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If you’re boycotting vodka, at least don’t dump Utah brands out

Feb 28, 2022, 3:06 PM | Updated: 10:56 pm
Russian Standard is the only Russian brand on Utah liquor store shelves....
Russian Standard is the only Russian brand on Utah liquor store shelves. (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
(Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — A few states, including Utah, are telling their liquor stores to pull Russian-made and produced brands from their shelves. And it has some people dumping out brands like Stoli, Svedka, and Smirnoff.

But not all vodka is made equal, or in Russia. So, before you dump all the liquor down the drain, take a second look at where it’s actually made. 

Utah’s response

Over the weekend, Gov. Spencer Cox issued an executive order, calling for any “Russian-produced” and “Russian-branded” products removed from liquor store shelves immediately.

And here’s the governor’s statement about why he issued the order:

“Russia’s ruthless attack on a sovereign nation is an egregious violation of human rights,” Cox said in a statement. “Utah stands in solidarity with Ukraine and will not support Russian enterprises, no matter how small the exchange.”

The order also requires that the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity look at anything the state buys or gets from Russia generally — not just alcohol. 

Here’s the problem

While it’s true that vodka’s roots are in Russia, the country certainly no longer dominates the market. 

Of the 67-plus different brands sold in Utah liquor stores, the DABC confirmed only one is from Russia. It’s called Russian Standard.

In an email to KSL NewsRadio, the DABC said that one brand has been pulled.

“As of now, the only product removed is Russian Standard vodka,” spokeswoman Michelle Schmitt wrote. “Many products are presumed Russian-made that are not. We are working to identify the products as quickly as possible. Once we have that information, it will be shared publicly.”

Utah is home to 13 different distilleries that make some type of vodka, among other spirits.

For a list of the 67 kinds of vodka sold in Utah DABC stores, and where they’re produced or made, see below.

A list of vodka distributed in Utah based on the DABC "general items" offerings.

A list of vodka distributed in Utah based on the DABC “general items” offerings. (Kira Hoffelmeyer/KSL NewsRadio)

 

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If you’re boycotting vodka, at least don’t dump Utah brands out