Saturday, 28 January 2012

Presents for Sixty Year Olds - what do you get?

My neighbour has just turned sixty and is having a big party to celebrate. Sixty year olds of a previous generation were definitely OLD, now again just like forty is the new thirty, sixty is definitely the new fifty and that is certainly the case with my neighbour. He does the gym, works from a home office at the bottom of the garden, has a history in the music industry and still has his finger firmly on the pulse, which is not weak but vibrant and strong. He also is a bugger to buy for. Not only is he my sixty year old neighbour but he's a man and they are always difficult anyway. If he wants a boy's toy he'll go and buy himself one. I wouldn't want to choose clothes for him - way too personal. And a bottle of champagne? Nice though it is it's a bit lacking in thought really.
So I was fascinated to read about how the brains behind Tyrells crisps, one William Chase, decided to go into vodka production as he had too many potatoes on his hands. Chase Vodka quickly went on to win the Best Vodka in the World award in 2010 at the San Fransisco Spirits Awards - an amazing success that needs to be celebrated more in the UK I reckon.

According to a feature in The Guardian he had no distilling experience but decided to aim for the connoisseur market and invested 3 million in a distillery. The potatoes have a slight natural sweetness so the vodka has a distinctive flavour. 'The reason other people stopped making vodka out of potatoes is because you need so many spuds.' Chase tells The Guardian, 'The first time we made vodka we had an artic-load of spuds and there was only a few litres.' 'You can get a bit more of a yield out of wheat but with potatoes it has a natural sweetness to the product and the consistency of a fine wine.'
He now produces 1,000 bottles a week and it's loved by Americans but understandably less so by the Poles and Russians!
Now I felt I was on to something in terms of a gift idea for the 'man who has everything' so popped into John Lewis who I knew stocked a limited supply of the brand. I had read somewhere that they had produced a very limited batch of Marmalade Vodka so was amazed to see an unlimited supply on the shelves next to the original brand. This is the original limited to 1000 bottles label...

Photo -
And this is what you can now buy in John Lewis, Waitrose and from their website.

 They make this by 'marinading our Chase Vodka with the finest Seville Orange Marmalade and then infusing it in our Alambic Copper Pot still to create this totally unique marmalade experience.' Wow - the perfect gift for a sixty year old, a limited edition vodka with a twist! They suggest he tries it neat, chilled or use it to make a Breakfast Martini - problem sorted!

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