Marko Arnautovic has launched his own “unusually fruity” £30-a-bottle Arnautovic Gin, apparently shaped by his time playing in England for Stoke City and West Ham.
The 31-year-old forward has not played since scoring in a 3-0 win for Shanghai SIPG over Buriram United back in January – and he has spent his lockdown moving between Austria, Germany and Dubai, waiting for the green light to return to China.
But he has been busy.
He has worked with a distillery in Vienna to try to create a drink which reflects his own life; so that’s a British gin with added apricots standing for Austria and plums for Serbia, plus spring water from the Wechsel mountains.
It would seem he got the inspiration in Alderley Edge.
“My time in England shaped me,” he said to Kurier when asked why gin rather than beer, wine or vodka.
He recommends to drink it pure rather than with a mixer – and that it’s intended for the general public rather than professional athletes.
“If there is reason to celebrate then you can enjoy the moment with a glass of gin,” he said.
“The product should stand for enjoyment.
“I’m not the first to make alcohol. This doesn’t burn. It tastes best to me when it’s pure.”
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Arnautovic launched his new brand in the rooftop bar of the Hotel Grand Ferdinand on Vienna’s Ringstrasse. It’s available for global shipping.
But if he’s happy in business, the coronavirus crisis has put his life into perspective.
He spent four weeks in quarantine in Dubai then four weeks in Germany and is now working with a personal trainer in Austria while he waits on if and when he can get a visa to go back to China.
“Many people’s eyes have been opened this,” he said.
“You should appreciate what you have all the more. I have seen how important the family is.
“And what’s currently happening in the United States is sad. No, 2020 is not the best year yet. The highlight is my gin.”