Vodka Salutation


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The vodka salutation is a symbolic gesture of friendship between strangers or friends. It is a significant tradition which is done at every first meeting and not participating in the gesture has traditionally been considered disrespectful. Over time, a social conundrum has emerged. It has always been considered honorable to present the first serving of vodka to the guest of honor. The host is expected to pour the serving and hand it to the guest and the guest is obliged to take this gesture of kindness. At times, however, nefarious hosts use this sense of obligation to serve their guest poison. Quite conveniently, as the host does the pouring and the guest of honor does the first drinking, a social convention emerged which blends respect with self-preservation. By developing the blessing described below, divinity and the earth were honored but, with the last blessing of the three, the vodka rolled down the recipient’s finger and came in contact with the silver ring that was customarily worn. If the ring discolored, the drinker knew that the vodka was contaminated and potentially poisoned presenting an opportunity to elect not to drink their demise.