Russia’s Famous Vodka Rooms | National Geographic in Russia

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National Geographic takes you inside Russia’s famed vodka rooms.

SERGEY GORDEEV: In America everyone hangs out at coffee shops. In Russia they go to a rumochnaya, or vodka rooms. The name comes from the word ryumka, or shot glass. So chances are you've got a pretty good idea of what goes on here.

Now, I left Russia when I was 15. So I didn't get to experience this part of Russian culture. But I've enlisted a couple of experts to help me make up for lost time.

At rumochnaya you don't sit there for hours. You stop by, have a drink, and go on about your business.

As you journey through the night, you learn that vodka rooms aren't about drinking vodka at all.

It's all about who you're drinking it with.