In many social situations, great food is accompanied by great drink. And it doesn’t get any greater than real Russian vodka! But it’s not always a gourmet meal that seems to go perfectly with the smooth spirit. Did you know that the most popular thing that Russians eat with vodka are… pickles?
Pickling is very popular in Russia, as there are relatively short crop seasons and a need to preserve food. The brine in pickle juice, because of lactic acid, can aid in digestion and help maintain a healthy digestive tract. Pickle juice is also a great hangover cure.
Since the 18th century, it has been common for a zakuski, or a snack, to accompany your drink. Zakuskis can be a pickle, onion, potato, or even pumpernickel bread. If you truly want to drink like a Russian, you will have a zakuski nearby for when you finish your vodka shot (in one gulp!)
Shot lovers can also get their fill with a shot of vodka followed by a shot of pickle juice. The local blog EatPGH gave some tips for taking your first pickle shot in a post last year, which included, “Have another. Because you will want to after you’ve had your first.”
If you want to drink vodka like a Russian, prepare to smell the pickle juice. But no matter the food you choose to accompany your drink, remember to drink responsibly!