Entertaining Notes - featuring Anya Tchoupakov

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Entertaining Notes is a new series in which we speak with friends of Chopin Vodka to learn about their top entertaining tips. Each of our contributors has been chosen because of their strong personal style and their penchant for throwing great parties. From signature cocktails and go-to playlists, to their favorite ways to serve Chopin Vodka, we learn about the personal touches that turn their events into memorable occasions.

Anya is a writer and editor who began her career working for Creators at VICE and helped run Dirt, a food magazine by Dig Inn. She now works at Healthyish, a vertical of Bon Appétit at Condé Nast. Anya studied Print Culture at NYU and is in the early process of starting her own magazine devoted to dance. Among her talents, Anya speaks English, French, Spanish and Russian.

My family moved around a lot when I was growing up, but my parents always managed to find a solid group of people in each place we lived, perfecting the art of ‘mixing company’. They’re both dancers and instructors, so their cast parties were hosted at our house - everyone just hanging out. My mom’s a great cook, so our gatherings were the perfect combination of good food and good company; no pressure, no stress - just spending time together with people we enjoyed. These experiences had a great influence on my entertaining style.

I really got into cooking when I started working at Dirt, a publication about the good food movement. I’ve always loved food but that job introduced me to the professional scene and opened my eyes to perspectives that I hadn’t previously considered. I discovered ingredients and techniques that I’d never heard of; but most importantly, I developed a greater appreciation for well-produced, healthy food. I became passionate about cooking and exploring new recipes and drinks, which gave me an excuse to invite people over. I have this Jewish mom thing where I love to host and feed people.

When hosting a party I think it’s very important to remain relaxed. Don’t stress out! If you’re constantly looking for validation from your guests you can spoil the mood. Even if you mess up whatever you’re making - it’s fine; you’re only human. Find joy in imperfection and just be present in the moment.

Lately I’ve been hosting what I call “Fam Friday” parties. Our friends recently moved into the neighborhood and every Friday we take a dance class together. Afterwards, we all come back to my place and we either cook something fun and simple (think tacos or pasta) or order food, make cocktails and hang. It’s not a fancy ‘cocktail party’ but it makes me really happy to have the people I love in the same room together on a regular basis.

The music that I listen to is very eclectic and sometimes super weird, so I get nervous that people won’t like what I want to listen to when they come over. For my parties I prefer to give my guests control of the music; they’re much better at creating playlists than I am. If nobody’s into it then I go with something classic - Zeppelin or maybe jazz. Most of the time we’re more into the conversation than the music.

My signature cocktail varies depending upon the season and my mood. For a while I was making New York Sours, which is a whiskey sour with a red wine floater. While I was living in Madrid last year, my best friend and I got really into cocktails and recently I’ve been exploring clear spirits - gin/vodka tonics, margaritas, gimlets, mules and martinis. In my bar cart I have bitters, triple sec and simple syrup on hand (lemons and limes go without saying). As for gear, I keep it simple - I have a couple of shakers and that’s all.

When I’m drinking Chopin Vodka, its high quality and distinctive taste makes me want to let it stand on its own. I recently discovered a liqueur through my job at Bon Appétit Healthyish called Chareau, which is made with aloe vera, mint and cucumber. I’ve been mixing Chareau with Chopin Vodka to make an aloe martini. It makes me feel very sophisticated.
  • summer-solstice-1

    Summer Solstice


    • 2 oz. Chopin Wheat Vodka
    • 2 oz. Mango juice
    • 4 oz. Sparkling water
    • Squeeze of lime


    Combine all ingredients except the sparkling water in a shaker. Shake well and strain into a tall glass.
    Add ice and top with sparkling water.

  • 16Hot Chocolate 2 square crop

    Hot Chocolate


    • 6 oz. Whole milk
    • 2 oz. 70% Cacao chocolate, chopped or grated
    • 2 oz. Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur
    • 1 oz. Cream
    • Pinch of cinnamon
    • Pinch of salt
    • Whipped cream


    Warm the milk over medium heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring constantly until melted. When smooth, whisk in the remaining milk and cream. Add a pinch of cinnamon and salt and heat until hot but do not allow to boil. Remove from heat and stir in the Dorda Liqueur. Serve with marshmallows or a dollop of unsweetened, chilled whipped cream.

  • 15 Polish Coffee 2 square crop (1)

    Polish Coffee


    • 3 oz. Brewed coffee
    • 1 ½ oz. Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur
    • Whipped cream


    Stir freshly brewed hot coffee together with Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur in a glass mug. Top with freshly whipped cream. Add garnishes as desired; we like cacao nibs, chocolate-covered espresso beans or shaved chocolate.

  • 14 Dorda Truffle

    Dorda Truffle


    • 2 oz. Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur
    • 1 oz. Cointreau


    Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain and pour into a chilled cocktail glass of your choice, over fresh ice.

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    Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur Neat


    • 1 ½ oz. Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur
    • Raspberries, to garnish


    We believe Dorda is best enjoyed like a dessert. Serve it neat, or shaken with ice, in a stemmed glass. Garnish with a fresh raspberry.

    Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur is made with real chocolate, so always shake well before serving and store it at room temperature.

  • 11 Potato baltic cooler

    Mint-Lime Sparkler


    • 2 oz. Chopin Wheat Vodka
    • 1 oz. Fresh lime juice
    • ¾ oz. Simple syrup
    • 3 Slices of cucumber
    • 5 Mint sprigs
    • Sparkling water


    Muddle cucumber in a mixing glass. Add mint, muddle gently. Add vodka, lime juice, simple syrup and ice. Shake well, strain into a highball glass. Top with sparkling water.

  • 10 Wheat Ginger Mule

    Ginger Mule


    • 2 oz. Chopin Wheat Vodka
    • ½ oz. Fresh lime juice
    • 3 oz. Ginger beer


    In a cocktail shaker ¾ filled with ice, combine vodka and lime juice and shake until chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into a copper mug, filled with crushed ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with lime and mint.

  • 9 Wheat with cucumber

    Chopin Wheat on the Rocks


    • 1 ½ oz. Chopin Wheat Vodka
    • Cucumber (ribbons or wheels)


    Pour Chopin Wheat over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with cucumbers.

  • 8 Rye basil gimlet

    Basil Gimlet


    • 2 ½ oz. Chopin Rye Vodka
    • 6 Fresh basil leaves (torn into strips)
    • ½ oz.  Fresh lime juice
    • Lime zest
    • ½ oz. Simple syrup


    Muddle basil, lime juice, lime zest, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the liquid to infuse with the basil flavor. Add the vodka, then fill the shaker ²/₃ with ice. Cover and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish.

  • 7 Rye Bitter Sweet

    Chopin Bitter-Sweet


    • 2 oz. Chopin Rye Vodka
    • ½ oz. Grapefruit juice
    • ½ oz. Grenadine
    • ½ oz. Campari


    Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker, shake vigorously, strain into rocks glass over ice. Garnish with grapefruit slice.

  • 6 Rye Bloody Mary

    Bloody Mary


    • 6 oz. Bloody Mary mix (we love McClure’s and Motherlode Provisions)
    • 1 oz. Chopin Rye Vodka


    Fill a Collins glass with ice. Pour Chopin Rye then Bloody Mary mix into glass. Stir then finish with fresh cracked pepper and garnish to your taste.

  • 5 Rye with pepper olives

    Chopin Rye on the Rocks


    • 1 ½ oz. Chopin Rye Vodka
    • Olives stuffed with hot peppers


    Pour Chopin Rye over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with pepper-stuffed olives.

  • 3 Potato and rosemary

    Rosemary & Potato Martini


    • 2 ½ oz. Chopin Potato Vodka
    • ½ oz. Dry Vermouth
    • 1 Bar spoon green olive juice
    • 3-4 Drops of high quality, fruity olive oil
    • Rosemary sprig and 1 green olive


    Fill a mixing glass ¾ with ice, add Chopin, vermouth, and olive juice. Using a bar spoon, stir for 30 seconds. Strain the martini into a chilled cocktail glass. Finish with a few drops of olive oil. Garnish with rosemary sprig and olive.

  • 2 Potato Dirty Martini

    Dirty Martini


    • 2 ½ oz. Chopin Potato Vodka
    • ½ oz. Green olive brine
    • Olives freshly stuffed with bleu cheese (or soft cheese of your choice)


    Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with three olives.

  • 1 Potato with blue cheese olives

    Chopin Potato on the Rocks


    • 1 ½ oz. Chopin Potato Vodka
    • Olives freshly stuffed with bleu cheese (or soft cheese of your choice)


    Pour Chopin Potato over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with bleu cheese olives.

  • 4 Potato sipping

    Chopin Potato Neat


    • 1 oz. Chopin Potato Vodka
    • Snifter, Cordial or Cognac glass


    To fully experience Chopin Potato’s nuanced flavors, it is best served neat in a stemmed snifter glass.