vinegret

In honor of the Winter Olympics now taking place in Sochi, we turn to Anya von Bremzen, author of Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking for culinary inspiration. For recipes and instructions on how to drink vodka, what to pair with it, and how to make Russian beet and potato salad, vinegret, and russian deviled eggs with caviar, see below.

Vodka

There are important rules to abide by if you want to drink like a Russian.

Most importantly, says Anya, never drink alone, “even alcoholics on the street will roundup a threesome usually to split a half liter.”

Once you’ve gathered drinking buddies, you say a toast. Then you clink glasses and bottoms up. Sipping is also verboten. After that you inhale, and before you exhale you nibble on a little something: zakuski.

Russian hors d’oeuvres: Zakuski

Anya gave us her list of some of her favorite zakuski, or Russian hors d’oeuvres that people eat immediately after downing vodka, in order to “stun the taste of the vodka and to make sure that you don’t get drunk.”

Her recommendations include: good dill pickles, herring served with relish of hardboiled egg and scallions, salad olivier, vinegret (see recipe below), boiled potatoes, canned peas, sauerkraut, and a simple dressing of sunflower or olive oil.

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