The 4th October is National Vodka Day. No-one seems to know why but we love any excuse for a party!
Like gin, vodka has had a revival in recent years and many speciality blends and flavours have appeared on the market.
But vodka does not just have to mean the drink… there are other ways to celebrate this Russian-inspired alcohol.
We’ve selected a few of our favourites:
Please drink responsibly.
The finest Swedish has been teamed with ripened raspberries to create a rich and intense natural flavour. With no added sugar, it can be enjoyed on its own over ice or in a range of fabulous cocktails. Try with cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime.
WE SAY: Absolut-ely fabulous!
Price: £20 from Waitrose.
Similar to the pink Champagne truffles but replacing the Marc de Champagne truffle centre with a natural strawberry flavoured milk chocolate mixed with a dash of vodka.
WE SAY: Perfect to round up a racing picnic!
Price: £11.95 from Chocolate Trading Co.
Distilled from East Anglian malted barley, wheat and oats, this vodka is then aged in European oak barrels to produce a stunning amber colour imbued with warm, soft tones of vanilla, white chocolate and coconut.
WE SAY: It’s vodka, but not as we know it.
Price: £29.99 from Adnams Cellar & Kitchen.
Award-winning Belvedere Vodka forms the centerpiece of this hamper, which also contains some wonderful snacks and treats to go with the drink. Packed in a dark wooden crate and finished with a ribbon.
ECLIPSE TIP: An alternative to ‘afternoon tea’ in your winter racing picnic perhaps?!
Price: £79.99 from Hampergifts.
Translated as ‘Special Muscovite’, this Russian vodka is produced from selected rye grain for a natural sweetness. It’s triple distilled, charcoal filtered and authentic.
WE SAY: Поехали! (pronounced pa-yé-kha-lee) which means ‘Let’s get started!’ For 39 more Russian drinking toasts see http://www.russlandjournal.de/en/learn-russian/drinking-toasts/ – by the time you’ve worked through that you’ll be ready for the next bottle…
Price: £19.99 from Majestic Wines.
This advent calendar contains 24 different, wax sealed, handmade bottles of vodka from all over the world including award-winning Russian, Polish and French spirits, as well as unusual flavours from artisan distilleries.
ECLIPSE TIP: Remember this needs to be purchased well before Christmas so you’re ready to start on the 1st December (otherwise you’ll have to drink all 24 bottles on Christmas Eve instead…)
Price: £99.95 from I Want One Of Those.
Evoking the smell of vodka cooled by ice, Vodka on the Rocks is part of the Addictive State of Mind collection, which is built around olfactive dependancies, an obsessive luxurious withdrawal into your own secret world of dreams and fantasy. The 250ml mini-carafe glass bottle is sold with a black travel spray and a funnel to facilitate the filling.
ECLIPSE TIP: DO. NOT. DRINK. IT.
Price: £460 from House of Fraser.
Vodka fusion time: add flavour and colour drops (recipes included), some inverted sugar, and a bit of tap water to regular vodka (vodka not supplied with the kit). Give your concoction a mix and pour into one of the glass bottles (supplied), pop in a cork and let it mature for a few days.
WE SAY: Stun your racing party with your fabulous DIY (both literally and metaphorically).
Price: £32.95 from Genie Gadgets.
Inspired by serving pieces found in mountain bars in the Tirol, this set of 12 assorted coloured shot glasses is presented on an oak paddle.
WE SAY: It’s time to get the party started…
Price: Was £85, now £68 from House of Fraser.