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Vodka War part one ends in stalemate

And I do not suppose most people knew that there had been one going on. Briefly, traditional vodka producing countries (all of which border the Baltic....) consider that vodka can only be made from grain, potatoes or erm sugar molasses, whereas producers in other parts of the world will distil just about anything that comes to hand and call it vodka.

It fell to an unfortunate German to cook up a compromise: ""The Schnellhardt Compromise (nearly as good as the Diet of Worms, the Humiliation of Canossa, the Defenestration of Prague etc. All of which sound a bit like Robert 'Bourne Repetition' Ludlum novels) adopted by the Committee on 30 January, says that if vodka is made of cereals, potatoes and molasses - without stating whether sugar cane or sugar beet is involved - the label can say "Vodka". If it is produced from other ingredients the label should say - "Vodka produced from…" The ingredient must appear prominently, in a print size only a third smaller than "vodka".

That appears to have been superseded, in that now the EU declares "
In future, vodka made from cereals or potatoes will be labelled simply as vodka. Vodka based on other raw materials will bear the indication "produced from" supplemented by the name of the raw material used" with no clarification on font size.

The Poles etc are not best pleased.

And why only 'part one'? As there appears scope for a transatlantic trade spat over this.

Adjusting my cynical hat a few degrees, this saw from the Sage of Kirkcaldy (the one with a really rather splendid institute named for him) came to mind "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” Because that is what our Baltic-bordering friends are up to.

However, removing the cynical hat and instead opting for the drinker's hat, I have more than a little sympathy, as I only ever drink vodka from the vodka producing countries.

Meanwhile, what with it being the season of good will etc, I will point out the vodka-enhancing properties of cheap water filters again.


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Blogger Ed said... 3:14 pm

What is the UK's "position" on this? I read somewhere that "we" are the second largest producer of vodka.

These ridiculous spats the EU gets into show why it is unsustainable in the long run. Please see vegelate/family chocolate for details...  

Blogger hatfield girl said... 9:36 am

What is the UK's "position" on this?

Supine, at a guess. Being able to distil alcohol from almost anything doesn't make it vodka.

By their fruits shall ye know them seems a reasonable rule for what is marc, grappa, vodka,etc.  

Blogger Ed said... 1:01 pm

If people buy it and people make money out of it who am I to criticise?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 2:41 pm

Ed, HG - Diageo is part of some trade body alliance that does not like this at all, it being a producer of a grape derived 'vodka' called Ciroc or somesuch.  

Anonymous true russian said... 1:40 am

It has been said many times before Vodka is not a cookie.  

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