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Monday 18 April 2011

Not Your Grandmother's Vodka: Babicka Vodka

Confesion: I've never seen the point of spending more than £8 on plain vodka. I will happily pay double that if you flavour it with vanilla, raspberry, blueberries, apple, bees, jam, cigarettes, whatever. But just a bottle of vodka? They all taste the same, right?

When I got sent a £35 bottle of Babička vodka, I feared it would be wasted on me. Would I be able to tell this from the 50p shots of vodka I used to down at a terrible club in Coventry? Would this induce flashbacks to dancing to Kenickie while drinking what tasted like paint stripper?

Well, of COURSE not. Babička is infused with wormwood - the stuff in absinthe that's meant to make you hallucinate - and apparently comes from a recipe invented by 16th century babičkas, the Czech term for peasant grandmothers. Those old ladies knew what they were doing because this is smooth enough to drink neat. It doesn't burn the back of your throat but creates a pleasant buzzing warmth, and leaves a delicious subtle aftertaste of aniseed and vanilla. It goes very nicely with tonic or cranberry juice.

At £35, it'll be an occasional purchase for me. It would make a lovely gift, especially as it comes in such a sleek, sexy bottle. Get yours from Harvey Nichols, The Whiskey Exchange or The Drink Shop (where it's currently £24.95). Try not to think about the fact it translates as Nana Vodka and get your martini on.

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