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Saturday, December 22, 2007

It's Vodka, Well It's Sort of Vodka

The European Union has issued a ruling on vodka that angers some and leaves others feeling a bit like their glasses are half full. What do you expect when the politicians of several different countries spend more than two years negotiating a settlement?

Scandinavian and eastern European countries had wanted the term vodka to be reserved for neutral spirits made using grains or potatoes. Producers in other countries fought this because some use grapes, sugar cane and other raw ingredients. The EU answer is that potato and grain spirits can be labeled simply as "Vodka," while the other neutral white spirits can be labeled as "Vodka Made With ________."

The EU also put in place protections for using the terms Scotch Whisky and London Gin on labels. Spirits companies have alternating taking sides on the issues, at some points trying to fight cheap foreign knock offs, while at other times trying to make sure some of the products they make don't run afoul of the proposed regulations.

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