Sir Winston Churchill’s favourite brandy is being introduced for sale in UK bars for the first time.
Ararat Armenian Brandy was served by Stalin at the Yalta Conference in 1945, where Churchill first developed a taste for it. After the war, he would reportedly receive around 400 bottles personally every year from the Soviet Leader.
The traditional brandy, made from local grapes in the Ararat valley since 1887 - was also rumoured to be a favourite drink of Frank Sinatra and Agatha Christie.
Until now, the Soviet government only allowed a small number of spirit brands, such as the now Latvian-produced Stolichnaya, to be exported from Russia. Supplies of exclusive sprits such as Ararat brandy and the famous Russian vodka brand Russkaya were usually reserved for elite members of the Communist party.
20 years after the collapse of the Iron Curtain, these long lost soviet jewels are now being introduced to UK bars by London based drinks agency Ignite Spirits.
The company’s Managing Director, Oliver Hibbs-Brockway is hoping to sell Russkaya and Ararat to the London bar scene. “These products have been available in a handful of specialist shops for the past few months, and we were really surprised when people started asking for them by name even though they hadn’t been here before” he says “it makes sense to start selling them to the bars since these two great products are clearly now in high demand”.