Rudolf Jelinek Plum

Czech Republic

R. Jelinek Plum vodka

down in my plums

This is a review of Rudolf Jelinek Plum vodka from the Czech Republic. I sampled it in the Czech Republic in 2015. It’s a clear infusion, 40% alcohol, and I found it pretty epic.

I got this bottle of Rudolf Jelinek Plum vodka as a gift from my friend Karel the last time I was in Prague. And I can tell you one thing: the guy enjoys a clever lead up.
“Do you like beer?” he asked me in a most conversational tone.
“I like it, but I don’t know much about it.” I replied, being acutely aware of the fact that I was in the land of beer.
“Well, then what do you usually drink?” There was a sly smile on Karel’s face.
“Vodka.” I said.
“Oh, really?”
And out of nowhere appeared two bottles of fine Czech vodka. For me, from my friend Karel, who knew all about my tasting habits.

American confusion

My online search for Rudolf Jelinek Plum vodka turned out to be a bit confusing. The company had a website aimed at the American market, but it also had another one that seemed to cater to the Czech Republic and the rest of the world. Both looked very similar, each offering a bunch of company lore and a segment about their history dating back to the 16th century.

Here’s where it got confusing, though: the vodka on the American Rudolf Jelinek website looked very different from the one I had. I thought it might have been a rebranding, so I looked on the international website to confirm. But I couldn’t find it there at all!

In the end I found the original Rudolf Jelinek Plum vodka that I had gotten in their e-shop. It looked exactly like mine. I also found a Rudolf Jelinek Facebook page. It had just recently posted that they were planning to send some bottles of their slivovitz to the International Space Station. Damn.

Oh, and about our Rudolf Jelinek Plum vodka: I found a YouTube commercial where a bunch of people get wasted in a restaurant and then break into a golf course and use plums to play golf with.

And here’s the YouTube clip:


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Rudolf Jelinek Plum vodka is special

Back to Prague, back to my friend Karel’s living room, back to us opening the bottle of Rudolf Jelinek Plum vodka. It turned out to be awesome.

I’m not sure if I would say it tasted exactly like plums, but it did have a very special taste, and it was smooth and gentle on top of it. The aftertaste was peculiar. There was a rich sweetness in it, something very different from most other infused vodka brands I had tried before. It reminded me of the legendary Żołądkowa Gorzka.

I wonder what kind of mixed drinks could be made from Rudolf Jelinek Plum vodka.

I tried looking up the price online, and I found something like 7€ for 700ml. This is just another indicator of the problem of comparing vodka prices from different countries. And finally, about the bottle design: it’s meant to be retro, sure. I understand that. But it just didn’t look that great to me.

Anyway, Rudolf Jelinek Plum vodka is pretty epic.


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