Aside from wine, my main passion in life is West Coast Swing Dancing. If you don't know what that is, then take a look at the clip below. I hope that at least one reader will give it a try as my new year's resolution is to get a non-dancer to take up partner dancing.
While I've been taking time out from my corporate career to study and write about wine, I've taken full advantage of every chance to dance possible, and this has led me to travel to France, Warsaw and Budapest, and to make friends from as far afield as Massachusetts, Montpellier, Moscow, and Minsk. As a wine drinker, I've noticed that I'm in the minority at the international dance events and Vodka wins hands down every time. So I thought I'd share some of my recent experiences with you, just in case you fancy a change from the grape in favour of the grain...
- Take one shot glass: fill 1/3 with raspberry cordial/syrup (if not available, I'm sure Ribena would be an adequate substitute)
- Next top up with premium Polish vodka - an unflavoured variety. My providers use Zubrowka Biala, which sits nicely on top of the fruity element.
- Finally add several drops of good old Tabasco. This should sink down to the bottom.
It's fair to say that our memories are a little hazy at this point after 4 nights with almost no sleep, so there's a bit of debate on what these vodka gems really were. Best guesses, however, point to the first one being Wodka Zoladkowa Gorzka (Miodowka) which is a herb infused vodka with a little honey, giving it a caramel/toffee overtone. The colour is reminiscent of maple syrup and I'm fairly certain that's what I had, even though my companions tell me it was hazelnut flavoured Soplica:
Stories differ on the second also. Miss Poland advised me that I was drinking raspberry flavour, making it the Soplica Malinowa. Mr Smile, however is adamant that it was his favourite cherry version (wisniowa). In any case, it was fruity, sweet, red in colour, and soothing to the soul when drunk neat. Why not give them both a try? Soplica has been around for 120 years and is still adding new flavours to the portfolio, with Quince (pigwowa) being the latest addition.
Still, we hadn't had enough of dancing and by the time we got to Liszt Ferenc Airport, we ended up dancing in the check in hall till the police came to move us along. And this without the aid of any more alcohol...
Now, would it be wrong of me to add a trip to the Russian Open Championships just to continue my research?
When we eventually got to the airport, we just got over the snow trauma and 2 hour flight delays by going for a dance! Featuring dancers from UK, France, Switzerland, Russia and Israel, wouldn't the world be a better place if we all danced?