States Organize Boycotts Of ‘Russian’ Vodka – But Are They Really Russian?
Multiple governors have called on liquor stores to remove Russian vodka from shelves in protest of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, but after further research, it turns out the move is mostly symbolic.
Russian vodka only makes up 1.2% of vodka imports, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
Additionally, many vodka brands have Russian-sounding names since vodka originated in Russia and comes from the Russian word, “voda,” which means water. Even though the names sound Russian, it doesn’t mean that the vodka is. One vodka that people have been mistaking for Russian alcohol and dumping out is called “Stoli Vodka,” which means capital city in Russian. The alcohol is actually made in Latvia, a country that is a NATO member and has denounced Russia’s moves.
It’s the same story for numerous other vodka brands such as Smirnoff, Ciroc, Tito’s, Absolut, Svedka, Grey Goose, SKYY and New Amsterdam. These brands come from all over the world, including Sweden, France, the U.K. and the U.S.
Governors in Texas, Ohio and New Hampshire ordered the boycott on Russian alcohol, but Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) specified which one to target.
“Cease both the purchase and sale of all vodka made by Russian Standard, the only overseas, Russian-owned distillery with vodka sold in Ohio,” he said.