Christmas Story about Russo-Baltique Vodka

The incredible adventures of Russo-Baltique Vodka in the ‘ Monte Carlo Rally’, with a prologue and an epilogue.

«You see, every year on December 31, my friends and I go to the bathhouse. This is our tradition» (from the k / f ‘Irony of Fate, or With a light steam!’).

«Early in the morning, December 31, 1911 (old style — ed.) Andrey Platonovich Nagel, editor-publisher of the St. Petersburg magazine ” Automobile’, left his apartment at 36 Liteyny Street and went to 10 Ertelev Lane. There in the garage of the St. Petersburg branch of the Russian-Baltic Wagon Factory (RBVZ for short) he was waiting for a two-seat “Russo-Balt “model” C24-30 “with an employee of the” Car ” – Vadim Alexandrovich Mikhailov. Behind the wheel of this car, Nagel and Mikhailov had to make a winter dash from St. Petersburg to Monaco.

Nagel, Mikhailov and two-seat Russo-Balt models C24-30

A 3257-kilometer journey in ice and snowfall in an open car” (from the article by L. M. Shugurov, dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the participation of the Russo-Balt car in the Monte Carlo Rally – ed.)… But about everything in order, and in this case the opposite…


On January 3 of this year, the information space was stirred up by the news about the theft from the collection of the Copenhagen bar Café 33 (Dybbølsgade 33, 1721 Copenhagen, Denmark) bottles Russo-Baltique Vodka, worth €1.1 million, which was rented from Leonard Yankelovich (Latvian-born Leonard F. Yankelovich, R.F.E Dartz Grupa).

Brian Ingberg & empty place left on the shelf after the bottle was stolen from Cafe 33 in Copenhagen

Omitting the details that were not ignored by the largest specialized and news agencies (BBC, The New York Times, The Drinks Dusiness, etc. – ed. ), Russo-Baltique Vodka was a bottle made of gold and silver (details and its inner part), decorated with leather elements (fragments of leather with the legendary ‘C24-30’) and with a stopper in the form of a double-headed eagle, encrusted with diamonds. Inside, the bottle contained vodka, ‘ recreated’ according to the original recipe, which was used by A. P. Nagel and V. A. Mikhailov, during the legendary rally (and this is mandatory, but a little later – ed.).

The bottle of Russo-Baltique Vodka

Next, January 6, 2018, ‘a Christmas story’ unexpectedly received a continuation – a bottle of Russian-Baltic vodka was found one of the builders , undamaged but emptied. “I do not know what happened to the vodka, but the bottle was empty,” Copenhagen police spokesman Riad Tooba told the agency AFP News Agency.

Bryan Ingberg (Brian Ingberg), bar owner Cafe 33, where this theft occurred, said that the value of the found bottle has not changed.

«Unfortunately, it’s empty. It was found by one of the builders, ” he commented to the newspaper Ekstra Bladet.

“I feel fantastic. The vodka god saved us! ” he added…


So, again omitting unnecessary details, let’s return to the’ Irony of Fate’, Nagel and Mikhailov, in December 31, 1911 (details, no doubt grandiose, are available in the article L. M. Shugurova ed .):

From St. Petersburg, through Luga, with an overnight stay in Pskov and then to Riga, where the crew arrived on the evening of January 1, 1912… Then through the German border town of Plekishsk (sometimes in first gear – ed.), Koeniksberg to Berlin, after which the weather improved and the speed was able to maintain about 100 versts per hour.

From St. Petersburg to Berlin

Then the route lay through Eisenach and Karlsruhe to Strasbourg, then through Belfort, Lyon, Avignon and then through Nice to Monaco: “In the rain, the Rousseau-Balt was the first to arrive in Monaco and received a solemn reception»…

“Counting the results, as in any rally, in Monaco was already a very difficult task. The main thing is that all participants meet the set schedule of movement, which is confirmed by the marks made in the travel cards at the checkpoints. Then the positive (today it is customary to say — positive) points for the distance traveled were taken into account. And points were awarded for exceeding the set average speed (positive points), for the number of passengers on board. In addition, a special jury gave ratings for the comfort of the car, for the elegance of the appearance, for the condition of the chassis and body. The total score allowed us to distribute 15 prizes and cash rewards. For example, in the general classification (we say — in the absolute standings), the first place was given in an envelope of 10 thousand francs — an amount sufficient to buy a new small car. The first place was taken by Julius Beitler on the Berliet ,and Nagel-the ninth (taking into account all the points mentioned above). In addition, the crew of the “Russo-Balta” received the first prize of tourism and the first prize of the distance of the route, as well as Nagel expected.”

Nagel and Mikhailov arrived in Monaco… 87 crews from nine countries participated in the international rally. They started from 10 different cities, the Russian capital was the most remote point from Monaco. In total, the crew completed the 3257 km ‘race ‘ in 195 hours and 23 minutes with an average speed of 16.3 km / h, in a convertible, at minus 25 °C…

After the announcement of the results, the award ceremony, the banquet and the final demonstration race in Monaco, Nagel and Mikhailov covered another 1000 kilometers on the Russo-Balt, C24-30, to the French Riviera and to Italy. In their honor, incredible receptions were organized in Cannes and Nice. In Lyon, they loaded the car with everything they needed and headed back to St. Petersburg.

But, closer to the subject itself, Russian-Baltic vodka — if you carefully examine the original car, you can find golden balloons (golden balls) – containers for pure ‘military spirit’, which the drivers mixed with Alpine meltwater, along their route. They (the crew) did not announce that the vodka they were warming themselves with (since ” the thermos of hot coffee quickly emptied»ed.), was only made from the best grain, filtered dozens of times through birch charcoal, silver and gold filters – only ‘pure military spirit mixed with crystal clear alpine water’. That’s exactly how </span >was born Russo-Baltic Vodka !

Unique Russo-Baltique Vodka

For the 100th anniversary of the Monte Carlo Rally, team Dartz Grupa, on its two DARTZ Prombron ‘ Aladeen Security Guard cars, arrived in Monaco. One of the goals is the ‘the purest alpine ice water’ for a one-of-a-kind bottle Russo-Baltique Vodka.

Spiritus aethylicus, mixed with crystal-clear thawed Alpine water, and ‘bottled’ in a silver vessel from the inside, and no stabilizers, acids,sugars and glycerin, infusions and aromatic alcohols-a recipe for ‘true’ vodka, and definitely not soft and delicate.



What do we have after 106 years of’ starting ‘ this story? Similar to a magical but real Christmas ‘fairy tale’ with a happy ending… and a recipe vodka for a million !

And what got ‘copenhagenen burglar’? It seems that he did not lose out!

Ps and a little more about the ‘ hero’ – on TV, a bottle of Russo-Baltique Vodka drew attention to itself, after appearing in the series from Netflix, House of Cards (season 3). In the third episode of the episode (on 1 min, 20 sec), the bottle was presented to the US President, played by Kevin Spacey (Kevin Spacey), the Russian president, played by Danish actor Lars Mikkelsen (Lars Mikkelsen).

Materials provided by By Leonard Yankelovich, Dartz Grupa; sources: L. M. Shugurov, BBC, The New York Times, The Drinks Dusiness, AFP news agency; author: Alexander Antonenko, who also had time, as he could ‘attach’ …