to like whiskey, gin, or even vodka right out the gate. Like Atlas Obscura and get our latest and greatest stories in your Facebook feed. If you're doing it at home, experiment until you find a good proportion for your tastes. Vodka is not served in a martini, or a gimlet, or a screwdriver; in Russia, vodka is drunk all by itself, ice cold, and in a shot rather than sipped. If you enjoy drinking vodka straight, though, there are also plenty of more alcohol-forward vodka libations to concoct. you know take it easy. (Photo: A map showing the countries in the world where vodka has traditionally been consumed. Generous, and nobody has to know that you're only munching on spicy foods to drown out the taste of alcohol. If you don't like the way it tastes don't drink it. Medium-end saki will get you drunk quick without an alcohol-y taste. In fact Russian culture in general has very little regional variance. A one hitter is discreet, and allows for very precise dosage so as not to become too incoherent to hold up your end of the conversation. Maybe I don’t understand the question. The bottle also looks chic on any bar cart or counter, showing an illustration of Belweder, the Polish presidential palace in Warsaw. The most popular additions were herbs like bison grass and dill, and the even more popular black peppercorn. But taken as a whole it’s also extremely different than, say, wine culture in France, beer culture in the Czech Republic, or bourbon culture in Kentucky. (Photo: Vmenkov/CC BY-SA 3.0). We depend on ad revenue to craft and curate stories about the world’s hidden wonders. But as you're a big guy, who cares, right? Prairie Organic’s straight vodka has a sharp bite at first sip, but it carries less of a burn than many of the more common vodkas. When I was young, it was by choice. Atlas Obscura and our trusted partners use technology such as cookies on our website to personalise ads, support social media features, and analyse our traffic. Not from an ice luge. Usually I just have a shot as the first thing I drink. won't overwhelm you with the taste of alcohol... or beer, for that matter. It seems that the vodka market is really a sham, because the more you pay for vodka, the more "pure" and "without nasty aftertastes" it is. If your social sphere is the kind where ordering things like White Russians and Cape Codders might raise a few eyebrows, perhaps you could instead make a point of ordering chips and salsa or a basket of chicken wings or something. It sounds like a snark, but taste-test a Bud light versus, say, a Stella Artois, and you'll be shocked at how true that is. I prefer to put some in my mouth and swallow. If we look more deeply into any of these, we can learn not just how people around the world partake in the near-universal consumption of alcohol, but also get some insight into the people themselves: the traditions, the history, and their character. This is why the screwdriver is such a popular drink: The vodka provides the strong, and the juice acts as both the sweet and the sour (though I like to add a bit of lime juice to give the sour an extra kick). Vodka and energy drink is the best way imo. Some beers taste more smooth than alcohol-y to me - to the point where I only drink beer, no wine or liquor anymore. Adding fresh mango pieces to vodka creates a tropical hard drink. Smooth and creamy but with a definite kick. Russian Standard Vodka Sounds to me like you should smoke some weed. “They’re very superstitious, the Russians,” she says. Another vote for any vodka mix drink. Although whisky can make you feel sick if you chug a bottle, paradoxically if you take it easy it can really settle the stomach. diazepam, clonazepam, flurazepam). I drink straight whiskey, and actually enjoy it. If you have the time, you can make your own infused drinks! Like us on Facebook to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. A friend of mine takes a 40ounce bottle of white rum and lets it sit for weeks in a covered bowl also filled with mashed up berries (usually raspberries or strawberries). It's less likely to give you a hangover than other spirits. [1] X Research source Vodka is commonly made by fermenting either grains or vegetables. While it's hard to … You can get your sillies on, and no hangover, just some wooziness and thirst the next morning. I can understand the question, from the standpoint of a non-whiskey drinker, in the same way that I often wonder how anyone can stand the taste of coffee (I do not drink coffee). The word for a toast in Russian is “tост”, which is pronounced… “toast.” It comes from the English word “toast.” These celebratory statements may start out simply—”to our host!”—but can quickly spiral from there into verbose meditations on honor and pride and family and friends and country. If you buy the cheap stuff, it's going to be harder. (Photo: Found: A Forgotten Copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, Russia's Patriotic Alternative to Coca-Cola Is Made Out of Bread. At bars in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn’s Russian (and Ukrainian) neighborhood, there’s no casual way to drink vodka. Please click below to consent to the use of this technology while browsing our site. Herlihy attributes this to a general consistency in climate and topography, much unlike, say, Italy, and also to a historically strong and centralized government in Moscow. (Photo: Itinerant1/CC BY SA 3.0). Any ideas on dealing with this problem? According to their website, the flavor is "rich and complex" and leaves a "long, peppery and warm" finish.Such a fine whiskey is clearly best when served neat; adding it to a glass of coke would be royally screwing over your drinking experience.. So Russians instead will only drink when there’s an occasion, though those occasions can sometimes be more legitimate than others. The problem there is the same as the alcopops - the stuff is so sweet you want to throw up. THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT OF DRINKING IT. Neat drinks also are served at room temperature. As with other national alcoholic beverages, be they rice liquor or whiskey or wine, Russians drank vodka because the raw materials—cereal grains—grow readily in their territory. Yeah, kids drinks. Consider supporting our work by becoming a member for as little as $5 a month. It was even long defined as "without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color" by The Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). The taste of cranberry juice masks alcohol extremely well...in fact, bartenders hate pouring these (also known as "Cape Codders") because they get sent back frequently with comments like, "I can't taste any alcohol." Some of the lighter whites might be in order - especially if you spritzer them... although then, of course, you're running into that girly drink territory. Like the Russians. My non-alcohol-liking husband likes vodka tonics, especially made with grey goose orange. I am assuming that you dislike beer as well as the taste of liquor, but beer's taste, while entirely unpleasant to those who dislike beer, is completely different than the taste of liquor. A photochrome of Moscow, c. 1890. Mass-produced American light beers (Bud light, Coors light, etc.) You can throw back tonic water or ginger ale or what-have-you to keep your hands busy at the party. Keep drinking, and not always in large doses -- just do it regularly. Many of these reasons have to do with the harvest cycle of the grain used to make the drink; holidays tend to cluster in the late fall and winter, just after harvest, when vodka is readily available. I'm a lifelong teetotaler. So really when you pay for classy vodka you're just paying for them to filter out all the shit that's normally in there. The only thing that one can top it up with is soda water. But he did not get the quiet death he was seeking. vodka is drunk by itself, and ice-cold. (Photo: Drinking vodka upon signing a contract, 1888. Also you can chill the vodka and then drink shots of it with a nice chaser (coke, energy drink… A wedding, a funeral, the birth of a child, a business deal sealed, a religious/national/local holiday, a successful harvest—these are all appropriate reasons to drink vodka. Get tested. Straight vodka is one of the best things you can drink during a night of boozing: A jigger contains about 97 calories and no sugar or carbs. But sipped, with food. Most vodka aficionados believe that drinking vodka in its pure form is the proper way to enjoy this beverage. Try a whisky and ginger ale. Patricia Herlihy, a professor emeritus at Brown University, author of Vodka: A Global History and The Alcoholic Empire: Vodka And Politics In Late Imperial Russia (about the latter, the wry and funny Herlihy says “despite the title, it was a very dull book”), says there is no consensus. There’s a reason why many consider it the king of vodkas. It will take a fair few alcopops to get drunk, however. These are, basically, snacks: pickled vegetables and fruits like cucumbers, cabbage, and mushrooms; cold meats like tongue and chicken liver; acidic salads of tomato and cucumber; dried and cured fish; open-faced sandwiches containing all of the above. I suppose you could simply switch to marijuana, but that would be to re-enforce he troubling hint I find in your first sentence. The purpose of drinking alcohol shouldn't be to become wasted; that's a trap. :-). They usually have a far lower alcohol content. Some was pretty nasty in taste and smell, and so flavors were added. Russian vodka, and Russian drinking culture, is remarkably consistent across the vast Russian territory. [I'd suggest staying away from mixed drinks involving gin, but I think that's mostly personal prejudice on my part. Choose a plain vodka to drink. It’s considered a premium brand because of its crisp taste that you can savor straight or with other drinks. I speak from experience: On a recent spring night, waiters hovered over us to make sure we drank the vodka in the proper Russian fashion, a slice of pickled cucumber in hand waiting for us to finish drinking our tiny goblet-like shot-glasses of ice-cold vodka. Herlihy told me a story of a Russian man on his way to see his girlfriend who made it a point to drink in honor to each individual electric lamppost on his long journey. If you're someone who doesn't eat foods with a variety of tastes (i.e. They don't even taste like alcohol--midori especially. Or third them, perhaps. juices, as others have mentioned) are right on the mark. [Most people do go too heavy on the vodka - you may want to work out the proportions on your own.]. Start with something like Corona which is light and harmless and everyone likes, rather than something like Budweiser, which really is vile bitter and piss-tasting, or the fancy expensive dark beers which taste way too deliciously beer-y for someone who hates the taste of beer. The problem with alcopops is that they're so sweet, drinking them in the quantities required to get a bit tipsy can make you feel pretty sickly. A sugar-rimmed shot glass and slice of lemon is nice. Stick to straight spirits. Valium and other benzos are relatively hard to get and expensive, not in the least physically addicting. I can't really tolerate the taste of alcohol either, but a couple of glasses (or a couple of bottles, depending on your tolerance) of inexpensive sweet champagne (I prefer Asti Spumante) or dessert wine (such as a muscat) pack quite a punch - these will, of course, be hard to come by unless you are drinking at an actual restaurant, so I used to buy a bottle with which to "pre-party" before actually heading out. Every weekday we compile our most wondrous stories and deliver them straight to you. (Its literal translation is “on health,”* and it’s used in the same manner as “you’re welcome.”) But there are plenty of kind of stock cheers, many of which are collected here. Try to eat or drink whatever is unpleasant quickly after drinking the alcohol for the best possible effect. I never have, but lately, I haven't been able to drink much at all. “You wouldn’t randomly drink, you wouldn’t say, ‘Hey Ivan, come on over and we’ll have some beer or some vodka tonight,’” says Herlihy. To truly savor vodka, you’ve got to do it … Vodka is supposed to be flavorless and odorless (at least, in that its flavor and odor are of pure ethanol), but in the early centuries of vodka-making especially it differed wildly in quality. As I grew up, I found that being a socialable young, I had a lot of explaining to do when I was out with people who drank. Ordering jungle juice at a bar or amaretto sour is not a good idea. Unlike some drinking cultures in East Asia, especially Korea and Japan, the rules for pouring vodka are not quite so strict in Russia. As for why, she had no idea, but it might be of a group with the loud exhale after the toast. These drugs don't perfectly emulate the social and pharmacological dynamics of ethanol consumption, but they are noted for eliciting similar anxiolytic effects. It has a very clean, pure freshness, with a deeply satisfying subtle flavour. Herlihy says she noticed that Russians will also place empty bottles under the table rather than somewhere in sight. It was sitting in a library in a Scottish mansion. You could drink mild drinks, drinks that don't taste like alcohol. Food is a fundamental part of any Russian vodka-drinking activity and vodka is never, ever drunk without food. When choosing the best vodka to drink straight, you will generally want to avoid almost any vodka that comes in a plastic bottle, because those spirits are generally of lower quality. It's similar to drinks on the rocks, in that the drink is designed to be sipped slowly so you can enjoy the distilled spirit's unadulterated taste, but without the dilution. Hey. (Photo: Vodka on sale in a Russian supermarket. For example, taking a shot of vodka can be followed by licking salt off the back of your hand or the space between the forefinger and thumb before biting into a slice of lemon. But cordials are the best taste masker in my experience - vodka or gin or even guinness with really thick lime or blackberry cordial. It is that simple. Drinking vodka in Russia. Vodka goes good with citrus juices like orange, grapefruit, lemonade, someone mentioned cranberry, white russians, etc.. Once I had this stuff called "jungle juce" I'm sure you can find recipies online, here's. An unaged spirit distilled and filtered repeatedly to achieve smoothness and clarity, vodka has had a reputation for blandness. (Photo: Anthony Knuppel/CC BY 2.0). Sometimes the drinking purpose is silly, a tendency Russians are aware of and make fun of. Many Americans will semi-jokingly attempt to perform a Russian toast by saying “na zdorovie,” pronounced something like “nostrovia.” This does not mean “cheers” or “to life” or anything like it, and it’s unclear why it’s so penetrated non-Russian cultures. Layer by Layer: A Mexico City Culinary Adventure, Underwater Happy Hour w/ The New York Aquarium, The Secret of Seattle's Disappearing Hill, An Elegy for India's Single-Screen Cinema Palaces, The Man Who Walked Across Japan for Pizza Toast, The Deadly Temptation of the Oregon Trail Shortcut, The Rare Seeds That Escaped Syria for an Arctic Vault, Found: Cases of ‘Trench Fever’ in Ancient Rome, How a Blacksmith in Jordan Created His Own Sign Language, In Naples, Praying With Skulls Is an Ancient Tradition, Inside a Domed Pyramid With Astounding Acoustics and a History of Miracles, See the Mysterious Horned Helmet of Henry VIII, Searching for Home and Connection Through Typewritten Poetry. I like to drink, but I don't like alcohol. The exquisite taste comes at a price however; a bottle will set you back at least $130. In Russia. And how else would you know if there was a reason if you don’t mention it, repeatedly and at length? There are rules, and those rules must be respected. See. Immediately after toasting but before drinking, most Russians will perform a very loud and obvious exhale, which is supposed to have some mitigating effect on a hangover. Follow us on social media to add even more wonder to your day. The "Learn to Like Beer" method, in case you're interested, is sitting down every night, doing whatever you normally do(TV, internet, etc), while forcing down a beer. GHB is very dangerous, the "awesome I'm high" and the "awesome I'm in the ER" is very thin. Offer available only in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico). I find that to be the most efficient way, if not the most pleasant. Even today, it never fails. I am new and trying to get into the drinking vodka more seriously as a stand alone, straight up, drink. There are a few variations to be aware of, however. The most common? Though often presented far differently, the cosmopolitan also bears a likeness in composition to the kamikaze cocktail.. Try a weak drink an evening, switch off every few days until you find one you like. So toasting is incredibly important in Russian drinking culture. It seems you cannot get over your dislike of the taste of liquor, but maybe you can learn to like beer. Cities like Moscow and Novosibirsk, a whopping 1,700 miles apart, have much more in common, than, say, New York and Chicago, which are separated by less than half that distance. There are some vegetal notes to it when drunk straight … The finish leaves a hint of white pepper bite on the tongue. A map showing the countries in the world where vodka has traditionally been consumed. I highly recommend against taking it. They're sweet, the taste of the alcohol is masked well [and they use vodka, which is less offensive than any other hard liquor], and they taste not quite like chocolate milk. I don't think anyone suggested this explicitly, but since you probably won't completely avoid tasting the alcohol, you could minimize the amount you have to drink. Winner will be selected at random on 01/01/2021. (Photo: Marco/CC BY ND 2.0). Partly this is because the alcohol content is so much higher than with alcohols like wine and beer that it would be sort of dangerous to treat them the same way; an everyday dinner in Russia is not accompanied by vodka the way an everyday dinner in France comes with a glass of wine. Regardless, vodka has been made in Russia (and Poland) since at least the 14th century. It’s not my favorite liquor though. © 2020 Atlas Obscura. If I go to a bar and do not order an alcoholic drink, people will ask why. The cosmopolitan is a relative of cranberry coolers like the Cape Codder. (Black pepper vodka was apparently a favorite of Peter the Great.) Throw it in the freezer for about 30 minutes, and toss the shot glasses in there too. The vodka is quadruple-distilled without any additives, creating that signature clean taste that makes it one of the best vodka brands available. Any kind of vodka and fruit (e.g. “The more ornately and the more eloquently you can express that occasion, it confirms that it’s very special,” says Herlihy. Offer subject to change without notice. A simple slice of pickled cucumber. every meal is pizza and some sort of soda) you're going to need some adjustment to the new world of flavor. Use code WONDER20 for 20% off all online experiences! vodka is drunk by itself, and ice-cold. Crystal Head (As to which came first, the vodka or the holidays—who knows.) Coca-Cola. And, according to Russian superstition, you want to give the vodka a little help so as not to burn up your insides. Don't inhale as you do a shot, the fumes will make you cough and you'll ruin yourself. gin and orange juice is my drink, and I can rarely taste the gin unless they use some got-rut stuff. Cheap anything, especially vodka and tequila will taste like paint thinner and would probably make most of us gag. Considering their trademark alcohol is known to be colorless, odorless, and flavorless, the mores of Russian vodka etiquette is anything but bland. A sure fire way to ferret out the non-square types at social gatherings too. All posts copyright their original authors. Oh yeah, my preferd way of getting drunk is to have a shot (or swig) of vodka, and then drown the flavor with another, non-alchoholic drink (like sprite, gatorade, etc). Maybe dig up a cocktail list and look for drinks with milk in them? After a long day at work or at a particularly stressful event, there are few things more refreshing than a cold vodka cocktail. Soda is always a good choice when it comes to mixed drinks. [2] X Research source Grain-based vodka tends to taste smooth, even fruity while vegetable-based vodka can taste harsh or medicinal. You could try taking one of the benzodiazepines (e.g. I've known a lot of people who dislike the taste of beer-hell, everyone at one point, no one took their first sip of Bud at 13 years old and thought it was delicious-and the only solution is learning to like beer by drinking it. Also, as a guy drinking anything that's, uh not manly is not cool. Do this for however long it takes from beer to go from bitter, vile, and piss-tasting to crisp, delicious, and refreshing. Remember John Lennon got thrown out of a bar for ordering a brandy alexander. There are many traditional food accompaniments to vodka, sometimes referred to as zakuski, though zakuski can be eaten without vodka. You can taste the glacial purity of … Vodka and zakuski is one of the truly great drinking pairings anywhere in the world: the harshness of the vodka, regardless of its quality, is mellowed delightfully with fatty and acidic foods. How are you with wine, too? “Nobody knows who first invented it or whether it was simply appropriated,” she says. The International Bartenders Association recipe is based on vodka citron, lemon-flavored vodka. It's definitely safe as long as you don't drink too much. If you’re the designated shot-orderer, skip the Cement Mixers and B-52s. Stoly is a good Russian vodka, very clean taste. (Photo: Oleg Golovnev/shutterstock.com). A mini bottle of Stolichnaya vodka. (Photo: Cognoscenti*/CC BY 2.0). The origin of the cosmopolitan is disputed. In the late 18th century during the reign of Russian Empress Catherine the Great, vodka was widely accepted as an elite… I can detect even small amounts and have been known to grimace when drinking even a wimpy drink. Drink a strong alcoholic drink. I read an article where even the cheapest nastiest vodka tasted suprisingly good after being run though a normal Brita-type filter a few times. No purchase necessary. Sign up for our newsletter and enter to win the second edition of our book. A drink with a high alcohol concentration (such as whiskey) has the effect of a mild anesthetic on your taste centers in your mouth and nose. Grapes do grow in the southernmost parts of the Russian Empire as it has usually existed, most notably in the country of Georgia, but these areas are small and could hardly supply the vast Russian territory with booze. Since others have suggested pot and valium-types, you can also consider GHB, which in low doses is described as being very similar to alcohol, with no hangover effects. The anxiety reducing properties of ethanol, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates are thought to stem from their effects on the brain's gamma-aminobutyric acid systems. Liquers that are already sweetened, like Malibu rum, don't taste too alcoholic to me either. Join 6,459 readers in helping fund MetaFilter. Obviously, one should be wary of combining different depressants as they can act on the CNS synergistically. Absolut Vodka isn’t something you just gulp down and get a hangover with. Vodka is a distilled spirit made traditionally of grains like wheat and rye, and more recently of potatoes. Taking a shot like a pro is actually simple and straight forward. Beer, though also made with cereals, has really only caught on in very recent decades: “Frankly I think they wanted to get a kick right from the beginning,” says Herlihy, by way of explaining why such a high-alcohol beverage became the drink of choice for Russians. You could put in an inhaler, but if you don't like the taste don't do it. (Photo: In Russia. Try stuff where the marketing seems aimed at pre-pubescent girls and you might be OK. Vodka on sale in a Russian supermarket. If you find you like it, try it as a cocktail and see if you can handle it (that way you won't have to ingest as much liquid). Typically, writes Jenya Banks over at the Russian Language Blog, you’ll pour for others before yourself, and rarely if ever pour a single shot for yourself and nobody else. Actually, I'd recommend slowing down once you start feeling the effects at all, and don't shoot a bunch right in a row. *Update: We added the literal definition of na zdorovie to clarify its meaning. Ah, vodka. Could be expensive if you're a big guy though. Otherwise, it should be preserved in the freezer and poured straight into the glass. If I don't have a drink for a couple weeks, I'll notice a little burn from a drink -- I'm assuming it's the burn of the actual alcohol you're disliking and not the taste of the liquor. The question really wasn't "How do I get high" but "How do I acclimate myself to the taste of alcohol"? Trust your taste buds. And yes, a shot. 10. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean Russians don’t like mixing vodka with other flavors. Lambrusco is very easy on the tongue. If you're at a bar, order it tall the first time- same amount of booze, but twice as much mixer as the normal cocktail. History. Even if you don’t like the taste of booze, you can probably get down with a glass of bubbly. A "Shut the Fuck up and Drink it" (1/3 whiskey, 1/3 tabasco, 1/3 vodka) should mask the taste of alcohol. The ginger also really calms the stomach. Drinking rules vary greatly throughout the world—from Korea to Mexico, different beverages have different rituals. If you want to look like a pro, you have to order like one. Follow us on Twitter to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. For centuries, Russians have celebrated their Slavic roots with kvass. Remembering When London's Pubs Were Full at 7 a.m. Why the World’s Greatest Toasts Happen in Georgia, Tolstoy Ghosted His Wife Then Up and Died, Toasting Your Friends Once Involved Actual Toast. When you say you "like to drink," you mean you like to be drunk? But even this flavored vodka, still sometimes drunk today, is never mixed: do not ask for Red Bull or seltzer if drinking with Russians. (Photo: A photochrome of Moscow, c. 1890. That hasn’t stopped Russia and Poland, the two countries who both claim vodka as their national drink, from fighting sometimes legal battles over the origin of the spirit; Vice produced a documentary on the subject. Oh yes, what people have said about vodka - it's easier to cover the taste of that than just about any other spirit. What are the weirdest alcoholic spirits you know of. Ask MetaFilter is a question and answer site that covers nearly any question on earth, where members help each other solve problems. If you don't like alcohol you can try those "non-alcoholic" beers with .5% alcohol/volume perhaps? Fors some reason, I can't taste ANY alcohol when I drink a gin and tonic. It is crisp and clean and lighter-bodied, so it’s easy to drink straight or in a martini. “They would never think of putting vermouth in it, or cranberry juice, or orange juice, or anything like that,” says Herlihy. It really is the most delicious drink. Stay away from plain hard liquor -- whiskey and bourbon are your nemesis. “Oddly enough, Russia doesn’t have dialects, even,” says Herlihy. It is also considered important to always finish an opened bottle of vodka, and not to leave any undrunk. It’s possible that a Russian, a Pole, or even (less likely, but still possible) a Ukrainian came up with the idea, but Herlihy thinks it’s equally likely that the process for distilling liquor came from an interloper: Genoese traders, maybe, or German explorers, or some random group of European mercenaries. (Photo: Library of Congress/LC-DIG-ppmsc-03842). To talk about Russian vodka etiquette we have to first talk about who invented vodka, a surprisingly contentious debate. With the high alcohol content (approximately 40% to 43% alcohol by volume) and bold flavor profiles, a glass of straight whiskey can be like a slap in the face to your taste buds. “You drink it neat, in the small tumbler.” Flavored vodka is something else entirely; flavorings have been a part of vodka-making since it was called vodka, but they weren’t today’s cotton-candy or grapefruit or peach flavorings.