A pub's guide to: the world cup

From Russia with booze

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Drinks menu: Less than half of fans state that lager is their go to drink when watching sport
Drinks menu: Less than half of fans state that lager is their go to drink when watching sport
Vodka is an obvious choice when looking to alcohol from Russia, but there's also rich pickings to be had in the lucrative categories of beer and wine, and don't forget the multitude of cocktails you can boost profits with too.

Vodka, beer and wine are the top three tipples Russians pour into their glasses, with the former taking the title of the country’s national drink.

According to the country’s Federal State Statistics Service, known as Rosstat, last year, on average, each Russian downed 6.6 litres of vodka and spirits, 57 litres of beer and 7.3 litres of wine – whether still or sparkling.

The ‘water of life’ (vodka) is the one drink all associate with the country, making it the perfect spirit to work into drinks during the World Cup.

A Black Russian would spring to mind for most when thinking up drinks for themed menus this summer. However, the cocktail’s origins date back to the late-1940s in a Brussels hotel and was believed to have been inspired by the beginning of the Cold War.

The Black Russian’s sister, the White Russian, is believed to have come about in the decade of free love, the 1960s, when someone added milk or cream to the Black Russian. It became famous when actor Jeff Bridges, in The Big Lebowski​, chugged back eight in one sitting.

Lots of beer styles

There may be few cocktails of note to have come from the country, but Russia does have a wide range of beer styles, including pale lagers, Pilsners and witbiers. Brands include Sibirskaya Korona (witbier), Stary Melnik (American lager) and Yarpivo (Pilsner).

Like Romania, Russian wine is becoming more of a contender on the international stage. Wine producing regions in Russia include the Alma Valley, the Kacha Valley and Pavel Shvets.

Black Russian



  • 50ml vodka
  • 25ml coffee liqueur
  • Ice
  • Cherry to garnish


Pour the liquids into a tumbler filled with ice and stir for 30 seconds before garnishing with a cherry

White Russian



  • 60ml vodka
  • 2tbsp coffee liqueur
  • 1tbsp cream
  • Ice


Mix all of the ingredients together in a tumbler with ice and serve

The Comrade Collins



  • 60ml vodka
  • 10ml sugar syrup
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • Ice


Add the wet ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain over ice into a highball glass


Moscow Mule



  • 50ml Vodka
  • Ginger ale to top
  • Ice


Pour the vodka into a highball glass filled with ice before topping with the ginger ale

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