Blog: Vodka under the bridge
Chris Brook-Carter | 16 October 2003
No country is so synonymous with vodka as Russia and the political powers that be have not been slow to jump on the bandwagon. Moscow's powerful mayor and a close ally of Putin, Yury Luzhkov, has even promised to open a vodka museum near Moscow's Kristall Distillery, during the celebrations. ''Russian vodka is acclaimed throughout the world and the public must celebrate the jubilee,'' he said.
But Russia's vodka industry remains in chaos. I saw one report this week that said that up to 65% of all vodka consumed in the country was produced illegally. On top of this the fight for the leading trademarks in the country goes on, with Soyuzplodoimport (the government-owned body) running things domestically, but SPI (the private business) controlling the rights abroad.
Perhaps, with celebrations underway, it was no coincidence that a flurry of claims and counter claims came out this week. But there were statements of intent by both sides about controlling the brand names abroad. SPI claimed victory in a Dutch court recognised them as the rightful owner of Moskovskaya. However, almost at the same time a story appeared claiming Soyuzplodoimport would begin exports to Romania at the end of October.
Could this dispute affect 500 years of heritage? Probably not, but much water (and even a little blood) has passed under the bridge of the Volga since 1503, perhaps in the interests of the industry in the next 500 years a little more should be allowed to pass.
For those people looking to the Red Planet as shining utopia away from all things earth, look away now....
Bacardi's 42 Below vodka brand has found a novel way to use the lemons left over from cocktail-making: Turn them into liquid soap....
Philadelphia’s soda tax came into force on Sunday, and is reportedly causing a stir in the city's check-out aisles....
Earlier this month, I was most-kindly invited by Accolade Wines to visit the Royal Albert Hall in London. The reason? They wanted to see a tennis great in action, and then give them a guided tour thro...
- Pernod Ricard's Q3 2017 trading update - Preview
- Why Scotch must drop the 'malts good, blends bad'
- How soft drinks brands manage to offend consumers
- Heineken Q1 2017 by region - results data
- Pernod's mood darkens over India - Analysis
- Diageo to cut 105 jobs in Scotland, 50 in Italy
- Scotch sales set to soar, despite recent struggles
- William Grant snaps up Tuthilltown Spirits in US
- TWE's Beringer Main & Vine Dry Rosé - NPD
- Edrington shifts innovation to US in shake-up
- Global Champagne and sparkling wine insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global Scotch insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Battle of the Generations - The fight for iGen, Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer consumers
- Myanmar - ISA Country Report
- Flavoured Powder Drinks in 2017: Confronting an Ageing World