Russian Vodka Banned From Being Sold In Several U.S. States

By Bill Galluccio

February 28, 2022

Ontario Banning Russian Products From LCBO Shelves Over Ukraine Invasion
Photo: NurPhoto

The governors of several states have ordered liquor stores to stop selling Russian vodka in response to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Over the weekend, Utah Governor Spencer Cox joined New Hampshire, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, by instructing his state's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to pull all bottles of Russian vodka off the shelves of the state-run stores.

"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."

He also noted that stores will accept returns of Russian-made vodkas.

The bans are unlikely to have much of an impact on Russia. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States said that Russian vodka accounts for just 1.2% of vodka sales in the United States, making up $18.5 million of the $1.4 billion worth of vodka sold throughout the country.

In fact, many of the Russian-style vodkas sold in the United States, such as Smirnoff and Stolichnaya, are actually made in other countries.

In addition to the official bans in those states, bars across the country are dumping their Russian vodkas and buying bottles made in Ukraine instead. A pizzeria in downtown Las Vegas dumped all of their Russian vodkas down the drain and offered $1 shots of Ukrainian vodka, with 100% of the proceeds going to humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine.

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