By Richard Laming
Published in EUobserver, 28 September 2006
I wrote in these pages earlier in the year about wine. Now I am going to move on to vodka. On another occasion, it might be the making of a good night out, but just right now, it’s the excuse to write about politics.
But the vodka story is a good one, though; bear with me.
The origin of the story is a demand by the countries of the Baltic region to protect the word “vodka”. They want it reserved only for drinks made from potatoes or cereals. This is the traditional meaning of vodka, they say, and consumers deserve protection from inferior imitations. Scotch whisky is very tightly protected, and vodka should be similarly protected.
You may wonder whether it is more than mere coincidence that the countries making this demand are the countries where vodka is produced according to these traditional recipes. I prefer not to comment, merely to observe.
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