The Russians have much to answer for but, in their favour, they gave the world vodka. Or a wee voddie, as they say in Maryhill. And not so wee at that. The Moscow-Maryhill link is little documented; probably for the best. Those who have been party to that link will remember little of its significance. For despite its benign appearance, vodka can be a killer. Treat it, however, with respect and it will repay you in a price above rubies. Or rubles.
Others, outside of Maryhill, like it in ultra cold shots to accompany a silver bowl of Beluga. Quaite naice, as they say in nearby Kelvinside – or even, Morningside. But such a combination is more common in Knightsbridge, supped by those oligarchs who have managed to dodge the current Russian taste for poisoning their expats.
Poland, which crafts several wondrous varieties of its own, also lays claim to wodka provenance but the jury, as they say, is still out.
All that argument over a bag of potatoes. Which can also be fashioned, of course, into chips. Cue, once more, Maryhill. A bag of chips washed down by a glass of girders: that's voddie and Irn Bru to you, Vladimir. Here's how it's done but don't try it at home...
For the faintly civilised among us, however, vodka can often be put to a far better use: namely in a cocktail. Its crisp, clean taste, backed up by an almighty kick, is the first ingredient many choose to base their Friday fun upon. Here's a goodie I invented last Friday evening at 6pm precisely. I call it...
A Spring in Your Steppes
Throw 4 ice cubes into cocktail shaker
5 fl oz Stolichnaya Vodka straight from the freezer
Juice of a lime
1 fl oz sugar syrup
1/2 fl oz peach schnapps
Good dash orange bitters
White of an egg
Add soda water to fill
Hold down the top very firmly and shake
Garnish glasses with slice of lime or lemon then pour.
There may be enough for four measures. Possibly. It's not an exact science, this!
Coming soon – another vodka-based classic, helped along with a very special ingredient given to me by a most artistic chum. Watch this space!