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Updated on the 1st and 15th of every month

...An Indepth Analysis

by Sir Bender

Once in a while a man needs to take a break...fortunately I am not mortal and therefore no such thing is required for me. In fact, just recently I have been going on more and more benders. I've learnt a few interesting facts along the way - don't run up $450 bar tab on your boss's credit card; having more alcohol-induced blackouts than days in the week is doable, but not recommended; and excessive amounts of alcohol cause impotence...errr...so I've heard. I've also had the chance to meet a couple interesting people, or was I seeing double again? Yeah, maybe there was only one of them…Anyway, the point is that she was a true alcohol connoisseurs - a Vodka buff (Stephany) to be exact. Considering Vodka is my favourite, it would be fitting that I interview her.

Sir Bender (S.B): In a couple of words, how would you describe Vodka?
Stephany (S.): Let's see...I would qualify it as a crystal-clear liquid, whose translucency and sparkling lustre are only matched by the purest of Alpine spring waters; the comparison being even stronger due to the freezing cold which surrounds and emanates from the glass, covering it almost immediately by a thin layer of foggy mist.

S.B.: Right...are you sure you haven't had this Alpine spring water before you came here?
S.: HAHAHA! No, sorry to disappoint Sir B.

S.B.: Just don't let it happen again…anyway, what would you say you like the most about the alcohol?
S.: Well, I think one would hardly expect such a glacier drink to fire up everything from the throat till the stomach - and it is this contrast in between an icy appearance and a burning taste which makes vodka so unique and known for the past 600 years - and what I really like about it!

S.B.: Yeah, same here...maybe a more down-to-earth question this time. What are the drink's origins?
S.: The drink itself originated in the cold Siberian steps of Russia somewhere in the mid XVth century. Its evolution is inherently related to the cold, long winters of Northern Europe, hence its central position in such countries as Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Byelorussia, or Finland.

S.B.: And how can I make this Alpine water. Or whatever it was you called it?
S.: Well, Sir B, it is a powerful and passion-unleashing, yet very simple drink, which can essentially be distilled from any type of grain, and acts as a good accompaniment to any meal. The best vodkas are considered to be made when filtered with birch charcoal, a characteristic tree of the Siberian taiga.

S.B.: More importantly, how do you drink this Northern European beast?
S.: Serving vodka should enhance as much as possible the contrast in between its cold appearance and its inner fire. Ideally, it should be kept in the freezer the night, or at least a few hours before - a simple option is to store it outside during the long winter nights. Vodka reaches its best consistency and flavour well below zero…Some even suggest the glass should be frozen as well - not to let any heat whatsoever disturb the drink's purity. Although it is used as a base for many other mixed drinks, to fully appreciate its taste, nothing should be added. No tonic, no juice - and especially, no ice. Vodka and water, though so resembling, just don't match.

S.B.: Sheesh! That was a concise answer...pleeeeeeease go on.
S.: Oh sure! Drinking vodka can be split up in three stages, as it is commonly done with many other spirits: smell, look, and taste. As it warms up in one's hands and in the room, it releases this peculiar grain small, which already allows distinguishing in between different types and brands. Frozen, it should be sparkling, clear, with a faint creamy or bluish tint, again depending on its origin. Just before drinking one should inhale, let the vodka straight down, with a possible short pause to sense all the taste on the palate, and then exhale - the opposite will usually result in somewhat unpleasing sensations due to the alcohol vapours filling your lungs. Then just wait to feel as the freezing cold changes itself into the fire which can make you forget the -30 outside… and all of your problems along with it.

S.B.: Ok, since it appears that you are not familiar with the concept of sarcasm, I think we are going to stop the interview here. Thank you!
S.: Oh, it was my pleasure, in fact in XVth century Finland...

S.B.: NO! That's ok, THANK YOU!






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