In Which I Take A Shot Of Vodka The Proper Russian Way

So what I was going to write about today is just one of those things I couldn’t bring myself to write about.  It is something that is connected to work and my new principal this year, and it’s just too disturbing to think about the possibilities of what was in my head.  The only thing I will say is it’s some of my perceptions about how she runs the school.
In its place, I bring you this special programming…
There are many ways to have a toast.  But in Chicago, I learned the proper way to do it in the Rodina…the Russian Motherland.  The Boss and I, on my particular whim, but after she found the place online, decided to visit the restaurant Russian Tea Time while we were in Chicago last summer.  I decided to order a vodka flight.  Along with the flight, I received instructions on the proper way to use this great Russian drink.


For many Russians and ex-Soviets the genuine act of drinking vodka constitutes a very special, if not hallowed, ceremony.  So, join “the club” and learn the bona fide way of drinking vodka.  We’ll give you the rules and the tools. You read, observe, and enjoy!
1.       Your two ounce shot of iced vodka, served straight, comes with pickle and pumpernickel bread bite. Keep it within reach.
2.       Announce a brief toast “Na Zdorovie!” – “To Your Health!”  Sniff your piece of bread deeply.
3.       Ceremonially say, “Nu..” (“So…”).  Take a deep breath. Tilt your head back, and down the entire shot.
  1. Exhale loudly, producing a sound just short of a whistle. Then, give a quick sniff to your slice of black bread in a quick ritual gesture.  (Some people smell their shirt sleeves, but this is optional).
  2. Eat your pickle neatly but quickly.
  3. Say, “Oh Khorosho” (“It feels good”), or “Khorosho poshla” (“It went down well”).
7.       Repeat the round in 15-20 minutes; slow down if you feel fuzzy warm, comfortable and your attention span is not at 100%.

I did this three times, one for each shot in the flight.  It was quite an interesting experience.  I felt slightly warm after the third, but my dinner helped balanced everything out.
I did try borscht.  Not a big fan.  The Boss did help eat it though.  I also had a platter of dumplings and a very delicious serving of beef stroganoff.  I HIGHLY recommend this place, even more so if you would enjoy Russian cuisine.  The food, the staff, and the experience were so wonderful.  Their website is if you want to check them out.

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