Ukrainian Alcohol


If you are in a bar, you may ask a barmen for some Ukrainian drink. But what if you are in a supermarket or a wine shop? Let me tell you how to chose a real nice Ukrainian drink from many others on a shelf. This is not advertising post, just the expression of my own opinion, which is based on many years of enjoying local drinks which are recognized as the best and cheapest in the world!

Gorilka (Vodka)
Ukrainian gorilka (or vodka) is probably the most popular alcoholic drink in the country (maybe except Crimea and Carpathian regions where wine is preferred). Ukrainian vodka-drinking culture is something different from the Western one. We drink 30-50 gram shots and have a large bite of meal after each shot. Drinking vodka is usually accompanied by a rich table with many dishes. I would recommend Nemiroff (“black” or “honey&pepper”), Khortitsa (silver or platinum), or Hlibniy Dar.

Cognac of Ukraine (Brandy)
After France had won the ban on “Cognac” word for drinks made out of France, our smart local producers named it “Cognac of Ukraine”. It could mean something different for lawyers, but not for the People of Ukraine. We drink Cognac (of Ukraine) as Vodka or in Western style – as a long drink with ice and cigars. I like Tavria, Desna, Grinwich and Buchach.


Beware of cheap Ukrainian wine! It has a good taste but causes a strong headache next morning! I’m not actually a Ukrainian wine lover, but I would offer you a bottle of Inkerman (Merlot or Caberne).


Champagne (Sparkling Wine)
I’ve heard the same story about french lawyers, but we still call it “Champagne”. I always buy Soviet Champagne as it reminds me about good old days back in 1980’s. My parents didn’t have much choice as they were happy if they could buy this “luxury drink” in empty stores of USSR.


The beloved drink of Ukrainian students! It’s cheap, easy-drunk, and one bottle can completely knock you off! In fact it’s a mix of “vodka” spirit and some syrup. You may try to waste your liver with that one. This was just a warning :)

“If the Sea was made of beer, I would be a nice dolphin” – says Russian song. Ukrainians also worship beer. We usually drink it with some salted snacks – peanuts, chips or taranka – dried salted fish. My favorite Ukrainian beers are Korona, Stare Misto, Obolon and Lvivske 1715.

Enjoy your trip to Ukraine! And please note: it’s forbidden to drink all alcoholic drinks (even beer) on Ukrainian streets and other public places.



02 2011