My special guest in the studio this New Year’s Eve is cocktail expert Alexander Mikšovic, who has written eleven books on the art of the cocktail, and trained generations of Prague barmen. Alex is an expert on whiskies, and knows more of my native Scotland than I could ever claim to have seen, but is equally as proud of the Czech Republic’s own domestic offerings. I first asked him if, in terms of alcohol, there was more to this country than beer:
When it comes to New Year’s Eve, things have changed in the last 20 years. Now Czechs don’t just sit in front of their TVs on the last night of the year, noshing on chlebíčky and jednohubky, the famous open-faced sandwiches and canapés. They go out more, partying with friends and dining out; many theatres give special performances and neighbours just get together and celebrate the coming year. But one thing has not changed at all – their favourite drink to match the occasion is an original Czech sparkling wine – Bohemia Sekt.
I have to confess to being somewhat perturbed over the years with the Czech system of addressing people in either the unfamiliar or familiar. The system exists in several languages, though not English – essentially in Czech, one addresses people that one is not familiar with in the plural “zdravím vás” as opposed to “zdravím tě.” As a kid visiting Prague, I would constantly forget myself and refer to people that I didn’t know in the familiar. Then, someone would later say to me “you ‘tykat’ when you should have ‘vykat’” – that is the way the two forms
This song might sound like something out of a Western, but it is every bit as Czech as Dvořák or Smetana. 'Sbohem kapitáne můj' is one of the hundreds of melodies to form part of the Czech tramping songbook. Such songs have, for the last 90 years, been providing the soundtrack to a particularly Czech pastime – tramping. To an untrained eye, tramping consists of weekends spent living rough in the forest, and weekdays meeting with kindred spirits and singing in the pub. But to those initiated, tramping means much more – it's a way of life. At a fortnightly
Pavel Ivančic – a rising star in the world of fashion My guest on One on One this week is Pavel Ivančic, voted the Czech fashion designer of 2007. Together with his wife Radana he established his own fashion label Muset, which has been presented all over the world and received a number of awards at home. A graduate of Prague’s Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design, Pavel Ivančic also attended the prestigious Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London. I met him last week at the Designblok festival in Prague, where he presented
Since 1884, the Zátka Brothers’s plant in Boršov nad Vltavou, just south of České Budějovice in southern Bohemia, has been producing noodles, spaghetti, macaroni and other types of pasta. The small factory on the bank of the Vltava River, survived two world wars as well as totalitarianism, and is one of the few remaining witnesses to efforts by the first wave of Czech industrialists. In this edition of Panorama, we take a tour of the oldest Czech pasta plant.
Czechs and Germans in 1930s Czechoslovakia: a complex picture
Wide range of events in store for Czechs this weekend as 30-year anniversary of Velvet Revolution reaches climax
Škoda unveils 4th-generation Octavia ahead of model’s 60th anniversary
Hundreds of thousands again gather in Prague to voice their opposition to prime minister
15 years later – was ending military service right move for Czech Republic?