Distilled Chernobyl Vodka: Not For The Faint Of Heart

Take Chernobyl, the scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster that happened some 33 years ago, and combine it with some grain grown from in a part of the exclusion zone around it then what do you get?

A vodka named Atomik, of course.

That’s right, thrill seekers who visit the ruins of the old power plant located in Ukraine will soon be able to include their livers in the fun by drinking tasty, distilled vodka made from water and grain that are both harvested in the reactor’s exclusion zone.

Previously, the 1986 meltdown rendered the 1,000-square-mile zone surrounding the old power plant to be uninhabitable for the next 24,000 years.

Not to worry however, because even though the idea of drinking a “radioactive gin” can be both thrilling and exciting for many, it’s all in the name. And the makers of the artisanal spirits assure that their alcohol is free from any dangerous radioactivity. In fact, they even said that it can be mass produced soon, which can help the economic recovery of the region around Chernobyl, blighted as it may be.

According to a release, a social enterprise called the Chernobyl Spirit Company is apparently being built to serve as an avenue for the traditionally distilled “artisan” alcohol to be produced and sold. Furthermore, 75 percent of the overall profits will be going back to the local community.

“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,” Professor Jim Smith, from the  University of Portsmouth, said.

According to a spokesman from the same university, the research team had found some amount radioactivity in the grain. However, “because distilling reduces any impurities in the original grain, the only radioactivity the researchers could detect in the alcohol is natural Carbon-14 at the same level you would expect in any spirit drink,”

Prof. Smith continued.

Today, the old power plant is Ukraine’s number 1 destination, and has hosted more than 80,000 tourists back in 2018. It has also become a haven for rare or endangered animals and has become a new wildlife conservation area.

Vodka bottle Vodka's distillation process makes it one of the purest alcohols, eliminating sugars from fruits and vegetables. Photo courtesy of Pexels, Public Domain