Funny what got me started thinking about vodka, even though I have an extremely limited history with the stuff.
It all started when I heard a friend of a friend had some of his (valuable) belongings stolen while moving locally. When I spoke to him, turns out he used the same moving company that we did ten years ago when we got something stolen. You know the type of guys companies like that hire – they look like they’ve walked straight off the set of “Lock Up: Pelican Bay Secure Housing Unit.”
Unfortunately for him, his loss was far worse than ours, because all that was stolen from us was an unopened bottle of Absolut Vodka. Two things that softened the blow were the facts that the bottle was a corporate gift and that we’re not vodka drinkers. And it turns out besides that one, I can only recall owning two other bottles of vodka in my life.
The first bottle was a novelty brand, M*A*S*H Vodka, packaged in an IV drip bottle, released to coincide with the grand finale of M*A*S*H in early 1983. My mother ended up drinking it over a period of months that year, and I’m sure the bottle is probably still up in my parent’s attic. So if I ever need a quick ten bucks, I’ll dig it out and list it on eBay.
The second was an off-brand I bought in the early 1990s when I was dating a woman who drank Bloody Marys, so I picked up something on sale. I don’t remember what exactly went wrong then, but I didn’t time things perfectly because the bottle outlasted the relationship. I brought the remainder to one of those “bring whatever you have” New Years Eve parties and let others kill the memory of that one.
My only other vodka-related encounter occurred while visiting the former Soviet Union in 1998. A couple of relatives of my host were real wise guys who thought Americans were soft and goaded me into a challenge with some local vodka. I was jet lagged and it was pretty harsh and it burned my throat but I was able to maintain my composure through two shots and actually ended up impressing them, I think. (But truthfully, I don’t think I would’ve been able to last through a third.)
So that’s my entire history as far as vodka is concerned. Well, not exactly. A few years back, I did some work for Stoli Flavored Vodka, mostly coming up with a bunch of clever taglines such as “All Flavor. No Bolshevik” and “The Shining Czar of All Vodkas,” among others. Good stuff, huh? Check it out here.
Not bad for a non-vodka drinker.