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NightLife: Lenin's fiery spirits for one and all

Yolisa Mkele | 2014-07-23 00:00:17.0
COMRADES IN ARMS: Lenin's Vodka Bar in Maboneng, Johannesburg, is a good place to discuss politics. Or not
Image by: LAUREN MULLIGAN

Calling all communists. The spirit of the all-knowing steel-livered Vladimir Ilyich Lenin has returned to redistribute vodka to the masses.

Operating in Johannesburg's hipster enclave of Maboneng, Lenin's Vodka Bar is a call to cups for the oft forgotten and marginalised vodka enthusiast.

Lenin's is austere. The space is probably not much bigger than Stalin's walk-in cupboard.

Those walls not clad in varnished brick wear dark, grey paint. Sporadically perched atop said walls are neon red images of the hammer and sickle.

Inside the bowels of Lenin's there is little light, save for that of the bar which, in that darkness, shines with the refracted light of dozens of vodka-flavoured stars.

Sitting at the bar, one is confronted by the UN General Assembly of vodkas with delegates from across the globe, including South Africa, France, the US, Poland and Mother Russia.

Owner Roman Slepica drops gems of vodka-drinking wisdom for anyone willing to listen. For those whose livers are unwilling to wrestle with neat vodka, the cocktail list, split along Cold War lines, is impressive.

  • Lenin's Vodka Bar, Wednesday to Sunday, www.lenins.co.za

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