All Mongolian Recipes
The Food of the Nomads
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"White Liquor" - Vodka
Vodka is NOT a traditional mongolian beverage, but the longstanding russian influence has made it very popular in the country anyway. This creates the same problems as in the country of origin, where it may lead to alcoholism with some people in a weak social environment. It can also be hard to resist the pressure at social events, which regularly insists on "male drinking habits".
There are quite a number of vodka brands that are manufactured in Mongolia. In some cases, the producers are proud to make their product from raw materials gathered within the country (wheat and spring water), in other cases their pride is solely based on the name of Genghis Khan (or one of his better known successors) flaunting on the label. In our ignorance, we were unable to detect any significant differences. As elsewhere, mongolian vodka also primarily tastes like alcohol...
When visiting friends, a guest will often bring a bottle of vodka as a gift for the host. Some bottles change hands several times that way until they are finally emptied. Other types of hard liquor such as Whiskey share the same "male" image, and are similarly given. Because of the higher price, western products even express a somewhat higher degree of respect.