Tatiana Sizotkina moves around traffic-packed roads in a chauffeur-driven Audi that’s her dad’s. The new Russia further reflects in her D&G boots and Armani handbag.
Tatiana, the official liaison for the Indian Davis Cup tennis team, does not drink vodka; she believes wine and scotch are the way to go.
“My friends and I had vodka when we were young, now we know better,” the
20-year-old says. For her, vodka belongs to a time when there was less money — back when she was 16.
Incidentally, the official dinner saw no vodka, but plenty of top-class wine.
Vodka seems to have become a casualty to young Russia’s determination to break away from the past.
Dina Dauletshina (24) helps organise the Kremlin Cup, Russia’s premier men’s tour event. “Mojito and Long Island Iced Tea are regular or we go for whiskey-cola,” she says. “Incomes have grown and more expensive liquor is preferred, just as designer clothes are. We want to be more European.”
“It’s a Moscow thing. This place is like a state within the state. There, in the real Russia, youngsters still drink what our parents drank,” says Vitaly Antonov (28) of Samara, 1,000 km away. Just as most Russians believe Indians are vegetarians, many in India think Russia is the land of vodka lovers. Both concepts need redefining.