Sommelier Gregory Alonzo: Vodka Balalaika

Hi Eve … It is a beautiful and sunny Kyiv day and I am outside having lunch with my date Elena. We are at one of my favorite haunts, Shato (Chateau). My friends, knowing my penchant for drinking vodka neat, are forever introducing me to various cocktails. Today we will share with you and our readers one of Elena’s favorites, a Vodka Balalaika.

This drink is very popular in Ukraine.

Vodka Balalaika

Fill a metal shaker with a reasonable amount of ice. Next, pour 2 oz. of rye honey vodka over ice. I prefer Nemiroff, as does Elena.

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Add 1 oz. of fresh lemon juice along with 1/2 oz. of cointreau. The next step is crucial; shake until the metal shaker chills. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a lemon peel for color … Gaumarjos!

R. Gregory Alonzo is a sommelier, vodka connoisseur, and distributor of specialty wines and spirits. Educated in both the United States and Europe, he is fluent in seven languages. Greg’s passion is what he calls, “Tasting History.
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” For Greg, the discovery of  the ambrosial delights of kings, the Caesars, and tsars is his personal quest. To share these discoveries is his joy.

Gregory Alonzo
Excess within control