Radioactive-free vodka from Chernobyl is now a thing

Radioactive-free vodka produced from abandoned land in Chernobyl has been hailed as ‘the most important spirit in the world’.

The ‘artisan vodka’ is the first consumer product to come from the area around the damaged nuclear power plant for over 30 years. Scientists who brewed the drink say it could help the region recover economically after decades of suffering following the 1986 disaster.

The vodka is a result of a three year research project led by Professor Jim Smith, of Portsmouth University, who was given funding to find out if it was safe to start using some of the abandoned land for growing crops. Professor Smith said: ‘I think this is the most important bottle of spirits in the world because it could help the economic recovery of communities living in and around the abandoned areas.

‘Many thousands of people are still living in the Zone of Obligatory Resettlement where new investment and use of agricultural land is still forbidden.’ A 4,200 square kilometre human exclusion zone was put in place around Chernobyl, Ukraine, after the explosion of the nuclear power plant. Professor Smith said the drink, made from grains and water in the exclusion zone, tasted like ‘high quality home-made vodka’ or ‘moonshine’. He is setting up a social enterprise called ‘The Chernobyl Spirit Company’ in the hope of producing and selling the Vodka, branded ‘ATOMIK’.

There is currently only one bottle in existence but the team hope to produce 500 bottles this year, selling it initially to tourists who visit the exclusion zone. If the team get the go-ahead to sell the spirit, they plan to give 75 per cent of the profits back to the affected community.

About 300,000 residents were permanently evacuated from their homes after the accident and radiation was detected across Europe. Agricultural is still banned in many areas of Chernobyl where people still live. Smith said Atomik is no more radioactive than any other Vodka.

It was tested by an expert team at a cocktail bar in Soho. Sam Armeye, from Bar Swift, told the BBC it had ‘fruity notes’ and would go well in a classic martini or mixed with champagne. Professor Smith said his research showed many abandoned areas could be used to grow crops safely without the need for distillation. The report on his work has been positively received by the State Agency of Ukraine for Exclusion Zone Management.

source: METRO