Pouring It Out: Discarded Liquor May Not Have Been Distilled In Russia

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Many are pouring out Russian liquor in solidarity for Ukraine, but you may want to check where that liquor is actually coming from.

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu barred Russian liquor from state store shelves over the weekend in support of Ukraine.

But only 1.2% of vodka imported into the United States came from Russia for the first half of 2021, according to a report from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

Some brands that began production in Russia have long since moved distillation sites elsewhere. For example, Stoli Vodka does not come from Russia anymore, instead, the liquor is manufactured and bottled in Riga, Latvia and registered as a Latvian product, the brand's website said.

Nor is the brand Russian-owned, as according to Stoli vodka brands Owner Yuri Shefler, the liquor brand and Shefler himself have been exiled from Russia.

"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,” Shefler said.

"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 Stoli Group Global CEO Damian McKinney.

Read More: Baker Administration Reviews Russian Contracts Amid Invasion In Ukraine

Though the drink's origins are often accredited to Russia, and "voda" (вода) translates to "water" in Russian, the popular vodkas sold in the United States are mostly from separate countries.

Vodka bottles sold in the U.S like Smirnoff, Ciroc, Tito's, Absolut, Svedka, Grey Goose, SKYY, and New Amsterdam, are not made in Russia either. Those brands are manufactured in Sweden, France, United Kingdom, or the United States.

WBZ's Shari Small (@ShariSmallNews) reports.

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