Category Cultural features

Vodka snack is part of Russian culture

Vodka is able to highlight the advantages and hide the disadvantages of any dish. Each admirer of this drink has his own opinion on the best way to eat vodka. Snacks are not food, they are part of our culture. Foreigners who have lived in Russia do not even try to translate this word into their native language, they just say “zakuska”.

Vodka can be drunk with any food, excluding sweet dishes. For a friendly male company, a good snack will be a piece of bacon, a head of garlic and a loaf of black bread. In severe cases, you can even get by with one apple for three, but this is already extreme.

It is better to start eating vodka with hearty hot dishes, and then gradually move on to cold ones. In combination with vodka, pickles, mushrooms and fish are especially good. Well, green onions and herring are perfect for vodka and hot boiled potatoes.

Connoisseurs of the feast divide the vodka snack into three types:

  • Nutritious dishes (hot meat, fried fish) – are eaten first, their task is to remove an unpleasant aftertaste in the mouth and a burning sensation in the throat after drinking vodka.
  • Enveloping dishes (salads, soups, hot sauces) – it is better to try them when you are a little satiated. These snacks reinforce the taste of the previous step and slow down the intoxication. It is recommended to take a short break between eating nutritious and enveloping meals.
  • Washing dishes (mushrooms, pickles, vegetable pickles) – prepare the body for a new intake of vodka, refreshing the taste. Served last.

PS Not only people, but also dogs can drink and eat vodka. In the next video, Dick the dog shows his skill :).


The most common beers

All traditional beers are divided into ale and lager depending on the fermentation method. But there are several varieties that cannot be attributed to any of these groups. We’ll look at them separately. This is the international classification used in most countries.

Ale is a top-fermented beer harvested at a relatively high temperature (15-25 ° C). It has a high alcohol content and a fruity flavor. Made from barley malt. The most famous representative of ale is porter .

Lager is a bottom-fermented beer. It is harvested at 5-15 ° C, then kept at a temperature close to zero for 20-120 days. During aging, the lager is saturated with carbon dioxide and clarified. At the final stage, the beer is filtered and filled into bottles or barrels. The main raw material is barley malt.

Lager beer is the most popular in the world (80% of sales). Lager includes the best types of beer represented by the brands Amstel, Carlsberg, Budweiser, Becks, Stella Artois, Heineken, Baltika and Obolon.

Unconventional beers

Lambic is a Belgian beer brewed by spontaneous fermentation. Brewer’s yeast is not added, microorganisms enter the wort from the air. For fermentation, only barrels in which wine was previously stored are suitable.

Barley and non-sprouted wheat grains are used as raw materials. To reduce the bitterness of the drink, lambic hops have been dried for over three years. Fermentation lasts about a week, the resulting beer is aged for several years.

Some breweries mix young lambic with more matured varieties for a variety of flavors. While this variety is very rare in Russia, it is supplied only by the Belgian brewery Grand Cru Bruocsella.

Wheat beer – made on the basis of wheat malt. When it is brewed, the method of after-fermentation in a bottle is used, that is, the drink fully ripens while already in the bottle. In most cases, wheat beer is light hazy in color. But in some breweries it is filtered and even made black. This is a traditional Bavarian summer beer.

There are also hybrid beers, which are a combination of ingredients and brewing technologies, and special beers – beers with different additives. But they have nothing to do with classic brewing.


The most popular vodka varieties in Russia

Experts distinguish vodka varieties depending on the degree of alcohol purification and production technology. Knowing them, you can easily navigate the assortment when choosing a drink. We will consider only those varieties that have already managed to positively recommend themselves.

Last time we found out that there are only two types of vodkas : ordinary and special. It is more difficult to deal with vodka varieties, since there are much more of them. Domestic producers, having only slightly changed the recipe and technology, immediately consider their product to be a new unique variety of vodka. In this situation, it is advisable to consider only those varieties that were developed back in the USSR.

Moscow special – is considered the vodka standard, the strength is 40%, it is made only from alcohols of the “extra” and “luxury” class (of the highest quality).

Russian – alcohol of the highest purity and specially prepared water are used for cooking. This vodka is also considered a reference, but its quality is somewhat lower than that of Moskovskaya. The standard fortress is 40%.

Starorusskaya – made according to an old recipe from high quality alcohol and drinking water. This variety has a characteristic vodka aroma; it is preferred by true connoisseurs of vodka.

Stolichnaya is considered one of the best Russian vodkas in the world. It differs from other varieties in softness, refined aroma and absence of impurities. The fortress varies from 37 to 42 degrees.

Wheat – made from selected wheat raw materials. The taste is mild without any third-party flavors, the strength is 40%.

Posolskaya is an elite variety of strong vodka made from extra-class alcohols. Differs in crystal transparency and complete absence of smell.

Lemon – vodka with a pronounced lemon scent, overwhelming the taste of alcohol. Thanks to this feature , women like lemon vodka very much, the strength is standard.

Kuban – in addition to water and alcohol, there are other additives in the composition: citric acid, orange and sugar syrup. Kuban vodka has a mild, slightly bitter taste and a pronounced aroma of citrus fruits. Fortress – 40%.

Siberian vodka is a traditional Russian vodka made according to the standard technology and has a higher alcohol content – 45%.

Jubilee – refers to the varieties of strong vodka, as it has a high alcohol content – 45%.

Strong – the name speaks for itself. This vodka contains 56% alcohol. It is advised to drink it only to those who have previously consumed less alcohol-containing vodka, otherwise the consequences can be unpredictable. Do not treat foreigners with “Strong” vodka!

Pepper is famous for a wide range of additives, the main of which is pepper. The alcohol content varies between 30-40%.

Extra – for the preparation of this type of vodka, ethyl alcohol is used, which has passed all stages of purification. Depending on the recipe, other flavor-enhancing components may be added to the composition along with the drinking water.

Hunting is not a classic vodka, as it has a high alcohol content – up to 56%.

Canteen – experts consider this vodka to be of the highest grades. Differs in a high degree of purification and mild taste, standard strength.

In addition to the aforementioned varieties, there are others: “Petrovskaya”, “Prazdnichnaya”, “Rossiyskaya”, “Zubrovka”. They have no distinctive features, the only difference is in the name.

From time to time, new varieties of vodka appear in Russia. For example, Gold of Russia, Imperial, For Three, Kalashnikov, Olympus and Smirnov. In their production, the most modern technologies are used (as the manufacturers assure). But it is too early to talk about the popularity of these varieties.


The best beer based drinks

Beer-based drinks primarily include cocktails and fruit mixes. Manufacturers try to surprise customers by creating different options and recipes. Sometimes, after such experiments, very tasty things are obtained. We take a look at 5 of the most popular homemade beer cocktails.


1. “Birmix”

Prepared by mixing light beer with fruit juice (lemon, orange, grapefruit or cherry). After several attempts, you will find the optimal proportion for yourself. I advise you to start by adding two parts beer and one part juice.

You can buy ready-made “beer mixes” in stores, but these drinks contain many chemical additives. Therefore, it is better to prepare beer with juice on your own. Buy beer and juice separately, then mix.

2. “Devil’s cocktail”

Thrill lovers will like it, not everyone will be able to drink the entire portion at a time.

Ingredients:

  • beer – 250 ml;
  • rum – 10 ml;
  • ground black pepper – 1 pinch;
  • instant coffee – 5 grams;
  • salt – 5 grams.

Preparation: mix all the ingredients and pour the cocktail into a glass. Top can be decorated with a lemon wedge.

3. Cocktail “Princess”

A female version of a beer drink with an original sweetish aftertaste.

Ingredients:

  • light beer – 150 ml;
  • white grapes – 1 bunch;
  • ginger – 1 pinch.

Preparation: remove the grapes from the bunch, cut the berries into halves and place in a beer glass. Add ginger, pour cold beer, let it brew for 1-2 minutes.

4. Cocktail “Hoof kick”

2-3 servings of this cocktail drunk in one evening cause strong intoxication, hence the formidable name.

Ingredients:

  • beer – 0.5 l;
  • sugar – 200 grams;
  • alcohol (96%) – 10 ml.

Preparation: boil beer, add sugar, stir thoroughly and remove from heat. After cooling to room temperature, add alcohol. The cocktail is well served chilled.

5. “Ruff”

The most famous beer drink of “lethal” power. But this is not just vodka with beer, you need to adhere to certain proportions, otherwise the result is unpredictable.

Ingredients:

  • vodka – 50 ml;
  • light beer – 200 ml;
  • lemon juice (sprite) – 1 teaspoon.

Preparation: pour cold light beer into a large glass, add lemon juice (sprite), remove foam and pour in vodka. Cover the glass with your palm, stir. The drink is ready, you need to drink it in one gulp.


Per capita beer consumption in Russia and the world – little-known facts

The level of beer consumption in a country depends on many factors: income of citizens, drinking habits, legal restrictions, the number of breweries, etc. It is also noted that in countries with a developed beer culture, the percentage of people who prefer strong alcoholic beverages is lower. But this does not apply to Russia, our citizens love vodka and beer equally. More on this below.

According to statistics for 2011, the average European level of beer consumption per capita is 70-80 liters per year. The leaders of the rating are: Czech Republic (112.8 liters), Austria (108.2) and Germany (106.7 liters). On average, each resident of these countries drinks 1 liter of beer every 3 days.

Per capita beer consumption in Russia is 65.3 liters, that is, two times less than that of the leader – the Czech Republic. More than others, people aged 25-45 are addicted to the foamy drink. More or less regularly drink beer 57% of the inhabitants of Russia, of which 75% are men. Experts call Baltika, Zhigulevskoe and Klinskoe the most popular beer brands in Russia.

Although on average Russians drink 20% less beer per year than Europeans, the domestic beer market is gradually shrinking (by 16% compared to the previous year). No growth is expected in the coming years.

This is due to legislative restrictions in recent years, in particular the ban on the sale of beer in public places, and the fact that Russians prefer strong alcoholic drinks (vodka, cognac, wine, etc.). Also, over the past few years, beer has been squeezed out of the market by other low-alcohol drinks – energy drinks and cocktails.

Interestingly, the world leaders in beer consumption – the Czech Republic and Austria – are not included in the rating of the world’s largest producers of this drink. China is the leader here, producing 2.430 million gallons of beer a year. In second place is the United States – 2350 million gallons. Only Germany, with 1,090 million gallons, made it into both rankings, finishing third.


Non-alcoholic wine – the usual taste without degrees

Non-alcoholic wine was invented over 100 years ago. In 1908, scientist Carl Jung received a patent for the right to produce wine without alcohol. The invention did not bring the doctor wealth and fame. In the last century, few people understood why such a drink was needed. But times are changing, now non-alcoholic wine is experiencing a rebirth, and there are reasons for this.

Most people who lead a healthy lifestyle have a negative attitude towards drinking. For them, non-alcoholic beer and wine is the only way to support the company and not be a “black sheep” during a feast. Non-alcoholic wine will also be appreciated by drivers who have to use their vehicle every day. Now they can enjoy the taste of wine without fear of losing their driver’s license.

The production of non-alcoholic wine is no different from classical winemaking, just one more stage is added – the chemical evaporation of alcohol. This method preserves the acidity and original taste of the drink. Modern technologies make it possible to make any wine non-alcoholic, regardless of its type and variety, from Beaujolais to Cahors.

It is impossible to completely remove alcohol from wine. Even with the most thorough filtration, 0.5-1% alcohol remains in the drink. After a few glasses of drunk, experts recommend getting behind the wheel not earlier than after 1-2 hours. Also, non-alcoholic wines are not recommended for pregnant women, as in some cases they can provoke allergies and other problems with the fetus.

Due to the complicated production technology, non-alcoholic wine is more expensive than usual. But there is a sense to overpay, since all useful substances (more than 100 different vitamins and microelements) are preserved in non-alcoholic counterparts.

Famous brands

German distilleries have been particularly successful in the production of non-alcoholic wines. Their brands Peter Mertes and Klaus Langhoff are popular all over the world. The price starts at 300 rubles per bottle. Marketing research has shown that in Europe non-alcoholic wines are interested in the most paying customers – people aged 25-45.

Taking into account the interest of consumers, several domestic producers announced their intention to expand their assortment with brands of non-alcoholic wine. There is reason to believe that soon this drink will be much cheaper.


On the possibility of drinking wine in moderation

Wine is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages, but the debate about the harmfulness and benefits of its use does not subside to this day. Each of the parties brings more and more arguments, trying to prove their case. We will try to consider this issue from the point of view of a neutral observer.

In France, there is a tradition of drinking a glass of red wine at dinner. According to statistics, it is the French who suffer from cancer and cardiovascular diseases least of all in the world. In terms of average life expectancy, they are second only to the Japanese. It is clear that long life and the tradition of drinking wine are not directly related, but there is still some regularity.

It is scientifically proven that wine contains antioxidants – substances that slow down aging, and other trace elements necessary for the body. But the benefits of wine largely depend on the quantity and quality of the drink.

Without harming yourself, you can drink no more than 200-400 ml of wine per week. The exact amount is determined by the health status, sex and age of the person. Moreover, the wine must be of high quality. Surrogate, fermented and expired drinks are dangerous even in minimal quantities and are not beneficial.

You can not drink wine for people who have contraindications: asthma, stomach ulcers, diabetes, epilepsy, migraines, allergies to substances in wine, taking antibiotics, etc. In large quantities, wine, like any other alcohol, causes alcohol dependence, liver cirrhosis and cancer.

Also, most doctors recommend that pregnant women completely abandon wine in the first weeks of pregnancy. But after 15-17 weeks, you can drink a glass of good wine, half diluted with non-carbonated water.

There are people who have limited the use of wine or completely abandoned it for religious reasons, this is their choice. The first ban applies to Muslims, they cannot drink any alcohol. Christians have more options, but they also have restrictions on wine during fasting and other holidays.


Ways to distinguish a fake from a real cognac

Counterfeiting of alcoholic beverages has reached an incredible scale. News about mass poisoning by low-quality alcohol comes with enviable regularity. The situation is unlikely to change in the coming years. In order not to become a victim of counterfeit, consumers need to know how to distinguish real from fake cognac. We will look at the parameters that you need to pay attention to when choosing a drink.


1. Consistency

Before buying, you should study the consistency of cognac, it should be thick and oily. For this, the bottle is turned upside down. If one large drop has fallen from the bottom or you see traces of liquid dripping on the glass, this is one of the indicators of a quality drink.

Often the bottle is completely filled with liquid, and it is problematic to identify a fake in the above-mentioned way. In this case, they look at the bubbles. If immediately after turning the bottle upwards, large bubbles rise up and only then small ones – with some confidence it can be argued that this is a real cognac, at least its consistency is close to the original.

Good cognac should be perfectly transparent without impurities and sediment. Its color shade depends on the aging period, the novelty of the oak barrels and the amount of caramel added. In case of turbidity or the presence of impurities, it is impossible to drink cognac.

2. Label

It should be glued neatly. Often the label of counterfeit cognacs is glued asymmetrically, defects and damages are visible on it. In expensive drinks, the label is embossed, resembling banknotes to the touch. It must contain all the necessary information (manufacturer, excerpt, etc.). I also advise you to check the presence of an excise stamp on the bottle.

If you see a label made on low quality paper or with a bad print, it is better not to buy this cognac. It is by the label that experts distinguish real cognac from fake, but it is almost impossible to do this at home, since special equipment is required.

3. Price

Good cognacs cost a lot of money, so don’t be fooled by cheap drinks, which in most cases are fake or of poor quality. The classical technology for the production of cognac is quite complicated, it requires significant material and time costs. No manufacturer will operate at a loss.

When fake expensive cognacs, for example Hennessy, the price of the counterfeit is usually 30-40% lower than the original. At the same time, the consistency and label of the counterfeit drink is not in doubt, since fraudsters use expensive and advanced imitation technologies, which are very difficult to recognize. The only protection against counterfeiting branded cognacs is buying them in trusted stores at the average market price.

4. Tasting

Already purchased drink can be assessed by smell and taste. Real cognac has a pleasant aromatic bouquet that changes upon evaporation. To check this, just pour a few drops of cognac into the glass and sprinkle them all over the glass.

First, an oak aroma should appear, which, after shaking and heating in the palms of the hands, changes to the smell of tobacco, fruit, etc. A counterfeit made from chemical additives always smells the same. A pronounced taste or smell of alcohol indicates a low quality drink or a fake.


Comparative analysis of bottled and live beer

Brewers all over the world argue about which beer is better to drink: draft, bottled, in kegs, cans, etc. It is difficult for an inexperienced consumer to navigate and choose the best option. To facilitate this task, I propose to discuss the difference between bottled and draft beer.

Real live beer can be stored for up to 10 days, then its taste deteriorates. If the shelf life is more than 30 days on the label, this is a pasteurized beer in which some of the nutrients are irretrievably lost. Manufacturers also use chemical preservatives to increase shelf life, many of which are considered carcinogens.

It is believed that ordinary live beer is sold in bottles, it is just that instead of barrels it is poured into another container. But this is not the case. To increase the shelf life up to 90-120 days, any bottled beer is pasteurized – heated, and then quickly cooled. After pasteurization, the beer “freezes”, natural fermentation processes stop in it, which negatively affects the taste.

Draft beer made according to the classical technology is never added to chemicals. Immediately after preparation, it is poured into barrels. Due to the sealing, the drink can be stored for up to 30 days, but most breweries recommend limiting it to 7 days.

Unfortunately, not all beer in barrels is live. There are unscrupulous manufacturers who add preservatives to it. There is only one solution to this problem – to drink beer of proven brands brewed nearby (in your own or a neighboring city). This will reduce the likelihood of drinking harmful chemical additives with beer. It may not be the best beer in the world, but you will be sure of its quality.

Another interesting point – the fullness of the beer taste is revealed only in the glass. The fact is that through the narrow neck of the bottle, the liquid enters only a small part of the receptors on the tongue, and the taste is felt incompletely.

Bottled beer is best drunk when you want to taste a particular brand. For example, we do not have live German beer on sale, since it is not profitable to bring it to us. In all other cases, I recommend drinking draft beer. But it must be fresh and brewed according to traditional technology.


Classic hot beer

For some reason, there is a stereotype that beer can only be drunk cold. Most Russians would never even think of trying hot beer, although in Scandinavian countries it is customary to treat guests to this drink and treat colds. I propose to consider the most popular recipe for making homemade hot beer.


Historical reference

Hot beer was invented by the Scandinavians in the 15th century. Several centuries later the recipe was adopted by Poles and Germans. The latter used the brew as a cure for coughs and sore throats. Gradually, hot beer, along with mulled wine, became a traditional European drink for the winter holidays, replacing tea and coffee.

In order to get really tasty and healthy alcohol in moderation, it is not enough just to boil regular beer on the stove and pour it into a glass. Hot beer, called beer mulled wine, is prepared according to a special recipe.

The classic hot beer recipe

Ingredients:

  • beer (any) – 1 liter;
  • sugar – 1-2 tablespoons;
  • carnation – 3-4 buds;
  • cinnamon – 1 pinch;
  • yolks – 3 pieces;
  • lemon – 1 piece;
  • orange peel to taste.

Preparation

1. Heat beer to 70 ° C in a saucepan beer (light or dark) along with cinnamon, cloves and zest of one lemon.

2. Grind egg yolks with sugar until frothy and slowly pour into a pot of hot beer.

3. Reduce heat, stir constantly until the mixture thickens.

It is very important that the hot beer does not boil over again, otherwise the yolks will cook!

4. Remove the thickened drink from the stove, pour into large glasses, add orange zest if desired and serve.

When treating sore throats and coughs, I advise you to add a few tablespoons of honey to hot beer. The patient can drink 1 cup a day. Beer mulled wine tastes good and does not cause discomfort.

You should not listen to the opinion of people who believe that beer should only be cold. Most likely, they just never tasted hot beer and are captive to their stereotypes. Not everyone liked blue cheese either, but now it is an exquisite dish.