I don’t do Vodka. Not normally anyway. I just don’t see the point in drinking something that feels like drinking pure alcohol without any sort of taste sensation. I may as well get straight onto the meths. Vodka and coke, vodka and orange, vodka and tonic, they just taste like alcoholic versions of the mixer. Utterly pointless.
"You haven’t tried enough vodkas."
"You haven’t tried enough vodkas. Go and get yourself a bottle of Finnish vodka. Just something you won’t find on the shelf here."
That’s the conversation that followed between a drinking partner and myself after the revelation that I hated vodka. I didn’t know whether to take his word for it. He’s been known to drink Lambrini. And enjoy it. In any case, he was right about one thing. In my life I’ve drunk around three vodkas – Smirnoff, Stoli and Russian Imperial. The last one I bought a dodgy offy when I was fourteen. It swore me off booze for life. Until I started drinking again a few years later… some people never learn.
With a determination to prove to myself that all Vodkas are the same, I thought I’d play devil’s advocate and bought what is considered one of the best vodkas on the market – Chopin. The bottle design is awful. It looks like it was designed by the sort of person that serves Ferrero Roche at a dinner party. Without irony.
Not that’s important. The proof is in the bottle, literally. So after a night of sitting in my freezer at 9 below I finally broker her open and poured a substantial measure – neat – and drank. At this point, I knew I was wrong – a feeling almost as bad as a knock-off vodka induced hangover.
Chopin is too easy to drink. It glides down with silken fluidity, almost an oiliness – something for which potato-based vodka, such as this one, are well known. It has a slightly bitter, medicinal taste that is far from unpleasant and produces a subtle herby kick at the end. Most vodka brands tout the fact that they’re distilled a million times through coal, diamonds and virgin brides "for purity" which is evidently at cost to the flavour. With Chopin, purity has taste.
If you fancy getting your hands on a bottle click here. It’s expensive for vodka (£30) so don’t go ruining it with anything. Freeze it over night and drink straight up.