Vodka From Chernobyl Is Now Available

Image credit: University of Portsmouth via Live Science

From Live Science:

Thrill seekers visiting the ruins of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine may soon be able to take a piece of the site’s radioactive history home with them — in their livers.

A team of scientists from the U.K. and Ukraine have just produced the first bottle of what they’re calling Atomik vodka: artisanal spirits made from water and grain harvested in the reactor’s once-forbidden exclusion zone.

Though the 1,000-square-mile (2,600 square kilometers) zone surrounding the plant was initially declared uninhabitable by humans for 24,000 years following the 1986 meltdown, the makers of Atomik assured BBC News that their product is no more radioactive than any other liquor on the market.

Today, Chernobyl is the No. 1 tourist destination in Ukraine, hosting more than 60,000 visitors in 2018, local tourism officials reported. Visits spiked by about 30% in May 2019, following the debut of HBO’s “Chernobyl” miniseries.

Just one bottle of Atomik vodka exists at the moment, but the founders hope to cap at least 500 others by year’s end and sell them to thirsty Chernobyl tourists. According to Smith, 75% of the vodka’s profits will go back to locals living in exclusion zone villages, which have seen scant economic development since the nuclear disaster 33 years ago.

Atomik vodka is the first consumer product to come from the exclusion zone since the meltdown, the BBC reported. Apparently, it tastes like rye whiskey with “fruity notes.”

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