My second evening in Estonia, I decided to join the pub crawl with Tallinn Backpackers, another hostel run by the same people as The Monk’s Bunk, where I was staying. It turned out to be a great night, barhopping around the old town. I daresay I spent a whole day’s budget on drinks… but then it’s so cheap in Tallinn! I tried cider for the first time [a little late at 25, I know, but it’s always looked too much like beer for my liking] and discovered that blackcurrant cider is delicious! That, along with unbelievably cheap shots – a tray of 5 for €4.50 – €2.50 vodka cocktails and later far too many of the infamous cocaine shots at Embassy made for a long and very late night. The cocaine shots were brilliant although I must point out that they don’t actually contain cocaine. It’s definitely a must-do in Tallinn, although I would suggest that you don’t do more than about three in one night…seven after a few hours of drinking, followed by a few more hours of drinking, is not recommended despite how good an idea it may seem at the time.
From careful watching of the bartender when ordering far, far too many cocaine shots, I managed to work out that they contain creme de menthe, absinthe, something that may or may not be vodka, and something else [clearly I failed to watch closely enough….over six visits to Embassy]. I did, however manage to grasp the ritual of it all pretty quickly. Basically, to start with you need: the shot, a clean glass, a serviette, a bendy straw, a very short straw and matches. You poke the bendy part of the straw through a small hole in the serviette and you’re ready to go, as follows:
1. Light the shot, hold the glass upside down over the flames until they go out
2. Place the glass over the straw in the serviette
3. Drink the shot and pour the dregs on top of the glass
4. Suck all the air out of the glass through the straw
5. Snort the dregs of the shot from the top of the glass using the short straw [or a large bill if you have far too much money]
I regret that the only photos and videos I took of cocaine shots were on other people’s cameras. The downside of having drunk people take photos for you is that you end up with totally crappy photos. Given the number of times I went to this bar, you’d have thought that eventually I’d manage some decent photos. You’d be wrong.
I managed to join the pub crawl, sometimes purely by accident, about five times. Even when I’d go out with a couple of people, you’d find yourself dragged in, not totally involuntarily of course. After all, I couldn’t pretend that I didn’t have a good time…although after a couple you know all the bars, which shots to get at each bar, where you are going next. Sometimes you even find that you need to direct the guy who works at the hostel back there, despite the fact that you may have only been to that particular hostel once – when you checked in earlier that day. Evidence that I spent far too long in Tallinn.
It’s a relief that certain photos have failed to surface on Facebook…