There have been a lot of news reports and social media photos and videos posted of people pouring out Russian vodka into the streets in support of the people of Ukraine. We fully support the effort but read your label closely before you dump out your favorite imported vodka.
According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States – DISCUS Vodka is the number one selling spirit in the U.S. in 2021. It accounted for $7.3 Billion in total spirits revenue. The vast majority 98.3% of imported Vodka came from a country other than Russia. In fact, Russia only accounts for 1.7% of Vodka imported into the United States.
With those facts in mind, Stoli has released a statement asking people not to dump Stoli Vodka down the drain because it is not made in Russia, it’s actually made in Latvia. Here is the statement from Stoli.
Stoli® Group Denounces Russian Aggression
Stoli® Group has had a long history of fighting oppression from the Russian regime. We unequivocally condemn the military action in Ukraine and stand in support of the Ukrainian people.
“The safety and security of our Ukrainian team is our top priority. We are monitoring the situation closely and are already moving swiftly and decisively to provide support where needed, both to our people on the ground as well as partners,” noted Damian McKinney, Global CEO, Stoli® Group. “While we do not have any operations in Russia, we do in Ukraine and across many of the bordering countries.”
The Stoli® vodka brands and its owner Yuri Shefler were exiled from Russia nearly two decades ago. “As the Founder of SPI Group of companies, I have personally experienced persecution by the Russian authorities and I share the pain of Ukraine and its people,” noted Mr. Shefler.
Stoli® Premium and Elit™ vodka are manufactured and bottled in Riga, Latvia. The brand is registered with the US TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) as a Latvian product.
“We are inspired by the Russian people who have taken to the streets calling for an end to this attack on a sovereign nation. For decades, Stoli® Group has supported the marginalized and those at risk of unwarranted aggression. We stand now with all Ukrainians and Russians calling for peace,” said McKinney.
If after reading the label you are still not sure where your Vodka is imported from dump it out and drink Bourbon. You see in order to legally qualify as bourbon, it must be made in the United States. Just kidding, drink what you darn well please except for that 1.7% of vodka which we have confirmed comes from Russia. Cheers!
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Source: Distilled Spirits – Imports by Volume June 2021