The EU has ruled that as of now the Moscow Mule cocktail must be made in Reims, with all other versions of the drink having to be renamed ‘Ginga Minga Voddy Cack’.
The announcement follows Russia’s surprise announcement yesterday that only its own sparklers can be called ‘champagne’, and all other fizz in the country must be known as ‘sparkling wine’.
Other sparkling wine styles are unaffected, with sekt, cava and moscato d’Asti continuing to be known as ‘shite’.
But there are fears that the Russian move, and the EU’s angry response to it, could spark a bitter trade war.
‘It’s essential that we protect our geographical indicators,’ said Pierre Sur-Lattes of the Bureau de Bulles de Champagne (BBC). ‘We shall stand up for our belief in regional expression, and the Russian authorities can stand up for what they believe in.
‘Principally homophobia, election rigging, bigotry and poncing around bare-chested on a horse.’
Pressure in the bottle
The EU are hoping that their swift counter-move to claim exclusive rights to the Moscow Mule will put pressure on the Kremlin to back down over the term champagne.
The Champenois have said that creating a vodka cocktail PGI in northern France at 24 hours notice was ‘actually a lot easier and less controversial than trying to extend the borders of our own appellation, and probably more clearly thought out than most Italian wine law.’
According to the EU, the only challenge has been ‘getting French people to pronounce the word ‘mule’ correctly.’
The Russians, however, are showing no signs of backing down on their original decision. According to Yuri Ninfekzhn of Wines of Russia the country has a long history of making sparkling wine, with rules and regulations every bit as strict as those in Champagne.
‘Our champagnes must be made only from the Surli and Pistov grape varieties and fermented exclusively in an old tractor factory,’ he told Fake Booze.
The finished wines were, he said, ‘rigorously aged on a truck for the three weeks it takes to drive them to the nearest habitable city.’
According to Ninfekzhn, Russian sparkling wine consumers are ‘marginally less discerning than the Dutch – though it’s probably closer than either party would care to admit.’
The Russian authorities have said that in the spirit of international co-operation they will be celebrating the new naming rules with ‘a nice glass of Dom Perignon sparkling wine’, and they would love to see the French reciprocate by toasting with a Russian product.
‘We would love to send them one of our most famous liquid exports to celebrate their glorious victory,’ said Ninfekzhn.
Read about that other great non-EU sparkling style, British Carbonated Wine here; Click here to read about Champagne’s bitter ‘Bling War’ and here to read about the rise of Cristale Meth throughout Europe.