The cheap vodka giving British holidaymakers the Rushkinoff Cough: Thousands complain of mysterious ailment after drinking cheap spirit in Spain


housands of British holidaymakers have complained about developing a mysterious cough after drinking cheap vodka in Spanish resorts.


The Rushkinoff Cough, named after the brand of vodka, has hit tourists holidaying on the popular island Mallorca.


Rushkinoff is the vodka of choice for most bars and restaurants on the island because of its low price. Litre bottles are also available in supermarkets for as little as three euros, making it a popular drink for friends to enjoy before a night out.


A Facebook page entitled ‘I got the Rushkinoff Cough’ has received nearly 12,000 likes.


Samantha McCabe, 22 who became ill with a cough after drinking Rushkinoff vodka on holiday in Mallorca


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Tourists have also taken to Twitter and travel websites such as Trip Advisor to complain about the drink and warn other travellers.


One Trip Advisor user, Rebecca M, posted: ‘Avoid it if at all possible! By the end of the holiday I had stopped buying vodka drinks when out because my throat couldn’t take it. I lost my voice... I spent a week at home with a wicked cough and I could hardly speak.’


Holidaymaker Samantha McCabe, 22, and her five friends came down with a cough after a week-long holiday in the resort of Santa Ponsa and believe it was caused by drinking the vodka, which has an alcohol content of 37.5 per cent.


+2Miss McCabe, who studies English Literature at Glasgow University, said: ‘It was about three or four euros for a bottle and we presumed it was OK because it’s served in all the bars.


‘We had one or two glasses of the vodka each night before we went out and we drank it when we were in bars too.


On the day we left, my throat started feeling scratchy and it got progressively worse. During the next week, I had a really sore throat and a hacking, rasping cough. It sounded like a smoker’s cough but I don’t smoke.


‘My friends all had similar coughs and we all felt rubbish.


‘I looked on Twitter when I got home and saw this thing called the Rushkinoff Cough and everything made sense.’


But when the Daily Mail approached Antonio Nadal, the Spanish company which produces Rushkinoff, they said the problem was not their vodka but the amount British tourists drink.


Just weeks ago, a British girl was filmed performing a sex act on 24 men while on a pub crawl in Magaluf, one of Mallorca’s most popular resorts.


Pilar Alonso, from Antonio Nadal, said: ‘This is the problem – the amount the British drink. In other areas in the island where German people go, Scandinavian, Italians, Spanish, there is not the same problem – the problem is the British and how much they drink.


‘We have news in the papers every day about the uncivilised behaviour of the Brits here, we don’t hear the same about other tourists visiting Mallorca.’


She added that Rushkinoff vodka meets all EU product requirements.


But when the drinks company’s comments were put to Miss McCabe, she claimed that they were just making excuses.


‘I’m not a huge drinker and I didn’t overdo it on holiday so it wasn’t a case of drinking too much,’ she said. ‘The symptoms we had were definitely different to those of a hangover.’

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