I went to my first Supra last week. A Georgian Supra is a celebratory feast - tons of food and usually wine in obscene amounts - and throughout the feast toasts are made and wine is drunk and everyone celebrates and has a great time. The Supra I went to was exactly like that, except substitute vodka for wine. Lots and lots of vodka.
One of the people that works with my husband, Rachel, is leaving the country this week, so the Georgians in their office decided to hold a Supra in her honor. We all met up and climbed into a rented marshutka. Marshutkas are one of the most popular forms of transport in Georgia, cheaper than taxis or buses, these little vans can hold 15-20 people and they are all over the city and you can always find one that will get you where you need to go. The marshutka was rented because we knew that there would be quite a bit of drinking and therefore, should not be any driving.
We end up at a dacha about 20 minutes outside of Tbilisi up in the mountains. A dacha is a summer house, when it gets hot in the city in the heart of the summertime, the Georgians retreat to their dacha and enjoy the cooler mountain air. Of course, it is not summer here, it is winter, so the cool mountain air? It was more like freezing cold mountain air. The dacha had no heat, just one little portable electric radiator that put out very little warmth. We all kept our hats, gloves, and heavy coats on - well at least until we had consumed enough vodka to warm up from the inside out. Which happened quicker than you would think. I've never been a big fan of vodka. Not really my drink of choice, but when in Rome...or in this case, when in Georgia. I probably consumed more vodka in the course of the afternoon during the Supra than I have in my entire life. After the first few shots of vodka, it's really like drinking water. It doesn't even burn going down anymore. I'm not sure that's a good thing.
Our "tamada" or toast master was Sascha, who started the toasts by making the men stand on their chairs and toast to all the ladies present:
We also toasted to Rachel, to the men present, to friends, to family, we had toasts for everything it seemed. During the toasting we were also eating. Oh.My.God. The food. The shashlik - which is Georgian bar-b-q, was incredible. Chicken and pork cooked on an open fire, a fire that was built in a small pit on the cement back porch of the dacha:
Of course, we had more than just shashlik, we had salads, and bread, and khatchapuri - so much food. We did not run out of food. We did, however, run out of vodka at one point in the festivities, so David and Phillip walked to the corner store and bought two more bottles to help keep us warm until the marshutka came to pick us up and take us home.
As you can see, we had a great time:
If you are so inclined go here, scroll down the page and you can read a fairly good definition/explanation of a supra.