Never look a poured drink in the label
Bartosz Lewicki, 27.09.2011
Ahmed looked at me in amazement:
“You are from Poland? You don't want vodka, rum, whiskey? Or gin?” - “No, thanks.”
Every time when I'm in Egypt, I'm impressed by the panoply of local alcoholic beverages, which are free if you take an all-inclusive option. Goordon gin, Fineland Vodka, Barcadi rum, Jonny Wolker Whisky. Bottles and labels strikingly similar to the original ones. Being a reporter by nature, I felt obliged to try them. I didn't lose my sight. And that's probably the only positive thing about them.
Besides... My taste buds tell me they were all made in the same cask and enriched with aroma and coloring shortly before being bottled. It can be compared to dissolving hard candies in a poor quality moonshine. A couple of minutes after opening the bottle the aroma vanishes, and they all start to taste the same. Although using the word 'taste' may be considered a serious malfeasance.
I kept on observing the bar and came to a conclusion that it takes only about 15 seconds to empty a bottle. Then I heard the Russians cry:
“Give me three whiskeys!” and “Six vodkas, quickly!”
And that's the whole secret – never look a gift horse in the brand. If it's for free (or rather paid for in advance), has alcohol in it, and doesn't cause blindness – drink it. Others, like me, can take a beer or buy brand beverages in a shop or in duty-free zone.
But what will happen if one day big alcoholic beverages companies take interest in 'fake' counterparts of their brands? Probably nothing. In all-inclusive option it's not the odor, taste or brand that matters. It's the assuring feeling that everything's available for free and in any quantity you desire.
I wonder, therefore, why somebody would bother to come up with names so close to the original, print almost look-alike labels and choose right shapes of bottles. Wouldn’t it be easier to pour whiskey, gin, rum or vodka from bigger containers? It would certainly save some transport costs, which don't matter to the client anyway.
But you have to do it for the sake of appearances. And for the sake of tourists good mood.