There's an old Ukrainian saying which states, "The first shot of vodka lifts your spirits ever so slightly, the second one - sends you flying like a hawk, and each drink thereafter the person soars as happy and free as a bird." What happens next with that bird, the saying doesn't tell, but we all can imagine the result of such flights.

This article will help you maintain at least some of your senses until the end of even the most extreme parties. Drinking in Ukraine is a cultural tradition that has been part of Ukrainian history for thousands of years. During Ukrainian celebrations it will be impossible for you to escape other peoples encouragements to join in on several dramatic, poetic toasts. This can be an uncomfortable situation for those who don't drink alcohol. When pressured to join a toast you should state your reasons for not participating and join them with a glass of non-alcoholic beverage. You will discover that some people will not be satisfied with your response and when they speak loud to you, respond to them in a polite manner but make sure you look them in the eye and speak louder!

It is no secret that the most famous drink in Ukraine is horilka ( vodka ). Yeah, the one which is 40% alcohol - but be careful. If you travel farther from the Ukrainian cities, towards more remote regions - to perhaps visit your fiance(e)'s family, they will have a nice surprise for you. The surprise is homemade vodka, made by grandpa or other clever family members. The name of this special treat is - Samohonka (which means - made by me). Such vodka, more often than not, is stronger than common store -bought vodka. Samohonka contains approximately 50% - 64% alcohol. Be careful when drinking Samohonka for the first time, as it has an ability to sneak up on you and surprise!

We will share with you some tips & tricks, which will help you to stay conscious and maintain a good mood during Ukrainian parties.

For the sake of general education... vodka should be drank from shot glasses, which will hold 50 grams ( 1.5oz. ) of magic liquid. You will find that well-seasoned champions are able to drink this with one gulp - repeatedly.

So, on to the basics:

pre-drink before party

  • - if you know that you'll be drinking soon, it is smart to eat something fatty before the party. Fats inhibit the absorbtion of alcohol.
  • - if you want to try different alcoholic drinks at the party, you should start with drinks that contain the lowest percentage of alcohol and work your way up from there.
  • - never wash down alcohol with carbonated drinks, it will make the alcohol move faster in your blood system, and you will get wasted quickly. In such cases, water or juice is more preferable.
  • - remember that you should drink vodka fast, not like champagne. On exhale, pour vodka into your mouth and with an inhale, make a quick gulp. Follow the shot with something to eat or juice or if you prefer - another shot of vodka.

We hope this information helps. Have a great party in Ukraine!