The Steeple Times asks Konik’s Tail Vodka founder Pleurat Shabani: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
Beware, the half-wise are everywhere.
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
Know yourself and learn to suffer. I started out with nothing and still have most of it left.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2014?
That the government and banks are not helping or supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
Tony Blair… Not really.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
I don’t have any, but if I ever did, I’d swap it for my children, family and friends. I also like to think that time is not money, time is just time. Money is just money, there is no rate of exchange.
Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?
Bankers are at best a necessary evil and at worst a positive handicap. It is hard to see that we’ll ever have a say on how they act or how they behave. It is a market dominated by governments, conglomerates, gangsters and multinationals that are a little of both.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
“Email me”, “advertising” and “social media”.
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
Charles Dickens once said: “Charity begins at home, and justice begins next door”.
The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
It has to be my loving family and amazing friends like Allen Daly, Vince, Andy, Markus, Matt and the team at Gerry’s, Alessandro Palazzi and his team at Duke’s, Agostino Perone, the Pomada brothers, Pepijn, Fabio and all the team at The Connaught, Denis, Jorge and all the team at Claridge’s, Dawn Davies and all the team at Selfridges, Ivan Dixon, Luis and all the team at Chiltern Fire Station and the Gin Monkey. Can I please have one hundred extra carriages? I’d like all my bartender friends I fail to mention hop onboard.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
Konik’s Tail martini and bar snacks on The Orient Express with my family and friends.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
It’s always midnight somewhere.
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
Bone dry martini with a large measure of Konik’s Tail vodka and a lemon twist.
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
My own because they don’t exist.
Who is the most positive person you know?
My family and friends.
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
Indulging in a chocolatey treat.
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
My ten year old pair of shoes and a tub of superglue.
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
For style, an old rusty tractor, a Ursus 360-3P. It’s the one I drive when I harvest Konik’s Tail grains.
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
I love my craft distilling. It fuels my inner nerd. I guess I was am lucky to have the self-realisation that belief, determination, passion, a bit of madness and a sense of adventure can change the world.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
A simple note and a reminder of my achievements to date (see the picture above).
Pleurat Shabani is the creator and founder of Konik’s Tail Vodka. He was born in Kosovo and named his Polish vodka brand after a mythical Konik pony. It is available at such places as Harvey Nichols, the Master of Malt and Selfridges.
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