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The Great Vodka Debate

21. January 2010 by Christy 0 Comments

russian vodka brands

Exactly what is Russian vodka? Though vodka is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world, few people have ever stopped to consider this question. Until now.


A British court recently ruled that alcohol producers cannot market a product as Russian vodka unless the beverage meets the stringent requirements of European law. According to this law, vodka is a drink with at least 37.5 percent alcohol content that is made from 100 percent distilled alcohol.

The ruling is a blow to the manufacturers of Vodkat, a clear alcoholic beverage that is similar to vodka but only contains 22 percent alcohol by volume. Diaego, a premium drink manufacturer with such brands as Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, and Cuervo, filed the lawsuit claiming Vodkat’s name and appearance mislead customers. Justice Richard Arnold agreed, stating that the marketing of Vodkat worked to “deceive a substantial number of members of the public into believing that the product is vodka.”

 With this ruling, vodka will now enjoy the same legally protected status as other goods with regional associations, including champagne, sherry, whiskey, and Swiss chocolate. The news is welcome in Russia, where many are disturbed by foreign manufacturers’ attempts to market vodka products as having come from Russia when they are in fact produced in other countries.

"The decision will help differentiate the concept of 'vodka' and protect it from fakes or free-handed interpretations often used by dishonest producers,” said Nelly Pugachyova, spokeswoman for Russian state-run vodka maker Soyuzplodoimport.

Source: The Moscow Times