Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Sales of Bootleg Vodka with Russian Label on Rise in Afghanistan

Russian samogon (home-brew vodka) still… y’all come!

Sales of bootleg spirits posing as Russian Stolichnaya vodka are on the rise in Afghanistan, the independent Afghan daily Arman-e Melli reported on Monday. The paper said the Afghan-produced “Stolichnaya” is made from sultana grapes, unlike the genuine article, which is made from wheat, rye, and artesian water. The fake vodka is produced mainly in northern provinces of Afghanistan, and put in Pakistani-made bottles. On the Afghan black market, the bootleg vodka is even more expensive than original liquors smuggled from neighbouring countries. In 1996, before liquors were banned in the country, genuine Stolichnaya along with Moldovan brandy were readily available in Afghan stores.

29 September 2008



Editor’s Note:

In Russian popular culture, samogonshchiki (moonshiners) are as colourful as their American counterparts. Sinful-ginful humanity being what it is, such folks are always bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and friendly hospitable sorts. Russians brew up their own stuff not because it is illegal, but, because many Russians do not trust commercial vodka (especially those from small towns and rural areas). Russkie white lightnin’ is either absolute rotgut or as fine as the best commercial product, the secret is the filtration.

Can I hold my likker? Are you jesting? You’re going to have to pry the glass out of my cold and dead fingers, for I am a true daughter of Russia!

Bottoms up and smile! Do pass the Everclear, Mike, please, it’s on your right…


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