Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Lydia Martin
The Ukrainian authorities confiscated almost 1,500 bottles of Atomik vodka, and this controversy got us curious.
Are there radioactive ingredients in Atomik vodka? Can you still legally buy it?
Check out some info about Atomik vodka – price, ingredients, and interesting facts.
Everything About Atomik Vodka
Atomik vodka was created by a group of scientists from the UK, Ukraine, and the University of Portsmouth. Its base ingredients – rye and apple, are grown and harvested on the land where the Chernobyl nuclear disaster happened.
The Chernobyl incident is known as the greatest man-made disaster in the world. It happened when the Ukraine government opened the Exclusion Zone and fueled the fire. You can even check the Aerial view of the nuclear plant after the disaster to see how devastated it is.
You may wonder if it is safe to consume because it may contain radioactive ingredients. Also, why were the 1500 bottles confiscated?
Let’s get things straight – according to Professor Jim Smith of the University of Portsmouth, the bottles were held because of the “alleged forged Ukrainian excise stamps” and not because of the ingredients.
How It’s Made
The Chernobyl Spirit Company formed a group of scientists from Ukraine and the UK to test and monitor the farming and production process of Atomik vodka. A radioactive safety test was conducted on the first bottle of Atomik, and carbon-14 (a small amount) was found in the finished product.
Is carbon-14 safe? Yes, it is, and it is found naturally in alcohol.
A bottle of Atomik vodka is triple distilled with the uncontaminated groundwater drawn 10 kilometers south of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. After the distillation process, no radiative isotopes are found, so it is safe. Here are other Ukrainian vodkas.
Where It’s Made
Atomik vodka is made in a Ukrainian distillery covered by the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, where the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant explosion happened in 1986 . The Chernobyl Spirit Company and the scientists from the exclusive zone study the agriculture and remnants of radioactivity in the area.
Scientists have two main goals in mind: (1) to prove that after the nuclear disaster, crops near the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone are safe to consume; and (2) to help economic recovery in abandoned areas by giving 75 percent of the profit to the local communities affected by the disaster.
The key ingredient of Atomik vodka is rye grown in the abandoned land inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone where the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster happened. The grain grown near Chernobyl Power Plant is found to be radioactive. However, the scientists from Portsmouth University reduced impurities by heavy distilling and diluting mineral water.
Apples grown near Exclusion Zone in Narodichi District is also a key ingredient, and it is one of the first product grown in the zone.
Who Makes Atomik Vodka?
The Chernobyl Spirit Company makes Atomik vodka. A group of scientists and Ukrainian colleagues, along with Professor Jim Smith, spent decades studying the exclusion zone before setting up the company. In fact, the first bottle of Atomik underwent intensive tests before consumer export to ensure that the alcohol was safe.
The goal of the research team and company is to help rebuild the economy of local communities that suffered from the disaster. People still live in the Zone of Obligatory Resettlement, so studying the crops grown will help revive communities.
What is a Chernobyl Drink?
Chernobyl Drink is a vodka made from crops grown in the land in and near Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The spirit came from the concept made by people in villages of Russia, Poland, and Belarus. The concept then led to the Chernobyl drink that is now available worldwide.
It is not your ordinary vodka because it is made in a nuclear disaster location, and that caught the interest of people around the world.
Where Can You Buy Atomik Vodka?
You can buy variants on the Atomik vodka page. They sell unique 5x distilled Apple Spirit (42%), Plum (52%), and first-ever small batches of Pear (42%). Also, they can only deliver to UK addresses.
The first batch of 1500 bottles is now in the custody of the Kyiv Prosecutor’s Office due to the excise stamps issue and not because of its content. Profits on the vodka are partly given to the communities affected by the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant to help them, especially those near the exclusion zone.
Common Atomik Vodka Prices
Alcohol By Volume
Average Price (in USD)
First Batch Apple Spirit
$100 – $120
$58 – $70
$70 – $80
$84 – $90
Compared to Other Vodkas
Wheatley vodka is an artisanal vodka with a fresh, crisp, and clean taste, thanks to the ten times distillation and triple filtration. It has a slightly lower ABV (41%/82 Proof) than Atomik (42%) and is a cheaper option because you can score a 1.75 L bottle for roughly $22.
Western Son Vodka
Western Son vodka is another ten times distilled spirit and is gluten-free. Western Son is made from corn which is different from Atomik (Rye and Apples), and is commonly produced in North America. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative for Atomik, a 1.75 L bottle of Western Son vodka is approximately $20.
Arby’s vodka is a tribute to the mastery of spiced, crisp, curled potato and the innovative vodka has a unique, authentic, and distinct taste. It has hints of paprika, cayenne, and tasting notes of the traditional curly fry by Arby’s. The vodka costs around $60 per bottle if you want to try it out.
Is Atomik vodka radioactive?
No, Atomik vodka is not radioactive. While the primary grain is found near a radioactive land, the vodka is no longer radioactive. The team made sure that heavy distillation and diluted mineral water from a clear and clean aquifer near Chernobyl clear impurities.
Is Atomik vodka safe to drink?
Yes, Atomik vodka is safe to drink. The carbon-14 trace found in the first bottle is naturally found in spirits. Aside from its safe consumption, the proceeds of this project will help the community rebuild its economy.
The first batch’s 1500 bottles of Atomik vodka seized created controversies and was taken by the Kyiv Prosecutor’s Office because of the excise stamp and not because of its content. The Atomik vodka price is justifiable given the terroir where the ingredients and production occur.
Profits will help Ukraine and Narodichi build back their community and improve lives, so contact them or buy one on their online links.