Russian Drinking Tips

Under the category, you learn something new every day, my Russian colleague Gregory gave me a number of drinking tips last night, none of which I’ve heard of before.

Of course, the main advice was on how to drink vodka the Russian way – as well as not to get too smashed when drinking with experienced Eastern Europeans.

1. Make a toast, or after someone else has made a toast, clink your glasses with everyone.
2. Sniff a piece of pumpernickel bread.
3. Exhale quickly and completely
4. Down the shot all at once (I was mostly doing half-shots… I know. Wimp)
5. Without inhaling, put some food in your mouth – a half a cherry tomato, a pickle, etc.
6. Eventually. Inhale.

This reminded me of advice I’ve heard from smoking marijuana where you are supposed to hold in your puff as long as you can before blowing out. Which I heard from elsewhere was a myth.

The instructions above seemed pretty effective though – considering that 2 bottles of vodka were shared betwen 4 of us… (with others participating in the toasts but not the vodka) – and that I barely felt drunk (pat on the back for me).

Other advice:

  • If no food is available, then sniff your shirt sleeve instead of the bread.
  • Don’t mix drinking different types of vodka (=hangover)
  • Always eat something with a shot (which is modified advice from what I’ve always heard: don’t drink on an empty stomach)
  • Start from the lightest alcohol during an evening and end with the heaviest. Beer-Wine-Vodka is fine. Vodka followed by Beer is apparently disastrous.
  • Cheers. На здоровье

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