Last night our church held an auction. We had lots of donations from generous local companies and individuals, and so I went along to spend some money.
I won two lots. First, a bottle of vodka from Chase Distillery.
We had some Aldi Tamova vodka left over at home. We had bought the Aldi vodka to make damson vodka. In fact, if you look closely at the top right hand corner of the first picture you can see the jars full of variations on gin, vodka, damsons and sugar. I’m not a real spirit drinker, so I wondered if someone as ignorant as I am could tell the difference between the two brands. We had a taste test.
The Tamova vodka was tried. This was a Silver award winner in the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2011, so whilst it is quite cheap, it’s not rubbish.
I tried the Chase Distillery vodka. Oh My Word. A revelation! It transported me back to Moscow. I spent a month there as a student, and a couple of times we were taken into quite posh shops, where we were given a shot of vodka to help us consider our purchases. It was good vodka, and they were oblivious to the fact that we were all poor students really: to them we were foreigners with dollars in our pockets.
We then went to the internet and discovered this:
“It is enough to make a patriotic Russian need a stiff drink to get over the shock – an English vodka has been voted the best in the world. Chase vodka has triumphed in the 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, beating 249 rivals from around the globe, including Russia and Poland’s finest.”
Will Smale, bbc.co.uk, 16 May 2010
What do you know, I had inadvertently bought a bottle of the world’s best vodka, 2010. It is truly delicious. This will not be going anywhere near extra fruit and sugar. It will be sipped slowly on cold winter evenings. If you want some for yourself, it is available at Waitrose. I highly recommend it!
My second purchase was a poker.
Recent estimates are that there are only 600 Artist Blacksmiths in this country, and one of them lives just down the road from us. Bromley O’Hare is our local blacksmith. If you are fans of Grand Designs, and have been watching since series 3, you might remember a Border Oak home, which got put up in about 3 milliseconds. It had a rather ornate door knocker designed by the owner. Bromley made that. I love proper handmade iron work – I just wish I had more money to be able to afford it!
I had gone out of the house with an agreement to spend up to £60 on auction items, and I had to go home and confess that I had actually gone over budget somewhat. Still, this is a thing of beauty, and it will last (and be a joy) forever.