Top 5 vodkas to help you stay warm during a Russian winter

Are you planning to visit Russia in winter? If so you should learn more about the best brands of Russian vodka. This drink will not only help you stay warm during the winter months, but with the right appetizers will become a part of an unforgettable traditional feast.

Any vodka has its own character, recognizable taste and optimal gastronomic pairs.  Each example below is excellent for cocktails (with the exception of no. 4) or for drinking straight. Vodka is best enhanced when paired with a calorie rich and often salty appetizer. To drink it properly it should be substantially chilled. Many connoisseurs store it in the freezer prior to consumption.

1. Russian Standard Platinum

This is probably the most popular Russian vodka in the world. Famous well beyond Russian borders, Russian Standard Platinum can be seen at parties in Italy, at dinner celebrations in the U.S. and in expensive restaurants in London and Paris.

This vodka is known for its neutral character, for achieving the highest degree of purification possible and a lack of additives. This vodka is a great base for numerous cocktails, although it's also good in its pure form.

Try it accompanied by marinated olives and pieces of fatty herring. You won't regret it.

2. Tsarskaya

This elite vodka from St. Petersburg is produced only from durum wheat and water that both underwent a multi-level purification. Tsarskaya has studied the formula of vodkas that were served on the tables of Russian tsars from the Romanov dynasty and have used it as a foundation for their product.

Tsarskaya is especially good with black or red caviar and thin slices of rye bread. It is a noble component for cocktails, especially shots.

3. Beluga

This ultra premium vodka is probably the most expensive brand of Russian spirits. The bottles that hold this vodka deserve special mention because each of them features a small figure of a beluga sturgeon that is attached by hand.

The vodka itself is extremely soft; when reaching your throat, it coats it like oil. Beluga vodka goes perfectly with fatty Russian fish: sturgeon, beluga or starry sturgeon. It is also a wonderful pair for pates and duck terrines.

4. Beloe Zoloto

The unique and easily recognizable taste of this vodka is reached thank to ginseng root essence. Beloe Zoloto (White Gold) is known for its slightly harsh taste and vivid character and is an excellent match for fatty salads and marinated mushrooms, especially black and white milk-caps. This vodka is not ideal for cocktails as it is not neutral enough for this purpose.

5. Pyat Ozer Premium!/assortment/tastes/premium/

This Siberian vodka is prepared using the cleanest taiga water and Alpha grade spirit. The “pyat ozer,” or five lakes, for which this vodka takes its name, is a remote spot on the border of the Novosibirsk and Omsk regions. It is characterized by its crystal purity and instantly recognizable taste. It goes down easily and softly and is especially good when accompanied by traditional Siberian appetizers such as smoked omul, or thin slices of stroganina, a raw frozen whitefish.

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