will get you drunk
This is a review of Vivat vodka from Kyrgyzstan. I sampled it in Kyrgyzstan in 2014. It’s clear, 40% alcohol, produced by Ayu, and I thought it was okayish.
This is Vivat vodka, and it’s also from Kyrgyzstan. In fact the next few vodka brands are ALL going to be from there. I have a bunch of pictures of vodka bottles here, along with some notes that I took while drinking them.
For this one I went back to the same shop that had sold me Ozon before. I went in and told the vendor that I needed more. More! Only this time I wanted to try a different brand.
He said he didn’t know what to suggest. So I just opted for this bottle of Vivat vodka because I liked the name. It means something like “yay!” in Latin, and to me, it seemed to mean something good.
I started my online search where I had left off with Ozon: in the Kaktus Media article talking about the knockoff brand designs that Ayu was responsible for. It had a picture of a bottle of Vivat vodka next to a bottle of the Nemiroff deluxe brand Lex. It was pretty obvious.
From there, I arrived at an article on Alco Reviews that recounted how Ayu had in fact discontinued the Vivat vodka brand because of the knockoff issue.
Then I found a YouTube ad for Vivat vodka. It was apparently aimed at the Vietnamese market, and it featured a slightly different looking bottle called Vivat Platinum vodka.
This reminded me of some Vietnamese websites where I had found Ozon before. There seemed to be an export pipeline from Kyrgyzstan to Vietnam, at least one for vodka.
Vivat vodka isn’t as yay as its name suggests
Anyway, back to our review of Vivat vodka. I opened the bottle at night with a few people at the hostel. There were cups, and there was a tray upon which to place them. So I filled up the cups and cut some pepperoni, then I went around with the tray and we started drinking.
The vodka itself was alright. Vivat vodka wasn’t as smooth as Ozon, but the initial taste was okay. The aftertaste wasn’t very aromatic or refined, but it warmed the stomach, and it didn’t make me sick. At least not initially.
The bottle design, well, what can I say, it’s a knockoff. The price was about the same as that of Ozon: 180 som for a 500ml bottle: 4€/700ml.
never mix with chewing tobacco
I got drunk on Vivat vodka. Not much, though, just a little bit. And everything was perfectly fine until someone got out some Kyrgyz chewing tobacco. He told me to place it under my lip and feel it burn. So I did that. And I felt it burn. Then I felt happy. Then my arms got very heavy. And then I discretely went to the restroom and bent over the sink.