Chacha, Georgia's National Hard Liquor, to Flow from a Fountain
Culinary connoisseurs around the world, have we got news for you. A brandy-like drink will soon cascade from a fountain in the city of Batumi, Georgia's up-and-coming party town on the Black Sea coast.
And we are not talking about just any kind of booze here. No less than Georgia's national hard liquor chacha -- sometimes defined as grape brandy or grappa, sometimes as grape vodka, but always no less than chacha -- will gush once a week from a tower in the central part of town. "Once a week, for 10 to 15 minutes, chacha will flow from this fountain instead of water. Tourists will have an opportunity to taste the traditional drink," Mayor of Batumi Robert Chkhaidze told Georgian television.
Dispensing alcohol will not be the only function of the minaret-like tower, to be completed this year, the pro-government TV news station Rustavi2 reported on March 28. The 25-meter-tall structure will include an observation desk, pools (with no liquor though), a clock and a tourist information center.
Georgia has been going out of its way to attract tourists and Batumi, its star tourist project, now offers wonderfully tacky attractions ranging from wedding-cake buildings to Dubai-style glass towers and an upcoming aerial tramway.
The price tag for this latest addition -- described, with a straight face, as "Georgia's first chacha tower" -- has not been released, but the city government hopes that the fountain will attract an ever larger crowd of visitors.
And their hopes may be well founded. Georgia just cancelled visa requirements for Russian citizens, meaning that another Russian invasion -- this time, of chacha-loving tourists -- might soon be in the offing.