Your understanding of vodka might extend as far as the regrettable bottle of cornershop Glen’s you bought on the way to a house party last weekend, or maybe some Skittles-flavoured concoction you made as a student once, but the spirit can also be very high end. Just ask the Polish who sip their “little water” with platters of sausage delicacies or the distillers of LA’s burgeoning craft vodka scene.
Or the guy who just had a £960,000 bottle of vodka stolen from his bar.
Brian Ingberg is the owner of Cafe 33, a bar in Copenhagen with over 1,200 vodka bottles on display. In the early hours of Tuesday morning, a thief entered the bar and stole one of them: the Russo-Baltique bottle.
This wasn’t just some slightly more fancy bottle of Smirnoff. Russo-Baltique is a luxury Russian car brand, and its namesake vodka comes in a bottle made with roughly 13 pounds of gold and silver, and adorned with a diamond-encrusted cap in the shape of a Russian imperial eagle. The bottle also has a replica of the radiator guard used for Russo-Baltique cars.
Unveiled in 2015 to mark the centenary of the company's factory and “woo Russian royalty, tycoons, and wealthy aficionados worldwide,” the Russo-Baltique vodka is claimed to be the most expensive in the world. It even had a cameo on House of Cards, gifted by the Russian president to President Frank Underwood at a state dinner.
Ingberg told local press that he had borrowed the vodka from the Latvia-based Dartz Motor Company. He said: “It has been part of my collection for six months, but not any more.”