Hospitality is not about visual or culinary pleasantness, but about helping hearts connect
- Author Unknown
5 Things you need to know about your Russian Guests.
When you have worked on super yachts as long as I have you come across an array of people cultures and races. Russians are big spenders in the world of the Mega yachts, with more and more billionaires buying up BIG every year.
Your role as a super yacht stewardess is to know as much as possible about your guests as possible. The following article will give you a glimpse of Russian cultural etiquette that I have observed over the years.
Russia has had a rich and turbulent history and for some Russian people their personal finances have never been greater. Approximately 160 ethnic groups call Russian home with over 100 languages spoken. Most Russian people identify themselves as Eastern Orthodox Christians, but Islam, Judaism and Buddhism are also practices there.
Like many other cultures, food and drink play a major role when socialising. Most people are familiar with the Russians love affair with Vodka, and I agree that is does take centre stage whenever there is a party or gathering or Russian people. If your guests have not specified what kind of vodka they prefer then make sure you have a good selection on hand.
Below is a brief overview of popular types of vodka. Until you know your guest preference keep a bottle of vodka in the freezer and the rest in the cabinet.
Types of Vodkas to consider:
- Chopin Vodka: Polish Vodka is reputed to be the best in the world.
- Zyr Vodka: Is a Russian premium vodka made from wheat and rye. It is an ultra smooth vodka and great for accompanying caviar.
- Stolichnaya Vodka is a Russian Vodka and is ne of the more popular brands. This is a great vodka to use as a cocktail base, and as a little ‘sipper’. Any good charter super yacht will have ‘Elite’ on board.
- Grey Goose Vodka: Is French and very smooth. This is my ‘go to ‘ vodka as it does not disappoint. It is a must have for any super yacht.
- Ketel Vodka: is Dutch no frills but very smooth.
- Hangar Vodka: Is an American vodka that is making quite a name for its self. Hangar vodka is distilled from Viognier grapes rather than potatoes/grain, it also comes in different flavours.
- Belvedere Vodka: Is another popular Polish vodka. It is a very fine vodka that is made from rye.
3. My experience with Russian Guests:
- No one liked room temperature vodka.
- Russian guests preferred clear vodka.
- Russian guests stayed away from flavoured vodka.
- In addition to wine with dinner, I also served a lot of cognac and fine whiskey to my Russian guests.
4. Guests & Table Service:
It took me a while to understand the Russian culture, and to be honest I used to think they were very cold and “standoffish”people; but I found out that this is not the case. Russians love to entertain and you do not need an excuse to invite a friend over or to go visit someone. It is wise to have a selection of canapés and hor d'oeuvres at hand (and not chips or nuts).
Russian people love to have an array of different foods when entertaining, so make sure the chef has prepared a selection of:
- Sea food
5. Be prepared for the ‘cheers’
As mentioned before the Russians love to drink and to entertain. They tend to sit at the table and discuss all of kinds of things, and when entertaining guests or celebrating an occasion, you will see the true Russian warmth in the cheers.
Toasts are usually given at the beginning of the meal through the meal and at the end… (especially if it is a celebratory meal), so make sure you have plenty of their chosen beverage on hand.
Thank you for reading my article about: 5 Things you need to know about your Russian Guests.
- Kylie O’Brien
- babo 2