Spend a Long Weekend With Soviet Spirits

I can’t imagine anyone feeling very patriotic right now. If there is one thing we can all agree on, it is that things are going very badly in the US and America’s celebration seems dull at best. I’m never particularly patriotic , but I won’t let that stop me from drinking over a long weekend. (Not now, not ever.)

Anyway. I ordered a lot of wine (and caviar) during quarantine, mostly from the Russian restaurant Kachka just a few blocks from my apartment. Kachka wines are interesting, unexpected, almost entirely Balkan. There is also Soviet champagne , “Soviet champagne”, which is definitely not champagne. It costs $ 14, is very sweet and is perfect to mix with vodka.

According to Atlas Obscura , “The mass production of Soviet champagne was part of a broader propaganda campaign to showcase the cultural and economic progress made by socialism.” “It was like Coca-Cola in the Soviet Union. It is a symbol of the good Soviet life, “explains Yukka Gronov, author of the book Caviar with Champagne: Common Luxury and Ideals of a Good Life in Stalinist Russia.

The Soviet Union no longer exists, but you can still find Soviet Champagne in Russian food markets (and Kachka if you live in Portland). Mixed with cherry syrup, it tastes like a cherry soda so two ounces of vodka won’t go unnoticed by your tongue. If you can’t find Soviet champagne, any sweet sparkling wine will do. As for the cherry syrup, you can make your own or buy a bottle of Zergüt (or a similar brand).

To prepare this Soviet syringe, you will need:

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 tablespoon cherry syrup, such as Zergüt
  • 3 ounces Soviet Champagne (Soviet Champagne) or other sweet sparkling wine

Add vodka and syrup to champagne glass and stir. On top of a chilled Soviet champagne and a sip.


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