Russian vodka is now facing backlash to the country’s recent invasion of Ukraine.
State officials in Utah, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Pennsylvania have all called upon liquor stores and state-run liquor outlets to remove Russian made or Russian-branded products from retailer shelves.
Utah Governor Spencer Cox commented, “Russia’s ruthless attack on a sovereign nation is an egregious violation of human rights. Utah stands in solidarity with Ukraine and will not support Russian enterprises, no matter how small the exchange.”
Such moves to show solidarity with Ukraine are, for the most part, symbolic, due to most Russian-branded vodka brands being distilled in different countries, and also the U.S.
Though popular brands such as Stoli and Smirnoff are branded with Russian origins, the former is registered in Latvia and the latter is owned by British spirits company, Diageo, and is manufactured in the state of Illinois.
Ultimately, such gestures have limited impact on actual Russian vodka, since it makes up a small percentage of the approximately $7 billion in annual vodka sales, according to the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS), a national trade organization that represents spirits makers.