March 12, 2020

An Upside to Warm Winters



An Upside to Warm Winters
An assortment of vodkas looking for a new home. Would you be willing to take one in? Th1234, Wikimedia Commons

Russia has had a ridiculously warm winter this year. Fortunately, there's an upside to those melting ice caps: alcohol-related deaths are down.

According to Interfax.ru, in January 619 Russians died from alcohol poisoning. That might sound like a lot, but it's actually down 37.3 percent versus 2019. Likewise, 153 persons died from alcohol-related exposure: 46.1 percent fewer than last year.

The head of Russia's National Union for the Protection of Consumer Rights, Pavel Shapkin, explained to Interfax that the warmer temperatures "reduced the alcohol burden on public health." This is backed up by a recent trend: wine sales in early 2020 have increased, while vodka and cognac sales have slowed.

Maybe the lines at that distillery tour you've been meaning to take are shorter now?

 

Happy Birthday, Vodka! 10 Shots of Trivia
  • January 31, 2017

Happy Birthday, Vodka! 10 Shots of Trivia

In 1865, vodka joined bears and matryoshkas as an eternal symbol of Russia. Here's how it happened, plus nine trivia tidbits on Russia's most beloved, harmful, and historical libation. 
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Moscow and Muscovites

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Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
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Russia Rules

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The Spine of Russia

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22 Russian Crosswords

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The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

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Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.
The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

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Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

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The Best of Russian Life

The Best of Russian Life

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Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.

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