January 1, 2012
I've temporarily suspended the usual ban on vodka in this space because, well, it's New Year's Day, and I'm hankering for a Bloody Mary. So, if I must choose a vodka - that transparent spirit which usually ranges from rubbing alcohol to perfectly invisible - I might as well reach for some Pennsylvanian liquor pride. Hey, I might as well choose one that even tastes like something! Boyd & Blair's potato vodka scores on both counts. Made just outside Pittsburgh, this spirit, unlike so many phony upscale vodkas (often purchased neutral grain alcohol dropped through a filter straight into a fancy bottle)
February 2, 2012
WELCOME TO Cheap Buzz, where we eavesdrop as sommelier Marnie Old attempts to teach the joys of wine and fine spirits to Buzz, a guy with no sophistication and not much money. Here's their latest conversation: BUZZ: Hey Marnie, why do people drink vodka? Isn't it made from potatoes? MARNIE: Sometimes, Buzz, but not often. Vodka is usually a grain spirit distilled from wheat or rye, like whiskey minus the barrel aging. But it can be made from anything, really, including potatoes and even grapes.
June 5, 1986 |
Doc was telling a sad little story about the Kirov Ballet, about friendship and politics and disappointment. A lot of the story was played out in Doc's little restaurant and bar on Sansom Street, and he was telling it with great feeling. "I was born in Russia," he was saying, "but I will never go there again. When I tell you this story, you will know why. " Abe "Doc" Ulitsky, a retired dentist, owns the Happy Rooster at 16th and Sansom Streets, an eight-table restaurant where you can order Beluga caviar at $29.50 an ounce or get a drink of rare cognac for $75 an ounce.
December 5, 1988 |
Many of the Soviet visitors here this week appear to be getting a good taste of America, at least as far as their drinks and smokes are concerned. The 170 Soviets, here for the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Emerging Leaders Summit, are choosing the American-made Smirnoff vodka over Stolichnaya, the Russian import, and their cigarette is Marlboro, say workers at the Wyndham Franklin Plaza, where the Soviets are staying. "They seemed to order more Smirnoff vodka than they did that . . . Absolut-Proof vodka," said Melisa Wolfson, hotel assistant manager.
February 28, 2014
B UZZ: Hey, Marnie, I saw this TV ad with Amber Rose drinking whipped-cream vodka. How do you make vodka out of whipped cream? Marnie: That's easy, Buzz - you don't. What you're thinking of is flavored vodka, where a neutral base spirit gets dolled up with fancy flavors. Advertising can blur the lines of what's an ingredient and what's an added "flavor. " Buzz: And have you seen that "wedding cake" vodka? Is wedding cake even a flavor? Heck, my wedding cake was made out of beef jerky.
March 18, 1989 |
This makes two up, two down for the underwater "Alien" concept. Floundering in the wake of "Deep Star Six," "Leviathan" is one of the soggiest excuses for a sci-fi chiller that has been dredged up yet. It's the near future, and a big, mean multi-national has figured out how to mine silver on the ocean floor. A high-tech industrial installation has been set up 16,000 feet below the Atlantic to house eight-member mining crews for 90-day intervals. The latest batch - honcho Peter Weller (who nobody remembers from "RoboCop," since his face was covered by that helmet through most of the movie)
June 20, 1994 |
Shortly before noon on a pleasant spring day, Granya Zagrybelnaya's husband and son joined a handful of residents from this village for a drink. The liquid in the three-liter bottle was slightly oily and a faint yellow. But the man who brought the bottle, Sergei Garanin, said he had been taking swigs for an hour and felt fine. The drinkers sat in front of a log cabin and began knocking back what they thought was grain alcohol. Within a few minutes, something went terribly wrong.
September 28, 2000 |
It's a tale as long as a Russian novel, as convoluted as the claims to the throne of the Romanovs. Joint Stock Society v. UDV North America Inc., known informally as Smirnov v. Smirnoff, is a case that asks a federal appeals court to cut through a thicket of international law, history and family folklore to decide who controls the lucrative U.S. market rights to the most famous name in vodka. It's enough to, well, drive one to drink, a joke not lost on anyone when Judge Edward R. Becker, chief of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, walked into court yesterday and put a bottle of Smirnoff vodka on the bench in front of him. "I don't usually bring a bottle with me . . . but I have to tell you that I have a lot of questions about this label," Becker joked, referring to the romantic Smirnoff label with its Cyrillic lettering, boasts of international medals, and appointment as purveyor of spirits to the erstwhile Russian royal family.
March 8, 1991 |
Ludmilla Ivanova stood in line for six hours yesterday on the eve of one of the Soviet Union's biggest holidays - International Women's Day - to buy vodka for her weekend guests. She joined the line in front of the liquor store on Sadovaya Samotechnaya Boulevard at 10 a.m. and finally squeezed her way up to the counter at 4 p.m. By the time she made it into the fetid store, the vodka was sold out. So she bought several bottles of what was left: foul Armenian port, the equivalent of Night Train Express.
February 16, 2012 |
The two women who in 2010 repeatedly drove around a nightclub while drunk - striking several people with the car and killing a woman after being barred from the club - were handed prison terms today. Sharonda Cheeves, 24, who plowed a Chevrolet Monte Carlo into Alisha Moore outside Club Motivation, 8th Street near Dauphin, on Sept. 4, 2010, was sentenced to four to eight years in state prison and two years of probation after she is released. Moore, 27, died from her injures.