• Classiques Modernes Editors

Top Chefs, A Restaurateur and a Food Editor Reveal Their 'Unglamorous' Holiday Favorites

“Growing up in the Soviet Union in the seventies, vodka was an important part of my childhood. My mother (a chemist) always had large jars of fruit infused vodka in the basement. Since it gets really cold in Russia and you can have things built for vodka, instead of currency, we always had people over at our house from the studios. During those years, the good vodka that Russia was famous for was exported for dollars. What was left was this horrible fire water that was so bad it was thought to make you “blind”. To make the vodka better mom used the only things available to her—cranberries that we gathered in the woods, apples, pears and plums from grandma’s yard and juice oranges that were sold at the stores sometimes to make some awesome infusions. The Honey cake with honey vodka is a favorite childhood dessert, made with her infused vodka and just a few ingredients: flour, eggs, sugar, honey and of course honey vodka. The memory of the vodkas that I grew up with are still with me and we continue to share the recipes with our customers in our all natural, home infused vodka.”

– Roman Kaplan,

Owner, Russian Samovar