BobBobRicard Vintage Vodka tasting

After a vintage vodka tasting this is how you might think you would see the world….. But in reality, it was nothing of the sort. To Russians, drinking is about being social not about getting totally shitfaced. Or so our host, Russian Leonid Shutov would like me and my fellow diners to believe as we got down to eating Russian appetizers (zakusi in Russian) and drinking vintage vodka in his lush, gorgeous, diner deluxe as he likes to call it,  in the heart of Soho, BobBobRicard. Vodka is a palate cleanser to Russians, something that shouldn’t merge with the food but according to Leonid, it should be viewed as  a “highlighter” to each dish, bringing out the flavours. For this reason, good vodka is as refined or distilled as many times as possible so that you can enjoy the food and not be encumbered with an alcoholic taste or burn. Leonid told us that 80% of alcohol is absorbed within 15 seconds of drinking so a small shot is all you really need to enjoy the peak of an alcoholic hit, that nice feeling that starts in your belly and spreads throughout your body.  If you can taste the alcohol in vodka, you’re drinking the cheap stuff. Vodka should be chilled down to -18 degrees and then downed neatly as quickly as possible. A big bite of food, followed by a shot. And so on and so forth. We were served, I would estimate 20ml of vodka in small crystal shot glasses. I was a bit hesitant at the idea of downing shots of vodkas but really, with vodka of such quality, there is no need to worry. Of the vodka’s we had, the deeply chilled Kaufmann Vintage vodka 2003 (retail £250) stands out in my mind. The super premium Kauffman is only made every few years and only from Russian wheat in what is deemed to be exceptional wheat growing years. The Kauffman vodkas are distilled 16 times and a silver thread, which...

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