In Kiev, tipplers like it hot

Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:29am EDT
 
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By Kara Newman

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Have you seen all those flavored vodkas on the shelves lately? It's getting nutty out there: Whipped Cream, Cotton Candy. I recently received a sample of Chocolate-Covered Pretzel flavored vodka.

A bartender in Kiev, Ukraine would have a hearty laugh at these sweet-toothed flavors. And then he might push across the bar a shot of fiery pepper-infused vodka.

This is the original flavored vodka, my friend. Buckle up.

"I recommend trying spirits like Honey Pepper Vodka, Horseradish-infused Vodka and homemade Cranberry Vodka," says Yuriy Sokiryan, bartender at the Vintage Cocktail Bar in the Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv (www.fairmont.com/kyiv), which opened in March.

In addition to more familiar vodka brand names, consider trying Ukraine's local take on flavored voddy: horilka pertsivka (vodka flavored with hot peppers), widely available at Ukrainian restaurants and bars.

"I also suggest that all our guests taste Kvass and Uzvar," Sokiryan adds. "Kvass is a fermented beverage made from black or regular rye bread, while Uzvar is a soft drink made from dried fruits and berries, sometimes with the addition of honey."

Both are consumed "pure" or straight up - as are most flavored vodkas.

Of course, should that not be to your taste, classic cocktails and straight-up pours of more familiar spirits also should be easily available.   Continued...