NEW BEDFORD – As Russia continues to invade Ukraine, Americans are trying to find ways to show their support – this week’s trend is throw Russian-made alcohol.
“In support of the Ukrainian people, we join the sanctions and do not buy any Russian products,” said Stephen Silverstein.
Karl Pelletier, owner of The drunk slide in Fall River, said they did not carry Russian-made liquor and did not plan to order any.
In the SouthCoast region, of 36 restaurants surveyed, 77% said they currently do not offer Russian-made alcohol and do not plan to order any in the near future; 22% (eight restaurants) said they did not know if they sold Russian-made alcohol and, if so, could not say if it would be removed at this time.
Two restaurants said they did not plan to carry it, but if they did, they would continue to serve it to customers.
According to Nick Silvia, Director of Marketing and IT for France Hospitalityall their restaurants such as Bittersweet Farms, Westport White, Ten cousins brick oven and Merrill on the waterfront also planned to remove all Russian vodka, but found that they were not selling any Russian brands at any of their locations.
“Like many other establishments, we thought we had to retire Stoli vodka, but it’s actually a Latvian company, not a Russian one,” Silvia said. “We are happy to see that Stoli stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people.”
This isn’t the first time Russian-made vodka has been poured alone, either. In 2013, LGBTQ+ activists in New York threw vodka on the streets as part of a growing global protest against new laws in Russia that target gay people.
Boycott in the United States
Bars and liquor stores across the country removed Russian-made and branded liquor from their shelves and the promotion of Ukrainian brands as a sign of solidarity with Ukraine, reported Burlington Free Press.
On March 3, Governor Phil Scott ordered liquor stores in Vermont to remove Russian-owned liquor brands, while governors in New Hampshire and several other states had previously ordered stores to remove liquor. made in Russia off store shelves earlier in the week.
In a press release on Monday, Governor Charlie Baker raised concerns about a total ban. “I share the concern about the closure of a Russian immigrant family who have been here in Massachusetts for years and who run a business that may have some kind of Russian overtones,” he said.
Nemiroff premium vodka is available on order for any cocktail.
What Russian liquor to boycott
This is not the first time that a war has triggered a product boycott.
In 1993, there was an international boycott of German products in response to Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor of Germany and his violence against Jews.
In 2019, 56% of Chinese consumers boycott American productss “to show support for China”, when President Donald Trump took office and threatened to take action against China when they raised tariffs on each other’s goods.
The Americans also changed the name of the products. According to Redditduring World War I, sauerkraut was also called “freedom cabbage” and frankfurters were renamed hot dogs.
Following the September 11 attacks and the declaration of a “war on terror” by President George W. Bush, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin declared that France would not support or assist in the invasion. On March 11, 2003, Republican U.S. Representatives Bob Ney and Walter B. Jones led the three cafeterias of the House to change any reference to fries with Freedom fries.
According to Massachusetts Parcel Store Associationboycotting alcohol made in Russia might be symbolic, but would have no real impact, since Massachusetts does not consume much Russian vodka.
Russian-made vodka represents only a very small percentage of approximately $7 billion in annual vodka sales. Less than 1% of the vodka consumed in the United States is produced in Russia.
However, the organization has shared a list of Russian alcohol for those interested in the boycott.
- Russian standard vodka
- Beluga Noble Russian Vodka
- Russian Standard Platinum Vodka
- Baikal Vodka
- Baltica (Beer)
- Nevskoe Imperial (beer)
- Ochakovo (beer)
- Starka (whiskey)
- Samogon (Russian Moonshine)
- Polugar (Russian gin)
- Kuban-Vino (Wine)
- Abrau-Durso (Sparkling Wine)
Seth Chitwood, Standard-Times editor, can be contacted at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @ChitwoodReports. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times today.