Why all the buzz suddenly about the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan?
First, a new vodka produced by the Kazakhs and introduced in Washington in recent months, is rapidly growing in popularity, poured at restaurants like Bobby Van’s Steakhouse, Charlie Palmer and Cafe Milano.
Vanessa Ugo, the Washington representative for Snow Queen Vodka, says everybody from Mick Jagger to Prince William has acquired a taste for the suddenly popular spirit. (Something about the vodka being “distilled five times” is what makes it so pure.)
Kazakhstan is also receiving unprecedented exposure after this month’s release of the hit movie, “Borat:CulturalLearningsofAmericaforMakeBenefitGloriousNation of Kazakhstan.” If you haven’t seen it, a fictional Kazakh TV journalist named Borat is sent to the “greatest country in the world” — the United States — where he files some rather outrageous stories.
Even Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev is getting in on the act, showing up recently to meet with President Bush in the Oval Office.