A liver transplant patient turned up to her operation appointment at a German hospital with a bottle of vodka in her bag, a court has heard.

Storm in a shot glass as advert redraws map of Americas

A whimsical ad by the makers of Absolut vodka aimed solely at consumers in Mexico has drawn the ire of some sovereignty-sensitive Americans, forcing the company to issue an unusual apology.

Teenager Coleman given first Aintree ride

Aidan Coleman was yesterday handed the chance to become one of the youngest ever winners of the Grand National. The 19-year-old, who has never ridden over the Aintree fences before, was booked to partner Mon Mome by the trainer Venetia Williams.

Pernod Ricard wins €5.63bn battle for Absolut Vodka

It is a drink whose time has come. Vodka is cheap to make, has no pesky maturing process and (as a result) lacks a strong flavour, meaning it can be mixed with any number of flavourings, or simply used as the base for any number of cocktails.

Russian ladies who lunch are finally given their very own vodka

It's the Marilyn Monroe of Russian vodka. The violet-tinted liquor bottle has been dressed in a white skirt, blowing up to reveal not a shapely thigh but the new "Ladies' Vodka" label.

My DIY beauty brand: Home-made cosmetics

They're overpriced, overpackaged and full of chemical nasties. So shouldn't we try cooking up our own cosmetics? Rebecca Armstrong gets busy with the beeswax – because she's worth it

Will Chase: Crisps and vodka: the proof is in the potato

Using the spuds he likes, Will Chase is trying to find another upmarket niche to build on the success of Tyrrells, as he explains to Lauren Mills

Diageo ditches Absolut Vodka in favour of Dutch rival Ketel One

Diageo, the world's biggest drinks maker, has abandoned its pursuit of Sweden's Absolut Vodka after buying into its Dutch rival, the vodka brand Ketel One.

Lough Derg lands upset to keep up Pipe's hot streak

The in-form David Pipe stable carried on their hot streak yesterday with a double at chilly Ascot, headed by Lough Derg's 14-1 triumph in the Grade One feature, the Long Walk Hurdle.

The Third Leader: Milk and honey

Some accuse David Cameron of a lack of substance. I hope they are feeling chastened today: this is a man whose announcement that he wants to make us happy is swiftly followed by the news that one of his favourite songs is Benny Hill's Ernie. Implementation in three days. Impressive.

Brazil gripped by fear as gang riots spread

Dozens more people, mostly prisoners, were killed and the streets of Brazil's business capital gripped by fear yesterday as a crime wave of unprecedented violence swept over Sao Paulo for a third night, taking the overall death toll to more than 70.

Book Group: John Walsh reviews the June book - Dry, by Augusten Burroughs

Self-absorbed, but a brilliant read

Shaken or stirred, vodka raises British spirits

For centuries, vodka's surgical jolt was a pleasure enjoyed only within the chilly confines of Russia and its Slavic neighbours. Even 40 years ago, James Bond's shaken vodka martini denoted something exotic and dangerous to British audiences.

FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
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Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam