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Coming in from the Russian Cold

March 2013

By Maria Petrova, Moscow

With six months of snowy winter in Moscow, and even longer in Siberia, Russians have no choice but to find ways to enjoy the cold. The combination of the impending 2014 Winter Olympic Games, to be held in the southern Black Sea resort city of Sochi, and the Russian passion for celebrity news, winter sports and its stars are currently thriving with popularity amongst Russians young and old.  

Not surprisingly, Russian companies, as well as multinational brands, seize opportunities to be a part of the healthy trend for winter sports enthusiasm. Bosco di Ciliegi, a Russian investment company, and the renowned Russian shopping center GUM collaborate each year to set up a skating ring in the heart of Russia’s Red Square. Skating while looking into the Kremlin and Lenin Mausoleum is a must for both Russian and foreign visitors to Moscow.

Another skating ring, in Moscow's Hermitage Garden, has picked up a well-known sponsor. Microsoft introduced its Windows 8 skating ring this winter. It consists of two rings with real and artificial ice; both children younger than seven and retired people skate for free! 

Après-ski refreshments have moved beyond the slopes, hitting cities without mountains as “après-skate” drinks. Mulled wines with sea buckthorn, berries, or becherovka are appearing on Moscow menus and challenging the tastes of traditional Gluhwein lovers. Italian Aperol, which is still rare in ski villages outside Italy, is also making an impact here.

As for chasers, it seems Russians are dropping their pickles and instead picking up limes. While it’s uncertain if anything could ever replace Russian vodka, Mexican tequila is now a drink of choice for those who are ready to party all night. Moscow’s first tequila bar, the aptly named Bar Tequila, recently opened in the downtown area. Russians obviously have a taste for strong liquor, though vodka is increasingly perceived as passé. The excitement, dancing and good times with tequila make it the new shot of choice, and interestingly, older Russians seem to be catching on to the trend quickly, as well. To my surprise, my sixty-year-old uncle finished our last family dinner with tequila drinks!

Liquor, Beer & Wine
Health & Fitness
Food & Drink
Windows 8 skating rink in Moscow
Après-ski trends, Russian style
Russian beverage trendspotting: Moscow's Bar Tequila

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