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 (, 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...