We Russians like to think of ourselves as a no-nonsense people. Vodka is a no-nonsense drink. We make a great pair.

Wine, beer and the rest of the stuff involve too much of gustatory and olfactory factors. Too cumbersome to produce, shelf life as a factor of quality, the confusion of picking the right sort. You bring in your buddies, and they drink—and someone always comments on something that is not all perfect about the taste, or smell, or color, or vintage. Neither mismatches with the food and the occasion will ever go unnoticed. This is all so irritating!

Vodka makes you free. Correctly brewed, it doesn’t smell or taste anything. Right from the fridge, at minus 30 centigrades, it doesn’t even taste alcohol. Heaven enters your body as effortlessly as the air you are breathing.

Vodka is timeless, affordable, simple. It’s the Godly promise of clarity, ease and elegance which are often too hard to come around at our place.

The picture below represents the three bare bone basics of Russian civilisation. Rye bread is the food that has been carrying us through thick and thin. The faceted glass cup is said to be designed by a Soviet woman, when Communist-made glass turned out too brittle and opaque for the regular smooth circular cups. And of course vodka, looking like water, the baseline liquid of life—but much, much cooler!

This article was written by Dima Vorobiev, on Quora.