The World Doesn’t Need a Vodka Revival

By Ben Brooks

All of us down at Cheapest Shot HQ heard a rumour that the world is on some sort of ‘Vodka Revival’.  Guys. You were doing so well. Coming to the bar and asking questions on all your favourite brands, knowing the recipe to a negroni and even if you’d like your gin martini dirty or with a twist. We raise our glasses to you.

So why the sudden change of heart?  Why would you want to go and stab us loving, caring, educating bartenders in the back by demanding a vodka revival?  Many moons ago when I started in bars the world was at its vodka drinking peak after the cocktail craze took off bigger than its domination of the 80’s.  The world was a disco drinker, add a large helping of vodka (flavoured or otherwise), fruit and juice and top it off with glow sticks, sweets, fresh fruit and twice as much ecstasy.

I can understand why we all had such a great time. (We in no way promote drugs…)

Things changed. The bars improved, the spirits world became more diverse and generally everyone started to understand alcohol that much better.  When you got to the bar you were thinking about what you wanted, something special to spend your money on and so it should be.  The rise of the thinker drinker, a wonderful person who brings a tear to a bartender’s eye when they order a Sazerac or a corpse reviver. – See “Pretentious Cocktails That Pretentious Bartenders Love”.

So why do people still lean towards Vodka these days? Do people still drink it straight and enjoy it? Because we’ve still got all sorts of whiskey up there too. Scotch, Bourbon, Irish and even Japanese. Are you after it with coke? Then how about rum?

Gin sales over the last year have reached over £1 billion for the first time in history. You were loving a gin and tonic. What changed?  Did we do something to upset you?  Think of that lovely gin and tonic you’re letting down, on a nice summer’s day when you’re absolutely parched!  Those times are coming back, we’re nearly in February.

Fair enough if you do enjoy a ‘nice’ vodka when choosing your poison, but to call for a vodka revival in 2016 is just plain silly. It doesn’t need a revival. It’s already one of the most popular spirits on the planet (Smirnoff is one of the most sold brands in the UK alone). The world doesn’t need a vodka revival in the same way that Hawaii doesn’t need anymore sunlight. It’s got enough of it, and people will always enjoy it.

We celebrate the rise of the Thinker Drinker. The member of public who has embraced the notion of drinking for taste and allows themselves to be educated about that obscure bottle that they’ve never seen before, but, petitioning for a vodka revival is like trying to get more popularity for the members of your high school football team. Fuck off and let the other kids play.

Can everyone just leave Vodka alone, please?

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