The Publix grocery store chain is the latest American company to “sanction” Russia by removing the country’s vodka from store shelves. Stores and restaurants across the country are “standing with Ukraine” amid the Russian invasion.
“Publix stands with the people of Ukraine,” Director of Communications Maria Brous said Wednesday. “The following Russian-made vodka brands have been removed from our liquor store shelves: Beluga, Ruskova, Russian Standard, and Zyr.”
Funny enough, many brands with Russian-sounding names do not derive from Russia at all; the brewers simply borrow phonetically-appropriate names to boost sales. Brands like Smirnoff, Stoli, and Ciroc are actually produced in France, Sweden, and Latvia; so it will interesting to see if any non-Russian manufacturers accidentally feel the squeeze of anti-vodka rhetoric that’s so popular on social media at the moment.
Brous said there will be a Russian-made vodka featured in Publix’s Thursday sales advertisement because those “sale circulars” were printed weeks in advance. However, Publix, headquartered Florida, won’t carry the products moving forward.
“No Russian-made vodka will be available for sale even though they will appear in the printed ad,” Brous assured concerned Ukraine supporters far and wide.
The boycott of Russian vodka runs all the way up to the Governors’ mansions
Publix is the latest company to remove Russian vodka, but it certainly is not the first. The boycott started when Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine asked the Ohio Department of Commerce to stop the purchase and sale of Russian Standard Vodka. According to the state’s liquor board, the ban removed around 6,000 bottles from shelves in the Buckeye State’s 487 liquor stores. Now, companies across the country are getting in on the anti-war efforts.
Total Wine and More, which operates 229 stores across 27 states, announced on Twitter Monday that it also “removed all Russian-made products from our shelves.”
Then, on Sunday, patrons of the Evel Pie restaurant in downtown Las Vegas poured bottles of Russian Standard vodka in a drain outside the restaurant for a viral video.
An Indiana-based vodka company is even promoting a new cocktail, the American Stallion. They hope it will serve as a rebranding of the Moscow Mule. Fuzzy’s Spirits COO Paul Massey said that the company wanted to rename the drink to reflect an “American democracy spin; as well as remove any connotation that has anything to do with Russia.”
Other governors are getting in on the free press extravaganza, too. Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott all took local measures to “remove all Russian-produced and Russian-branded products from its shelves immediately.”