Actor Gerard Depardieu announces plans for vodka distillery in Russia
Actor Gerard Depardieu, Russia's most famous recent celebrity citizen, wants to open a distillery to make organic vodka.
The flamboyant former Frenchman, who already owns several vineyards, declared: "I know more people like to drinking wine than strong liquor, but vodka is a party drink. This will be my first venture into strong alcohol, and I hope it works."
Depardieu told the Itar-Tass news agency of his plan two weeks after revealing that he wanted to open his own restaurant, called Girard, in Moscow.
Overall, he is perhaps better known for his thirst for spirits than his expertise in making them.
He missed the premiere of his latest film, Welcome To New York, where he plays disgraced former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, at the Edinburgh Film Festival last month after spending an evening sampling local whiskies and "attacking a haggis" on Scotland's Isle of Syke.
Depardieu, 65, also wants to open a second restaurant serving Franco-Russian cuisine, as well as an arts centre, in Saransk, the capital of Mordovia, which is now his official home.
He already owns a string of restaurants in France and Belgium.
Depardieu took Russian citizenship last year after quitting France in protest at President Francois Hollande's now-stalled plan to impose a 75 per cent tax on the nation's highest earners.