Vodka, a drink already popular in the West by James Bond and has long been one of Russia’s most conspicuous exports, now the target of international anger over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In New Hampshire, where alcohol and liquor are sold through state-run stores, Governor Chris Sununu, a Republican, announced on Saturday, removing “Russian-made and Russian-branded spirits from our liquor and liquor stores until further notice.” In Ohio, where the state contracts with private businesses to sell alcohol, Governor Mike DeWine, also a Republican, announced a halt to the purchase and sale of Russian Standard vodka.
L. Louise Lucas, a leading Democrat in the Virginia State Senate, is call “Remove all Russian vodka and any other Russian products” from nearly 400 Virginia-run Alcoholic Beverages Authority stores.
And Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, wrote on Twitter“Pour out all Russian vodka, along with ammo and rockets, send empty bottles to Ukraine to use in Molotov cocktails.”
The Liquor Control Board of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, announced on Friday that it will remove “all products made in Russia” from its more than 600 stores. Similar relocation operations are underway in the provinces of Manitoba and Newfoundland, Reuters report.
Import boycotts visible in times of conflict are nothing new.
For example, in 2003, French opposition to U.S.-led military action in Iraq prompted some U.S. politicians to boycott French wine and trying to rename french fries to “Freestyle fries” (Although the dish might Originated in Belgium).
And like previous efforts, the Russian vodka boycott may be more symbolic than strategic.
Vodka has A long history In Russian culture, The Times once described it as “an integral part of Russian social life”. Colorless and odorless, it can be combined with a multitude of mixers to create a variety of concoctions. That versatility has given it a foothold in the US market, which has resulted in stiff competition between vodka producers from different countries.
But while 76.9 million cases of nine-liter vodka were sold in the United States in 2020 – generating nearly $7 billion in revenue for distillers, according to for the Distilled Spirits Council of America, an industrial trade group – Russia’s market share is not as large as one might imagine.
Russia accounted for more than 1% of all vodka imports into the US in 2017. Thrillist reportscites data from the Distilled Liquor Council of America.
France – whose vodka includes Gray Goose, Cîroc, Gallant and MontBlanc – accounts for about 39% of total vodka imports, the most of any country, Thrillist reported. Sweden, with vodkas like Absolut and DQ, accounts for about 18 percent. Other top importers are the Netherlands (17%), Latvia (10%), UK (5%) and Poland (5%).
In Pennsylvania, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on Saturday, “it is very difficult to find real Russian brands.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/26/world/europe/russian-vodka-brands-boycott.html Putin’s critics call for a boycott of Russian vodka.