Heaven scent

This blip was supposed to be about bison grass vodka but Fred managed to get in on the act. No actual vodka is involved here but the smell of the grass stalks seems to have attracted him. That's probably because this is Anthoxanthum odoratum, sweet vernal grass aka buffalo or bison grass, vanilla grass or holy grass. It contains the chemical compound coumarin which is what gives that unique but ephemeral scent to new mown hay. This grass is very similar to that used to flavour the (in)famous Polish vodka called zubrowka. The particular aromatic grass traditionally employed grows in profusion in the primeval Bialowieza forest in eastern Poland, where the (re-introduced) buffalo or bison, zubr in Polish, roam; it has been gathered there for the purpose for centuries.
There's a lot of mystique about zubrowka, no doubt for commercial gain, but it's possible to make a perfectly good version by infusing a few stalks of this relatively common grass of unimproved meadows, banks and verges, in a bottle of ordinary vodka. The strongest flavour resides at the base of the stalk and that's what the stereotypical countryman would be sucking on as he leant on the farm gate. Once you have learnt to recognise sweet vernal grass it's not hard to find.

The little silver cups here are called in Russian charki. They were used like shot glasses to down your tot of vodka in one, although in Fred's case a tot of cream might be more in order.

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