Like a gracious host who somehow anticipates your every need before you even think to have it, the Ritz-Carlton, Moscow has gone out of its way to make its guest, Barack Obama, feel loved and welcome during his first visit to Russia as President of the United States. Over the weekend, the hotel issued a lyrical press release detailing the Martha Stewart-esque details of its so-called “The Dessert-Cocktail Summit.”
“Desserts and cocktails are possessed of a unique quality,” it crooned philosophically. “They elevate your mood, bring people closer together, which means that they facilitate mutual understanding between different peoples and entire nations.” And so, the Ritz, known for occasion-specific insanity, has trotted out a pastry assortment for “sweets aficionados” that includes Russian classics like honey cake and the famous “chocolate potato” as well as American brownies and New York-style cheesecake, both of which have no Russian translation and so have to be awkwardly transliterated. For aficionados of libations–the real geopolitical love-glue–the Ritz has developed a series of cocktails like “4th of July” (“reminiscent of the stars and stripes,” the red, white and blue cocktail is topped by an apple star, “as if, just one second ago, it still hung suspended on the American flag”); “Yes we can!” (Bailey’s, blue Curaçao, red Campari for the red, white and blue effect, served on a custom tray resembling, yes, an American flag); “Obama Chai” (“a real American ‘iced-tea’” of cold Darjeeling and cinnamon); and “Winds of Change.” This last concoction–“perhaps the most elegant”–consists of Piper Heidsieck champagne and, obviously, passion-fruit sorbet.
And, in the spirit of mutual understanding among nations, the special menu will disappear as soon as Obama does.
The Dessert-Cocktail Summit [RUSSIA!]