Explore the wonderful depths of the Vodka Vault
By Jim Begley
If you’re anywhere near my age, Geraldo Rivera’s live TV event unveiling Al Capone’s vault occurred when you were younger. Relentlessly hyped, the opening revealed absolutely—nothing. Let me assure you, Red Square’s Vodka Vault is nothing like that.
The Vodka Vault sits just to the right of Red Square’s frozen bar and contains a throne fit for a czar, more vodka than you could drink and, most of all, a replica of Lenin’s head. Yeah, that’s right, Lenin’s head. The refrigerated room is cold, so military jackets, fur coats and ushankas (Russian fur caps) are available to keep you warm if the libations don’t.
How does one gain access to the vault? Well, all that a group (or individual, if you’re really thirsty) has to do is order a bottle. Groups of three or less can order 375-milliliter bottles, while larger groups must order standard sizes. Use this opportunity to try something new off the expansive menu. The house favorite is Zyr, a Russian vodka made from winter wheat and rye. Something a little more ornate is the Jewel of Russia Ultra, which is distributed in individually hand-painted bottles worth taking home as a souvenir.
Feeling patriotic? Check out Death’s Door, an artisanal spirit company from Door County, Wis. The ingredients for this wheat-based vodka are harvested from 22-square-mile Washington Island in northeast Wisconsin. Or maybe partake in the menu’s coup de grâce, the ultra-rare CLIX vodka from Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky, which is distilled 159 times for a unique, distinct flavor.
Dave Piersol, Red Square’s general manager, suggests beginning your evening in the Vault with a couple shots. Once you’re done there, meander to your table with your bottle for cocktails mixed tableside by your own vodka goddess during dinner. Za vashe zdorovye!
5-10:30 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 5-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; bar open 1 p.m.-1 a.m. Sun., 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Mon.-Thurs., 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Fri., 1 p.m.-2 a.m. Sat. 702.632.7407