A $1.3 million bottle of RussoBaltique vodka produced by Dartz has been recovered after being stolen on January 2 from a bar in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Dartz may be most widely recognized for its over-the-top SUVs, but the company also offers high-end vodka marketed under the historic RussoBaltique brand, and the most expensive bottle is the one that was just stolen. It’s the only one of its kind in the world.
Local police said they found the bottle near a construction site in the upmarket suburb of Charlottenlund, located in the north of Copenhagen. The vodka was missing but the bottle it came in, which represents the most expensive aspect of this particular RussoBaltique vodka, was intact save for a small dent. The bottle is made from 6.6 pounds of gold and an equal amount of silver. It also has a ribbon made from leather taken from an original 1912 RussoBaltique car.
Fans of the Netflix series “House of Cards” may recognize the bottle from the season three episode where the fictional Russian President Victor Petrov gifts it to the equally fictional President Frank Underwood at a state dinner. Lars Mikkelsen, who played Petrov in the series, previously visited Copenhagen’s Café 33 to pour some of the vodka.
The bottle was on loan to Café 33, a bar and unofficial vodka museum, when it was stolen. Security footage captured a masked man gaining access to the bar with a key that was likely a copy.
Speaking with The New York Times, Café 33 owner Brian Ingberg suggested the thief probably got cold feet once the news broke out. Ingberg also said he had received a call from someone claiming to know the thief and that he wanted to return the bottle.
“I got the feeling that he felt he was in trouble because of the police and Leon in Russia wanting to send people out to look for it,” Ingberg said, referring to Leonard F. Yankelovich, Dartz’s founder and the actual owner of the bottle. “It’s not the most fun item to possess.”
Yankelovich had loaned the bottle to Ingberg about six months ago. When contacted, he said he had a feeling the bottle would be found, as he has “trust in the god of vodka.”
As for the current location of the bottle, Yankelovich says it’s in the protection of his elite “virgin guards.” The photos below show one of the guards previously transporting the bottle.