Russian vodka is being boycotted by US governors and bar owners

Russian vodka is being boycotted by governors, bar owners and liquor stores in the United States after Vladimir Putin launched an attack on Ukraine last week.

The governors of Texas, Utah, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania have issued messages indicating the recall of Russian products and sign executive orders that include the removal of Russian vodka from liquor store shelves.”

Utah Governor Spencer Cox announced that all products made in Russia will be removed from state liquor stores. He also noted that all state acquisitions will be reviewed for links to Russia.

Chris Sununu, the governor of New Hampshire, also announced the withdrawal of Russian-made and Russian-brand spirits from liquor and wine outlets until further notice. “New Hampshire stands with the people of Ukraine in their fight for freedom,” he shared in a tweet.

“I have asked members of the Texas Restaurant Association, the Texas Package Stores Association, and all Texas retailers to voluntarily remove all Russian products from their shelves. Texas stands with Ukraine,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted last Saturday.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has ordered a halt to both the purchase and sale of all vodka made by Russian Standard. In the message he explained that Russian Standard is the only Russian-owned overseas distillery selling vodka in Ohio. Russian Standard vodka is sold under the Green Mark Vodka and Russian Standard Vodka brand names.

The owners of some bars and restaurants have shown their support for Ukraine by dumping Russian vodka.

Evel Pie, a punk rock-inspired pizzeria Evel Knievel in downtown Las Vegas undertook a campaign to ditch Russian vodka and replace it with a Ukrainian-owned brand. The proceeds would go to the International Rescue Committee for Ukraine.

In Bend, Oregon, the Pine Tavern in Bend also announced that it would no longer sell Russian vodka. The tavern’s owner, Bill McCormick, said that he was willing to lose hundreds of dollars in vodka sales to oppose the invasion.

Little Russian Vodka United States

The impact of the recall of Russian vodka on the shelves may not be as great as one might think. In Ohio alone, the recall is 6,400 bottles at 487 state agencies.

Russia ranks as the sixth largest supplier of imported vodka to the United States. France is the main importer of vodkafollowed by the Netherlands, Sweden, Latvia and Poland.

“Some of the popular vodka brands that consumers may think are Russian are not produced in Russia”said Lisa Hawkins, senior vice president of public affairs for the Distilled Spirits Council of America via Forbes.

Smirnoff, which was founded in Russia, is now owned by Diageo beverages and produced around the world.

“There is not a lot of Russian-made vodka on the US market. Russian vodka imports into the United States are down nearly 79% from 2011 and accounted for just 1.3% of total vodka imports in 2021,” Hawkins said.

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