zero harmful impurities

[40%, sampled in Kyrgyzstan]

Zero vodka. In a world of corporate branding, this seemed like a pretty good name for a vodka: short, meaningful, easy to remember.

“Hey, what have you been drinking?”

drunk on the beach

I bought this half-liter bottle for 150 Som (less than 4€/700ml) in a tiny shop in a tiny village on the shores of Issyk-kul. I took it to my room and decided to save it for dinner.

Then I got my towel and went out to the lake. The lake was so big that there were actual waves in it. They were small, but they kept crushing in as if the lake thought it was an ocean. I splashed around in the water for a while, then I lay down on the sand.

This is when a dude appeared. He lay down next to me on the beach, and I could smell alcohol on his breath. He asked me some questions, then started inquiring about the possibility of lending him 50 Som.

To make his point, he put a finger to his neck, the Russian sign for the consumption of alcoholic beverages. I looked around. The sun was high in the sky, I was yet to have lunch.

That night, I had a little bit of alcohol by myself.

say what now?

As usual, I checked out the bottle design first. This one didn’t overly impress me (just like Ozon and Vivat), but there was one thing that caught my attention…

See the little note on the top of the label? It says: HARMFUL IMPURITIES.

Here I am in an old sanatorium deep within the former Soviet Union, and I am looking at a bottle of vodka that proudly advertises itself as containing: harmful impurities.

Zero isn’t pleasant

The taste wasn’t that good. It burned. Okay, maybe it was the “advertisement” on the label that put me off, but I didn’t really like this stuff very much. And there was no pleasant aftertaste either.

I took another sip just to make sure that I had gotten it right.

Then I decided to put the bottle down and stop drinking. I looked out of the window at the lake. The waves were still crushing in.

Leave a Comment