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By Nicholas Ermochkine

Synopsis: Vodka is having fun with extraordinary attractiveness within the West this day. specialized vodka bars are establishing far and wide Continental Europe and the united states. it really is changing into more and more stylish to drink vodka neat. the pinnacle eating places in long island, Paris and London now not have misgivings approximately serving caliber iced vodka with high quality gourmand dishes. top rate vodkas are on a regular basis came upon at the cabinets of retail wine retailers reserved for cognac, euax-de-vie and whiskey. yet ironically, in Poland and to a lesser measure in Russia, vodka's recognition is waning because the center category detect wines and spirits imported from the West. what's taking place right here? This neat ebook explodes the myths surrounding vodka, unravels its historical past and describes its construction. the fashion and tradition of vodka ingesting are articulated in spellbinding type. this can be really one for the line.

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Extra info for 40 Degrees East: an anatomy of vodka

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This magic potion apparently helps to compensate for the dramatic loss of water, potassium and magnesium, which may result from an excessive evening. But if all else fails, the Russians have just come up with the ultimate solution. «Bezpohmelnaia», literally «no-hangover» vodka. The brand name speaks for itself. This miraculous elixir was conceived in a distillery in Ufa in the Southern Urals (quaintly called «The Golden age» distillery). It apparently contains alcosoft, an additive master-minded at the All-Russia institute of food bio-technologies, preventing hangovers.

If a «digestif» is wanted, the East Europeans themselves will very often, have cognac available from Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, or other wine-producing areas in close proximity. The other «digestifs» popular in Eastern Europe are variants of liqueurs, bitters (ranging from the excellent Czech Karlsbad Becher alias Becherovka to the unpalatable Hungarian Unicum or Latvian Rigas Balsams), or fruit brandies (Slivovitz-type). 23 24 Nicholas Ermochkine and Peter Iglikowski No one to date, including vodka’s huge marketing industry in the West, has come forward with an intelligent alternative to serving vodka with the eternal cliché of the blinis (blintzes or pancakes) and caviar.

Salted and pickled herrings were popular and practical; they could keep during the long winters together with pickled cabbage and dried mushrooms. The herring is perfect with vodka and gets the separate detailed attention it deserves below. Similarly, smoked fish like mackerel, trout or eels are excellent with vodka. Polish smoked fish is on the whole much saltier than the Western equivalent. A typical Polish smoked salmon will be very dry and salty to the Western palate and it does not make such a good match for a fine white wine.

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