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Food and Drink

Russia - Food and Drink

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Drink

Vodka, imported liquors (rum, gin, etc), international soft-drinks (Pepsi, Coca- Cola, Fanta, etc), local soft drinks (Tarhun, Buratino, Baikal, etc.), distilled water, kvas (sour-sweet non-alcoholic naturally carbonized drink made from fermented dark bread) and mors (traditional wild berry drink). Beer in Russia is cheap and the varieties are endless of both Russian and international brands. It is found for sale (warm) at any street vendor in the center of any city and costs (costs double and triple the closer you are to the center) from about 13 Rubles (about 50 US cents) to 60 Rubles (about 2 US Dollars) Popular local brands are Baltika, Stary Melnik, Bochkareff, Zolotaya Bochka, Tinkoff and many others.

Mixed alcoholic beverages as well as beers at nightclubs are extremely expensive and are served without ice, with the mix (for example, coke) and alcohol charged for separately. It is advisable to drink your heart out beforehand, as drinking in public is legal.

Wines from Georgia and Moldova are quite popular (although all products from Georgia are illegal 2005). In Moscow and Saint Petersburg, most restaurants have a selection of European wines--generally at a high price. Please note that Russians prefer sweet wine as opposed to dry. French Chablis is widely available at restaurants and is of good quality. The Chablis runs about 240 rubles per glass ($8 USD currently). All white wines are served room temperature unless you are at an international hotel that caters to Westerners.

Soviet champagne is also served everywhere in the former Soviet Union at a reasonable price, the quality is on the level of cheap European sparkling wines. If you specify that you want your champagne "sukhoe" (dry) or brut, the champagne is surprisingly drinkable and on the same level as a Vueve Clicquot.


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