My response alternated between amused and appalled when I came across this the other day.
“Kabbalah Vodka — with Christian Infants” first appeared on the entertainment blog English Russia this past December. Accompanying photos show each bottle of the premium distilled spirit featuring a pouty handmade glass infant sculpture inside.
The tag line and bottle design play off the old wives tales and myths that ancient Jewish rituals required the blood of non-Jewish children. (Kabbalah is a philosophy dealing with mystical Orthodox Judaism. It is the religion practiced by Madonna, Britney Spears, Barbara Streisand and several other celebs.)
Unsurprisingly, the vodka garnered a ton of internet attention, from admirers of the sleek packaging design to those amused or weirded out by the whole concept. Even William M. Dowd, a well-known and respected liquor reviewer and blogger, wrote it up on his Spirits Notebook blog. Commenters all around declaimed it as racist and offensive.
But a search for the purported producer of this alcohol — EZ Protocols — finds zero results other than rehashes of the same original story. No trace of evidence that the company actually exists.
And a more thorough read through the original post brings up some absurd phrases and declarations, such as the statement that “a black market has been borne that is renowned for selling glass infants” or that the company sold 13,000 cases on the first day, “an all-time record for brands of a given class.”
One of the few blogs to even question the whole campaign was Friendly Atheist. And a commenter on the original English Russia post noted that the corks in each of the three pictured bottles are exactly the same, a tip-off that the photos are not real.
I’m calling this out as a hoax.
So who benefited? And why did they do it (other than to laugh silently as everyone bought the wacky story, hook, line and sinker)?
Maybe the answer lies in a Russian-language website. Anyone up for translating?