What's Served at Russian Bars?

Drinking alcoholic beverages in Russia can almost be called one of their national traditions it is enjoyed so much. Infact, Peter the Great was famous for his drinking shows and the book called ‘Khrushchev Remembers’, describes avidly Stalin’s drinking bouts that took place almost nightly. Another reason, which may explain the love for alcoholic beverages by the Russian people, can be understood if you know a little about the Russian weather. Here the people go through long and very cold winters and a drink can keep you from freezing up. Infact, the Soviet government felt that this was such a good way of keeping the people warm that during these periods they would keep the vodka fairly cheap.

If you really go back in time the Russian people then had very little experience with alcohol before Christianity was introduced. There was only really three times during the year that it would be found necessary to place alcoholic beverages on the table. Each time it was due to a holiday being held, like the birth of a child, a funeral or a military victory. It differed a bit with those who were of higher society. Here alcohol would be used during expensive feasts put on by Great Princes, when new contracts were going to be signed at political events or when new contacts were going to be arranged. The really popular and strong beverages were the honey wines, “braga”, which is a strong bread beverage and beer.

Russian vodka became increasingly popular not only as an enjoyable drink but also due to its medicinal value, which helped its fast spreading around the country. The first bread wine to be made was in the middle of the 15th century, at the Chudov monastery in the Kremlin.

Over the centuries the manufacturing of alcoholic beverages differed and improved. Every upper class man had his own brand of vodka and it was considered impressive to have an array of different vodkas made with different additives, like zest vodka or apple vodka. Other drinks enjoyed by the Russian people are apple cider, vishnnyovka, black Russian classique, cherry nalivka, kvas and many others. Majority of the Russian beverages are matchless and cannot be compared to other drinks in other countries around the world.


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